Second Annual FitFest Will Showcase Glens Falls' Health, Fitness And Wellness Sectors

September 15, 2016 11:50 AM

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These people were among the participants at last year's FitFest, sponsored by the Glens Falls Collaborative. The second annual event is scheduled for City Park.

Courtesy Glens Falls Collaborative

The Glens Falls Collaborative presents the second annual FitFest event in City Park on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It starts with the FitFest 5K Fun Run/Walk at 10 a.m.

The event is held with support from the Glens Falls Business Improvement District and City of Glens Falls. Admission is free.

The event is a showcase of the health, fitness and wellness sector of the Glens Falls Collaborative, a group with more than 100 members. Planned are sample fitness classes, interactive demonstrations, healthy food for sale, fun contests, music, and member booths with giveaways, samples, children's activities, and information about their organizations and services.

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Glens Falls Awarded $10 Million Grant To Help Revitalize A Large Section Of Its Downtown

September 15, 2016 11:48 AM

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This section of South Street is included in the Arts, Wellness, and Entertainment District of downtown Glens Falls that will benefit from a $10 million grant award.

Downtown Glens Falls was selected as one of five winners, statewide, of a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative in the Capital Region from the state.

The Downtown Revitalization Initiative marks a comprehensive plan to transform local neighborhoods into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live and work.

Glens Falls was selected as part of a competitive process by the state's Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council. The $10 million in state funding will go toward revitalizing the local neighborhood and generating new opportunities for long-term growth and prosperity, state officials said.

"With this $10 million investment, Glens Falls has an important opportunity to transform its downtown into an economic and cultural center that attracts residents and visitors alike," state Assemblyman Dan Stec said. "This initiative will help us invest in critical infrastructure and redevelopment projects that will create jobs, drive economic activity and keep our region moving forward."

"With thriving cultural centers and an exciting economic climate, downtown Glens Falls is emerging as a destination for businesses and visitors alike. This investment will allow us to build upon our existing strengths and transform downtown Glens Falls into a center of vitality and opportunity," said Mayor Jack Diamond.

The award will include up to $300,000 in planning funds for private sector experts to work with a local planning committee to draft a Strategic Investment Plan that will identify specific economic development, transportation, and housing and community projects. The grant is part of a $100 million effort to improve the urban vitality of city centers across the state.

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Six-Story Marriott Hotel In Lake George Is Already Being Eyed For Meetings, Conventions

September 15, 2016 11:46 AM

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Lake George Courtyard by Marriott, the first six-story structure in the Village of Lake George, opened recently. The 119-room hotel has 60 suites and many amenities.

By Lisa Balschunat
Lake George Courtyard by Marriott, the first six-story structure in the Village of Lake George, opened its doors in late August.

At 365 Canada Street, nestled between Mountain Drive and Amherst Street, hotel officials say it is poised to "transform the iconic summer destination into a year-round retreat for both leisure and business."

"The hotel has been full since we opened," said Taylor Hall, general manager. "And bookings are strong, which is good news. We are busier than anticipated. As with any hotel opening, we are working out the kinks."

"The hotel will give travelers a unique stay and experience," said Michael Consuelo, executive director of the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce. "We are looking forward to the completion of the meeting spaces. We have already had several meeting planners inquiring about the new space here. It's another add-on to our meeting and convention market."

Hall said staff is busy are putting together fall foliage and romance packages.

"We are operating as a full-service resort," Hall said. "The Bistro is open nightly and operates with a full-service bar with custom cocktails. We also have a 'window front,' a light-fare restaurant for customers walking by, where they can order a pick-up meal."

She said The Bistro is larger than most at Courtyard hotels, and will operate as a full-service restaurant. There is a Starbucks located within the hotel and it is "extremely busy."

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Adirondack Thunder Upcoming Season Will Celebrate 35 Years Of Hockey In Glens Falls

September 15, 2016 11:43 AM

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The Adirondack Thunder 2016-17 season will celebrate 35 years of hockey in Glens Falls.

The Adirondack Thunder, the East Coast Hockey League affiliate of the NHL Calgary Flames, announced the 35th Anniversary of Adirondack Hockey campaign for the upcoming 2016-17 season.

The Adirondack Thunder is the sixth team to call the Glens Falls Civic Center home and will honor the area's history throughout the season.

The 35th anniversary season, presented by Ramada Queensbury/Lake George, will celebrate the rich history and tradition of hockey in the area, highlighted by championships, playoff runs, Hockey Hall of Fame members and community involvement.

It will include a souvenir 35th anniversary publication, a 35th anniversary merchandise line, selection of an "All-Time Adirondack Team" and a "bracketology" aspect for fans to vote for their favorite players in Adirondack hockey history, team officials said.

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Personnel Briefs: September 2016

September 15, 2016 11:31 AM

P Brief - Amanda Blanton.jpgAmanda K. Blanton has been named the marketing/communications manager and Tricia Rogers was hired as membership manager at the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Blanton comes to the ARCC from Saratoga's Community Federal Credit Union, where she coordinated marketing efforts, as well as supervised the credit union call center. For the past six years, she marketed the credit union products and services. In her call center role, she maintained call quality, trained employees and matched members with the appropriate banking services. She won two national credit union awards for the credit union's 2011 annual report design.

P Brief - Tricia Rogers.jpgShe earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Rogers is a Hudson Falls native and a seasoned sales professional in the promotional products business since 2002. She earned a bachelor's degree in economics from SUNY Cortland.

Rogers previously served as an ARCC ambassador from 2005-2012. Since 2004, she has served on the board of directors for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

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The Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council hired Kori White as its new community outreach coordinator.

White's duties include the administration of the community arts re-grant program funded by the state Council on the Arts, recruitment of volunteers and scheduling of musicians for LARAC events and more.

White is a 2014 graduate of Keene State College in Keene, N.H., with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree concentrating in studio art.

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Aviator Restaurant Offers Fine Dining Option, Located At Floyd Bennet Memorial Airport

September 15, 2016 11:27 AM

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Sally Longo, general manager of The Aviator in Queensbury, also owns Aunt Sally's Catering and has produced local cooking shows such as 'Dinner at 8' and 'Guest Who's Cooking.'

By Liz Witbeck
The Aviator Restaurant is a new business established, as the name might imply, at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury.

Richard Schermerhorn is one of the investors in the restaurant. He is also is the owner of Schermerhorn Real Estate Holdings.

The Aviator Restaurant is positioned alongside the runway of the airport. The owners decided to install a fine-dining restaurant to satisfy the needs of the flight crews, as well as the greater Glens Falls community.

Sally Longo is the general manager.

Longo has held a variety of positions in her career. For the past 25 years, she has owned Aunt Sally's Catering, which serves clients throughout the Adirondack region. She is also the host and producer of local cooking shows such as "Dinner at 8" and "Guest Who's Cooking", and author of the cookbook "Aunt Sally's Adirondack Kitchen."

"I've known Rick for a long time. He asked me if I wanted to manage the restaurant," said Longo. "I wanted to do something completely different at this stage in my career."

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Woman Purchases MinkyMink Boutique In Glens Falls, Fulfilling Her Longtime Dream

September 15, 2016 11:24 AM

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Maura Bannon, who spent years in marketing, is now the proprietor of MinkyMink, a Glens Falls clothing boutique at 203 Glen St. She took over ownership in July.

Courtesy MinkyMink

BY Molly Congdon

MinkyMink, a Glens Falls clothing boutique at 203 Glen St., has undergone a change in ownership.

Lake George native Maura Bannon took over the business in July.

"It was an exciting and overwhelming time," when she decided to buy the business, she said. "But I have an amazing support system of family and friends who helped me through. I had the closing for buying the business at 1 p.m. and then I opened the store at 1:30 p.m., so I dove right in."

The boutique offers a wide array of fashionable options.

"MinkyMink offers curated clothing and accessories at affordable prices," Bannon said. "Some of the brands we carry are Free People, Alternative Apparel, En Crème, Thread & Supply, Olive & Oak and Hunter Boots. We carry clothing for all occasions, but we are known for clothing that can be lived in. MinkyMink is at once modern and comfortably chic."

Bannon went to Saint Michael's College in Vermont and majored in journalism and mass communication with a minor in marketing. After college she worked at Violet's of Saratoga, a women's clothing store.

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Local Officials, Developers See Grant Funds As A Huge Boost To Continued Growth Of City

September 15, 2016 11:21 AM

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Dr. John Rugge of Hudson Headwaters says his company will one day occupy all of 90 South St.

Courtesy of Hudson Headwaters

By Maureen Werther

News of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award to the city of Glens Falls was met with great enthusiasm and anticipation by city leaders, developers and stakeholders, all of whom see it as an opportunity to continue improving the health and vitality of downtown Glens Falls and, by extension, the surrounding region.

The city was selected as one of five winners of a $10 million state grant as part of the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative in the Capital Region.

The money will be used to revitalize a district that encompasses South Street, from Hudson Avenue to Glen Street; Glen Street, from South Street to Park Street; Park Street; Hudson Avenue, from Elm Street to South Street; Elm Street, from Hudson Avenue to the incubator building; and School Street, from Hudson Avenue to South Street.

While revitalization and rehabilitation will be confined largely to South Street and adjoining streets, the effect will reverberate throughout the city, helping to stimulate the growing economy and attracting people back to the city as employees, residents and visitors, officials said.

"I see this as an excellent opportunity for both the city and the community at large to really escalate redevelopment and revitalization of that whole area in and around South Street," said Bob Sears, a commercial real estate broker who has been working in and around the Glens Falls region for some 40 years. "The more we can add to the city, the more attractive it will be as a home, a place of work, and a place for dining and entertainment."

He said commercial real estate in Glens Falls had already begun to evolve over the last several years. Projects on Broad Street and in other areas served as an impetus to pursue the additional grant funding.

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With Closing Of HoJo's In Maine, Lake George Restaurant Becomes The Last One In Chain

September 15, 2016 11:18 AM

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This Lake George Howard Johnson's location was opened in 1953. It is now the last restaurant in the country that bears the chain's name, after the recent closing of a location in Maine.

By Liz Witbeck
People interested in visiting Howard Johnson's will now have to make a trip to Lake George. The Route 9 restaurant is officially the last location of the once-iconic restaurant chain.

In 2015, the Howard Johnson's location in Lake Placid closed. Recently, the restaurant in Bangor, Maine, closed, leaving the local establishment, at 2143 Route 9 as the lone eatery bearing that name.

John LaRock has owned the location since August 2014.

"Things have been very good. People are glad that it's still open and people hope that we continue to stay open," he said.

The Lake George Howard Johnson's location was opened in 1953. Its last owner, Joe DeSantis, is also owner of Carl R's in Glens Falls and the Hampton Inn in Lake George. LaRock was a former employee of DeSantis and purchased the Howard Johnson's location when it became available.

Television chef Rachael Ray, a Lake George native, worked at the location when she was younger.

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Fort Edward Woman Opens Mighty Maids, A Cleaning Service For Both Homes And Offices

September 15, 2016 11:09 AM

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Lisa Quill is the owner of Mighty Maids, a business she opened in Fort Edward.

Courtesy Mighty Maids

By Liz Witbeck

People in need of an experienced cleaning service will be glad to know that Mighty Maids has recently opened in the Capital Region. The business operates out of Fort Edward.

Lisa Quill is the owner of Mighty Maids. She has more than 10 years of experience in professional cleaning. She has worked for trucking companies, warehouses, and more.

Quill started Mighty Maids in August. While it is still a new business, she is looking forward to its popularity increasing soon.

"She enjoyed cleaning and wanted to start her own" said her husband Ed.

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Local Habitat For Humanity Anticipates Two New Homes Will Be Complete By Year's End

September 15, 2016 11:06 AM

Katie Leahy is a registered dietitian nutritionist at Glens Falls Hospital.

Courtesy Glens Falls Hospital

Glens Falls-based Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties will break ground on its second build of the year.

Officials said the build represents a "new period of growth for the affiliate," as it sets a record with the completion of two homes in one year.

Both homes are in Saratoga Springs. Officials said the Glens Falls area will be the location, yet unnamed, for a project in 2017.

"We've experienced an unprecedented amount of generosity this year, which has allowed us to expand our model to accommodate building multiple homes," said Tammy DiCara, president of the local affiliate. "The people of Saratoga County have really come forward to address the affordable housing issue with some major donations of time, labor, materials, and land. It's been a pleasure to see the community come together to support the advancement of our affiliate."

The organization dedicated its 26th build, at 195 Division St. in Saratoga Springs, on Aug. 25 for the Clements family. The city of Saratoga Springs donated the property to Habitat for Humanity. Habitat partnered with the Saratoga Builders Association, Rebuilding Together Saratoga and community volunteers to build the home.

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Business Report: Nutrition On The Go

September 15, 2016 11:02 AM

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Katie Leahy is a registered dietitian nutritionist at Glens Falls Hospital.

Courtesy Glens Falls Hospital

By Katie Leahy, MS, RDN

Let's face it, Americans are busy. We sleep too little, we drive too much, and most of us don't get the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies every day.

"I don't have the time to eat healthy," we say. We blame busy schedules and long work days. We succumb to the desire for fast and easy options. All of which lead to more unhealthy choices, eating more processed foods, or not eating at all.  

For those of us striving to keep up with emails, meetings, and deadlines, food is essential. A balanced diet can help increase energy levels, promote a healthy immune system, improve our ability to cope with stress, and increase concentration and performance at work.   

Most everything we eat is broken down by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brain needs to stay alert. This is why it is difficult to stay focused on an empty stomach--our brain is running low on glucose. 

Some foods such as white pasta, sugary cereals and soda release their glucose more quickly, leading to a surge of energy followed by a crash. Meals like a cheeseburger with fries provide more prolonged energy, but are high in fat, which causes our digestive tract to work harder, reducing the oxygen levels to our brain and leaving us feeling sleepy.

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Washington, Warren Counties Get Funds To Improve Access To Services For Seniors

September 15, 2016 10:48 AM

Some $74.6 million in state and federal funding has been set aside for New York state's 59 county-based agencies on aging, it was announced Aug. 30.

The money will be used to support programs that improve older individuals' access to nutritional and disease prevention services.

State officials said these services currently help more than 238,000 older New Yorkers prevent or reduce the effect of chronic disease associated with diet and weight; strengthen the link between nutrition and physical activity for a healthy lifestyle; and improve access to nutritional information, education, counseling, and healthy foods.

This year's commitment will generate an additional $98.3 million in funding from municipalities, plus an additional $11.5 million in direct voluntary contributions from program participants, officials said.

Of that amount, Warren County will receive $204,679 and Washington County will receive $350,502.

"New Yorkers help their neighbors in their time of need and, with this funding, we will help ensure some of our most vulnerable citizens are not in danger of going hungry, maintain their health, and manage or reduce chronic diseases," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "I thank the members of New York's Congressional delegation for their efforts to secure this funding to protect seniors in every corner of this state."

The nutritional needs of older adults become more critical with advancing age, officials said. Poor diet and physical inactivity are among the leading causes of disability among Americans, and cause one-third of premature deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Malnutrition affects one out of four older Americans living in the community and is a factor in half of all hospital admissions and readmissions of older people.

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Insurance Industry Sets Information Security Principles To Protect Data Of Policy Holders

September 15, 2016 10:46 AM

The insurance industry is intensifying its efforts related to information security and has established guiding principles to protect retained policyholder data.

The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York (IIABNY), New York Insurance Association (NYIA) and Professional Insurance Agents of New York (PIANY) released in September "Guiding Principles to Advance Information Security in New York" with the facilitation of the Center for Internet Security (CIS).

Officials said the principles are designed to provide a general road map for agents and companies and are the outcome of a roundtable discussion of representatives from the agent and carrier communities. The goal of the principles is to create a strong working relationship within the insurance industry to ensure agencies, companies and policyholders are better protected.

"The insurance industry remains intently focused on information security," NYIA President Ellen Melchionni said. "Collaboration is essential to most effectively address the challenges presented by this ever evolving issue. NYIA members have been proactive on security issues and are committed to seeking new ways to shield our businesses and policyholders from threats."

"Information security threats grow more severe every day," Richard Poppa, IIABNY president and CEO said. "Independent insurance agencies and brokerages are committed to helping their clients protect themselves and to protecting client and employee information they possess. We are pleased to work with our peer associations on such an important challenge. These guiding principles will help insurers and producers strengthen their defenses against cyber threats."

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Business Report: Handling Health Insurance Premium Hikes

September 15, 2016 10:45 AM

By Amelia M. KlEIN

Health insurance premiums are expected to increase by double-digit percentages for 2017. What are you going to do about it?

Many employers will choose to increase deductibles, co-payments and/or coinsurance amounts in order to reduce the premium cost. This shifts some of the cost of health coverage to employees without violating the "affordability" requirement of the Affordable Care Act.

Under the ACA, an employer health plan is considered to be affordable if the employee's share of the 2017 premium for individual coverage under the lowest-cost option does not exceed 9.69 percent of the employee's 2017 W-2 wages, 9.69 percent of the 2017 individual federal poverty line, or 9.69 percent of the employee's rate of pay multiplied by a 30 hour "full-time" work week.

But employees don't like cost shifting. To ease their concerns, an employer might offer to reimburse all or a portion of the actual amount of the out-of-pocket costs that the employee is required to pay. However, you can't just reimburse the expenses on an ad hoc basis as employees come in with their receipts - you must follow one of the three IRS-approved methodologies or there will be some serious tax penalties to pay.

The Health Flexible Spending Account (HSFA) is the least flexible of the options available to reimburse the additional out-of-pocket costs. In addition to the employee's pre-tax contribution of up to $2,550, the maximum amount that the employer may contribute on behalf of the employee is $500. Contribute more than that, and the FSA will not be exempt from the ACA's requirements for a full-fledged health plan. Unspent amounts are forfeited after the end of the year, subject to either a $500 maximum carryover or a 2.5-month grace period.

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is appropriate if you offer a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), which is a health plan that has (for 2017) an annual deductible/out-of-pocket amount for individual coverage between $1,300 and $6,500 and a family coverage deductible/out-of-pocket amount between $6,700 and $13,100.

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Business Report: Become Familiar With Benefit Packages

September 15, 2016 10:42 AM

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Rose Miller is the president of Pinnacle Human Resources LLC.

Courtesy Pinnacle Human Resources LLC

By Rose Miller

Benefits are a very important issue for current and potential employees. In past years, surveys show employees place a higher importance in health insurance than even wages.

The representative of management needs to be knowledgeable about all the organization's policies and benefits programs. Although administering benefits and explaining all the details is usually the job of human resources, employers need to know basic information about employee benefits for a variety of important reasons.

First, a small employer may not have an HR department and employees will look to the person who handed them the large packet of information to answer complex questions. Even some HR departments are not a part of the benefits purchasing resulting in large gaps of knowledge regarding plan documents.

Job candidates, during a job interview, are likely to inquire about benefits, and the hiring manager will want to be able to provide decent answers (or the correct answers). Benefits are a selling point when interviewing job applicants.

If the hiring manager is able to promote the organization's benefits package well, it can help attract high-quality employees to the company. When new employees come on board, they will undoubtedly have even more questions about benefits and they may also need help with the enrollment paperwork.

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Business Report: Hiring Is Not A Coin Toss

September 15, 2016 10:40 AM

by Michael Cruz

Place an ad, screen resumes, develop a short list, interview applicants, screen out unqualified people, check references, make an offer to the survivor. Repeat.

These are bad hiring practices. Bad, because any conscientious business owner who follows up on his or her hires would find that, despite all these efforts, about half of new hires turn out to be low performers.

In fact, most studies show typical hiring practices have about the same accuracy as flipping a coin. And it costs. Not just the time and money it takes to find the person. Not just the pay you gave them while you were figuring out this was a mistake. And not just the cost of the time everyone else took to train him or her. It costs in customer perceptions, employee problems and lost productivity.

"I don't want to go through that again", a business owner recently told me. What you need to do to ensure successful hires is easy to fix. You generally are looking for someone with specific technical skills in manufacturing, sales, accounting or some other aspect of your business. Be specific in what you are looking for--both behavior and skills. You need a job description.

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HVAC Industry Professionals See Technology Improvements Leading To Lower Utility Bills

September 15, 2016 10:37 AM

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John V. Bove, left, CFO of G. A. Bove and Sons says customer service is a priority.

©2016 Saratoga

By Susan E. Campbell

Trends in the heating and cooling fields and the sciences behind them project lower costs and greater efficiency, say the experts. 

"Technology has advanced steadily. What used to be all wires and relays is now electronic," said Marty DeVit, owner of Thermal Associates of Glens Falls. "You can even control your home unit from the cell phone in your pocket or see how many watts your home is consuming."

He said that compressor technology has improved so drastically that he believes geo-thermal will dominate home heating and cooling in the near future.

"There is a lot of interest in net-zero homes that generate enough energy that you have no utility bill," DeVit said.

John V. Bove Jr., CFO of G. A. Bove and Sons Inc. which has an office in Hudson Falls, said his company is experiencing an uptick in propane systems and delivery, especially in new residential construction. 

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Agency Makes Funds Available For Design, Construction Of Energy-Efficient Buildings

September 15, 2016 10:34 AM

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has $16 million available to support the design and construction of new energy-efficient housing and to complete similar improvements in existing buildings across New York state.

State officials said homes and buildings that take advantage of this support are projected to see annual energy cost savings of more than $9 million and total lifetime savings of as much as $180 million, as well as improved household comfort and indoor air quality.

"Ensuring New York's buildings are constructed to the highest standards of energy efficiency is crucial to both our long-term sustainability and prosperity of the state," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "Smart choices about efficiency can simultaneously save money and protect the environment. This investment promotes that principle in order to build healthy communities and save consumers hundreds of millions of dollars."

Approximately $8 million will be offered to housing developers and builders of low-rise housing, including single-family homes and multi-unit buildings generally three stories or less, through NYSERDA's Low-rise Residential New Construction program. The other $8 million will be offered to housing developers and builders of mid- and high-rise housing, generally multi-unit buildings of four stories or more, through NYSERDA's Multifamily New Construction program.

Officials said approximately 75 percent of the entire $16 million in funding is designated for housing for low- to moderate-income residents, who are most vulnerable to high energy cost burdens and whose homes are often especially susceptible to the impacts of extreme weather.

Both programs support the incorporation of energy efficiency measures, such as increased insulation and improved air sealing; high-efficiency heating, cooling, and balanced ventilation systems; energy-saving appliances and lighting; high-performance windows and doors; and renewable energy technologies.

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Businesses Can Get Grants To Get Involved In Projects That Foster, Promote Clean Energy

September 15, 2016 10:32 AM

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that applications are being accepted for the third round of support for Solarize campaigns for communities across the state.

Under the NY-Sun program, Solarize campaigns make going solar easier and more affordable for residents and business owners through community-driven campaigns, according to NYSERDA officials. NY-Sun is a component of the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program and its strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient, and affordable energy system for New Yorkers.

Applications for Round 3 of Solarize will be accepted through Nov. 3. Communities are eligible to receive $5,000 to establish new Solarize campaigns.

Solarize campaigns provide support for community education and marketing of solar group purchasing projects. In this round, NYSERDA said it will encourage communities to consider participating in the Clean Energy Communities program, a $16 million Clean Energy Fund (CEF) initiative to help local governments across the state reduce energy consumption and drive clean energy use in their communities.

The Clean Energy Communities program recognizes community Solarize campaigns as one of 10 actions that have high-impact on energy use and the environment.

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Business Briefs: September 2016

September 15, 2016 10:29 AM

The Adirondack Thunder hockey team, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, partnered with the American Red Cross to collect over 200 pints of blood during the 7 Days of Hope blood drive in August.

Red Cross officials said the blood drive has the potential to support 624 patients in the area. Each donor received a complimentary flex ticket to an Adirondack Thunder home game at the Glens Falls Civic Center during the 2016-17 season.

The 7 Days of Hope Blood Drive was held at seven different locations in Glens Falls and Queensbury, including Glens Falls Hospital and the Queensbury Hotel. The Thunder had their mascot, Gunnar, in attendance for the final drive on Sunday, Aug. 7, at the Glens Falls YMCA, to help promote the event. The Thunder gave out tickets to each donor, resulting in over 200 tickets donated, a $2,600 value.

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Stored Technology Solutions (StoredTech) has earned the position of 1,113 on the 2016 Inc. 5000

Inc. magazine, founded in 1979 and based in New York City, is an American monthly publication focused on growing companies. The Ink 5000 list ranks the country's top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies.

According to Eric Schurenberg, Inc. Media editor-in-chief, the companies on the list have grown almost five-fold over the last three years.

StoredTech provides a comprehensive portfolio of voice, data, and video services and equipment. It's headquarters is in Queensbury and it has branch offices in Saratoga Springs, Plattsburgh and South Plainfield, N.J.

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NYS Now Allows Bars To Sell Alcohol Before Noon On Sundays; Law Also Helps Brewers

September 15, 2016 10:28 AM

Legislation was signed Sept. 7 to modernize New York's archaic 80-year-old Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, which included provisions prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages at on-premises establishments before noon on Sunday.

The legislation allows alcohol to be sold earlier on Sundays, adds common sense provisions to broaden retail sales by producers, and reduces burdensome fees for wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries statewide.

Over the last five years, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken action to simplify regulations for the beverage industry, resulting in an unprecedented, three-fold increase in licensed wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries across the state.

The governor signed the legislation at the Genesee Brew House in Rochester.

"New York's burgeoning craft beverage industry has served as an economic generator for communities across the state and with this legislation, we are building on that progress," Cuomo said. "By cutting red tape, breaking down artificial barriers and rolling back arcane and burdensome regulations, we are setting the stage for this industry's continued resurgence and future growth and I am proud to sign it into law."

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44th Adirondack Balloon Festival Soars Into Glens Falls, Lake George From September 22-25

September 15, 2016 10:20 AM

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These hot air balloon, dubbed 'Yellow Bird and Puddy Cat,' are scheduled to make its debut at the annual Adirondack Balloon Festival. They are owned by John Calvin.

Courtesy Adirondack Balloon Festival

The colorful and multi-themed hot air balloons will take to the skies again in the Glens Falls/Lake George area when the Adirondack Balloon Festival takes place Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 22-25.

It will be the 44th annual event.

It kicks off at 4 p.m. on Sept. 22 at Crandall Park in Glens Falls. Events continue through the weekend at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury.

Organizers said making its Adirondack debut this year will be the European-based balloon Angry Bird. Fresh from the big screen, the balloon will be making fall appearances at the Adirondack Balloon Festival and Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

In addition, Smiley the Scarecrow makes his first appearance. The Indiana-based balloon will be flown by Jack Semler. Organizers also said Yellow Bird and Puddy Cat make their Adirondack debut as well, owned by veteran pilot John Cavin. He will pilot the cat, joined by Lee Teitsworth piloting the bird.

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Donation Of $11 Million To Hyde Museum Will Lead To Formation Of A New Gallery

August 10, 2016 6:18 PM

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The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls recently received the largest donation since Charlotte Pruyn Hyde bequeathed her home and artwork to establish the museum in 1952

Courtesy The Hyde

The Hyde Collection has received the largest donation since Charlotte Pruyn Hyde bequeathed her home and artwork to establish the museum in 1952.

The gift is also believed to be one of the largest gifts to any Capital Region arts institution in over a decade.

Art collector, architect, and Schenectady resident Werner Feibes provided the major bequest of art and cash totaling more than $11 million. With the gift, The Hyde will create a new 1,500-square-foot gallery dedicated to the display of modern and contemporary art. Named in honor of the donor and his late partner, the Feibes & Schmitt Gallery, will open to the public in the summer of 2017, museum officials said.

The donation by Feibes also aims to inspire others to give to The Hyde Collection. In August, the museum kicked off a major fundraising initiative, designed to match a portion of Feibes' cash gift to support the new gallery space. Officials said funds raised will expand The Hyde's reputation as the leading visual arts institution in the region, positioning it to present the "art of our time" alongside its old masters and distinguished works of European and American art.

For more than four decades, Feibes and the late James Schmitt built a world-class art collection that aligned with their personal tastes and interest in non-objective art, pop art, abstract art and minimalism. Building on Feibes' previous donation of 55 modern and contemporary works to The Hyde in 2015, the bequest includes the remainder of the collection (105 works).

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Hospital Plans $5 Million Renovation Of Its 'Snuggery' Birth Unit Beginning In September

August 10, 2016 6:16 PM

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This patient room in the Snuggery at Glens Falls Hospital will be among those renovated.

Courtesy Glens Falls Hospital

Glens Falls Hospital has unveiled plans for a $5 million renovation of the Snuggery, a family centered birthing unit, and announced a $250,000 donation for the project from the David S. and Janet R. Sheridan Foundation.

With the Sheridan gift, the Glens Falls Hospital Foundation has now raised more than $600,000 toward its goal of $1.25 million in donations for the project. Stewart's Shops and the Dake family previously made a $250,000 donation, and the Sandy Hill Foundation has contributed $100,000.

The renovation of the 31-year-old unit, the setting for more than 40,000 births since its opening, will encompass:

• A complete remodeling of all 22 patient rooms, with aesthetic improvements, individual room temperature controls, and redesigns to better accommodate today's technology and equipment, particularly those needed in emergency situations.

• Relocation and expansion of the special care nursery, which serves premature and post-mature infants, as well as others requiring special care.

• The creation of a new family and friends waiting room, and renovation of the elevator lobby area.

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Northern Eagle Beverages To Purchase The Brewing Segment Of Davidson Brewing Co.

August 10, 2016 6:14 PM

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The sale of the Davidson Brothers' Brewery in Queensbury to Northern Eagle Beverages Inc. will be finalized soon. The brothers will still own the restaurant in Glens Falls and the brand.

By Maureen Werther

The recent purchase of Davidson Brothers' Brewery in Queensbury by Northern Eagle Beverages Inc. will be finalized by early September of this year.

The latest acquisition by Oneonta-based Northern Eagle increases its presence in the region as both a distributor and producer of locally sourced beers and ales.

Two years ago, they purchased the Cooperstown Brewing Co. in Otsego County, which included rights to the recipes and brands, along with the property and equipment.

This is the first venture into the production side of the industry and, by utilizing Davidson Brothers expertise, they have been successful in resurrecting old favorites from the Cooperstown Brewery such as Old Slugger, Nine Man Ale and Backyard IPA.

George Allen, president of Northern Eagle, is pleased to expand his company's existing association with John and Rick Davidson.

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New Lake George Company Rents Bikes And Accessories; Even Delivers Them To Customers

August 10, 2016 6:12 PM

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Jamie Metivier of Queensbury opened Lake George Bike Rentals on Canada Street.

Photo/Todd Bissonette Photography

Jamie Metivier of Queensbury, with the help of her husband, Anthony, and daughters, Lexy and Julia, has opened Lake George Bike Rentals.

According to Metivier, it is the first of its kind in the area. The business has a storefront at 211 Canada St. in Lake George. It also features a delivery service for vacationers who come to visit the area and wish to rent a bicycle to experience the shops, attractions and scenic lake region.

"During recent trips to other parts of the country, we discovered you can find bike rental shops on just about every corner," Metivier said. "Yet there was no one locally that specialized in bike rentals. After getting our insurance in place and speaking with a local bike retailer, our bikes were ordered and we were in business."

The business has evolved from its original concept of a multi-day delivery service to a storefront in the heart of Lake George Village where hourly bike rentals are offered.

Metivier said that after the first month in business, the reception from tourists coming to the area "has been very welcoming and reservations continue to ramp up every day."

Personnel Briefs: August 2016

August 10, 2016 6:07 PM

P Brief - Susan Pruiksma.jpgThe Hyde Collection announced the hiring of Susan Pruiksma as its financial manager.

She will oversee all of the museum's financial operations including annual budgets, outside audits, accounting, and purchasing activity.

In addition to bookkeeping, Pruiksma will be responsible for developing and coordinating account and statistical data for all departments, monitoring the museum's financial position, and reporting to the director, finance committee, and board of trustees.

Pruiksma comes to The Hyde from the Saratoga Rowing Association, where she served as business manager since 2010. Between 2005 and 2015, she also worked as bookeeper for the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council (LARAC).

A Washington County native, Pruiksma lives in Argyle and is a graduate of Adirondack Community College, with a degree in business administration.

* * * 

P Brief - Lisa Frawley.jpgLisa Frawley recently joined the team at Mannix Marketing Inc. as a digital marketing strategist and Kathryn Tracey was hired as a strategic content developer

Frawley will provide clients with search engine optimization, paid search, social media marketing, and other digital-marketing strategies.

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A&W In Lake George Recovers From Fire, Is Doing Good Business This Season, Owner Says

August 10, 2016 6:05 PM

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A fire in 2015 damaged the A&W restaurant on Route 9 in Lake George, but renovations were made and owner Dave Madden says loyal customers have returned.

Photo/Todd Bissonette Photography

By Susan E. Campbell

Root beer floats and fried clams are traditional summer staples available year-round at the A&W in Lake George. Those foods join more modern favorites like chicken bites with Thai dipping sauce and fried cheese curds.

Loyal customers were forced to take a 10-month hiatus while the decades-old restaurant building at 2208 Route 9 was renovated following an equipment fire that damaged the structure a year ago.

Fortunately, the fire was confined. Plumbing was not damaged. The structure and footprint were not affected. But all the glass and kitchen equipment had to be replaced.

Owner Dave Madden did the repairs himself, with help from friends and co-workers, some of whom are back on the job at a place that has employed them for upward of 20 years.

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Genpak LLC In Glens Falls Will Move To N.C. Next Year; Many Employees Will Move With It

August 10, 2016 6:01 PM

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Genpak, a manufacturer of food packaging products, is moving to Charlotte, N.C.

By Maureen Werther

After 35 years in Glens Falls, Genpak LLC, a company that manufactures food packaging products for the retail food processing and food service industries, is moving its headquarters at 68 Warren St. to Charlotte, N.C.

Kevin Kelly, president of Genpak, said that the decision to relocate was based solely on business considerations and had nothing to do with the local business climate or the quality of workers in the region.

"This was a tough call," said Kelly. "But, we have no manufacturing here. There are three plants, plus our R&D facility located in Charlotte and, we felt that proximity to these facilities was vital to the long-term health of our business."

Kelly said when the company first moved to Glens Falls more than 30 years ago, it had one manufacturing plant. Today, there are 13 operations in the United States and four in Canada.

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Farm-To-Table Dinner Experience Will Be Provided At Queensbury Hotel On August 21

August 10, 2016 6:00 PM

An el fresco farm-to-table dinner experience awaits 100 people on Aug. 21 on Maple Street in Glens Falls, as the Glens Falls Downtown Collaborative, Glens Falls Farmer's Market Association, Glens Falls Food Co-Op and the Queensbury Hotel team up to serve a four-course meal at a new local event dubbed Grandma's Table.

Only 100 tickets went on sale July 26, purchased exclusively at the Food Co-Op, 11 South St., during store hours, Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The idea for this event surfaced through social media when event organizer, Lisa Balschunat, a patron member of the Food Co-op, saw a post on social media about an open air communal table in Jonesborough, Tenn., that was organized to raise awareness about its farmer's market. She mentioned the idea to the boards of the Collaborative and Co-Op, and with a city representative. All involved in the discussion thought it would be a compliment to the festivals and events presently held downtown.

"The goal of Grandma's Table is to bring people together in our community while simultaneously increasing awareness about the numerous fresh farm and whole food options we have in our region," Balschunat said. "Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties are rich with fabulous farms that grow everything we need to eat health and eat happy. We can buy fresh vegetables, berries, melons, greens, meats, cheeses, milk and starter plants to grow our own food in our own backyards or in our local community gardens."

She added, "I have lived in four counties in New York state in my lifetime, and have lived in this region for 19 years. The fresh food options in our area are limitless. There is actually a farmer's market within 30 miles of Glens Falls every day of the week in the summer, and every weekend in the winter. On Aug. 21, we're going to bring some of that food to the long 100-seat table on Maple Street."

At Grandma's Table, Queensbury Hotel Head Chef Michael Crandall, his staff and food prep volunteers from the Co-Op, will create a four-course meal including bruschetta, a garden salad, vegetables, rice and a protein, along with mulled apple cider and apple pie.

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RealtyUSA Merges Into Hanna Family Of Companies, Largest Broker In Ohio And Pa.

August 10, 2016 5:58 PM

RealtyUSA has merged into the Howard Hanna family of companies based in Pittsburgh, combining the largest residential real estate broker in New York state with the largest broker in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The merger was announced at a press conference held in Buffalo on July 13 by Howard W. "Hoddy" Hanna, III chairman of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, and Merle L. Whitehead, president and CEO of RealtyUSA.

RealtyUSA has offices in Queensbury and throughout the Capital Region.

"I have known and respected the Hanna family for years," said Whitehead. "Their growth in the last decade has been amazing. A common theme of commitment to our agents by developing the best in products and services for customers and clients will assure our combined success."

Whitehead will become chairman of the combined company in New York state.

RealtyUSA is the top broker in the state of New York with 65 office locations covering western and central New York, Northern New York, the Capital Region and the Southern Tier. The company reports more than 2,200 sales associates and employees and is ranked the ninth largest real estate company in the country with 23,023 closed transactions last year, based on the REAL Trends 500 report, May 2016, which ranks the 500 largest real estate brokers in the U.S. by 2015 closed transactions.

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Queen Of Harts Pizza In Queensbury Offers Pan-Style Pizza, Chicken Wings And More

August 10, 2016 5:57 PM

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Julie Hart Young and Jedidiah Murphy opened Queen of Harts in Queensbury.

Photo/Todd Bissonette Photography

By Molly Congdon

Queen of Harts Pizza is a new pizzeria at 17 704 Upper Glen St. in Queensbury.

The owners, Julie Hart Young and Jedidiah Murphy, have both worked in the restaurant business most of their lives. Julie's family tree--the Hart family-- had already established roots in this area for many years in the pizza business. 

"After many years of working with family and with each other we decided it was time to branch out," Young said. "We thought this area was in need of a non-chain, pan-style pizza shop that delivers and offers slices as well."

Inside the shop, there is seating for approximately 20 people, free Wifi, outlets to charge phones and, Young added, "some good tunes."

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Business Report: Are You Leaving Deductions Behind?

August 10, 2016 5:54 PM

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Sarah Lindsell is a CPA with CMJ LLP Certified Public Accountants, Queensbury.

Courtesy CMJ LLP Certified Public Accountants

By Sarah Lindsell, CPA

As a business owner it is likely you have heard the terminology Tangible Property Regulations, more commonly referred to as TPR at some point over the last couple of years. These new regulations have resulted in hours upon hours of research, reading, and education for CPAs all over the country. They have also resulted in tremendous tax savings for some businesses.

These regulations finally provide specific guidance relating to tangible property. Tangible property being just that, something you can touch. CPAs have been making their best judgement calls regarding expensing versus capitalizing based on the vague regulations we had, combined with court cases and IRS guidance.

The regulations are far too vast to cover in one article, or one novel for that matter. This article will highlight the tax savings that can be achieved by reviewing prior year tangible property expenditures, as this has resulted in considerable refunds for business owners and landlords.

A major component of the TPRs relates to distinguishing between expenditures that qualify as repairs and maintenance items versus capital improvements. In general, expenditures to acquire a tangible asset are to be capitalized, as are costs to improve that asset in current or subsequent years.

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A Good Attorney Is Important For A Business Startup; Then Plenty Of Hard Work

August 10, 2016 5:52 PM

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Paul Pontiff, principal of Bartlett, Pontiff, Stewart and Rhodes PC in Glens Falls.

Courtesy Bartlett, Pontiff, Stewart and Rhodes PC

By Lisa Balschunat

"If you are thinking about starting up a new business or planning to purchase an existing business, first and foremost, plan on working long hours," said Paul Pontiff, principal of Bartlett, Pontiff, Stewart and Rhodes PC.

"Then contact a reliable accountant and an attorney that can assist you in the type of business you plan to open."

Pontiff, who has been a lawyer since 1962 and a principal at Bartlett, Pontiff, Stewart and Rhodes PC since 1967, said an entrepreneur should plan on two years of preparation before launching a business.

"If you are going to run a mercantile or manufacturing business, then look for a law firm that can help you determine the type of entity that's best for your business," he said. "Determining whether your new business should be a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, limited liability corporation (LLC) or professional LLC (PLLC) will help you focus on the licenses, certifications or approvals you might need from the state and federal government."

Once the owner has written a business plan and crafted a solid budget, Pontiff said it is imperative that the new business owner "from a legal point of view, looked at insurance liability."

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Business Report: Five Reasons Your Team Is Dysfunctional

August 10, 2016 5:50 PM

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Michael Cruz is president of Lighthouse Advisors LLC in Queensbury.

Courtesy Lighthbouse Advissors LLC

By Michael Cruz

The first reason is that you simply do not trust each other. In his breakthrough work, "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team," Patrick Lencioni wrote that the absence of trust is the biggest reason teams do not work well together. This is because we are not often trained to be vulnerable and to trust the people we work with. This very foundation of human behavior means that everything else we try to do is built on a weak foundation.

The second dysfunction is fear of conflict. Again, we were taught in kindergarten that it is most important for everyone to get along. Even if that means holding back on contrary views. If we don't trust each other, we cannot have intelligent debate about options to solving problems. This hurts the team because we do not bring our best ideas to the table.

This leads to a lack of commitment. Decisions that are made are not 'bought into' by each individual. That leads to ambiguity in achieving goals. If we don't agree, we are free to head in different directions. And that allows us to wait for the idea that we did not buy into to fail.

His fourth principle is avoidance of accountability. Can you see the pyramid being built? We don't trust each other, so we don't have a healthy discussion. We walked out doing our own thing. And now, no one holds the other's feet to the fire.

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Environmental Consulting Engineers Help Developers Navigate Complex Regulations

August 10, 2016 5:47 PM

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Dan Reilly, division manager of environmental services for C.T. Male Associates.

©2016 Saratoga

By Susan E. Campbell

Every building site, redevelopment, and manufacturing company faces a complex set of regulatory requirements at the federal, state and local levels designed to protect the environment and keep people safe from contaminants.

Even the public sector and green spaces like trails, parks and cemeteries must comply.

This is the challenge of environmental consulting, a highly specialized, professional field that is thriving around Glens Falls and points north. Companies like C.T. Male Associates and the Chazen Companies navigate the ever-changing regulatory process as they seek permits, perform research and testing, and resolve when and how a project should best proceed as contaminants or environmental issues are identified.

Trending now is the redevelopment of idle or abandoned parcels and their structures. The professionals call these areas brownfields, as opposed to undeveloped or greenfield real estate, according to Dan Reilly, division manager of environmental services for C.T. Male Associates.

"Brownfield projects are important to the growth and redevelopment of New York and can have a direct impact on the revitalization of an area's economy," Reilly said. "We prefer to be part of the overall cleanup or remediation of properties to put them back into productive use."

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JUST Water Reduces Impact On Environment, Makes Impact On The Bottled Water Industry

August 10, 2016 5:45 PM

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This is the JUST Water packaging line inside the company's Glens Falls plant.

By Maureen Werther

JUST Water packaging plant in Glens Falls is making a big splash in the bottled water industry with the introduction of its innovative and 100 percent recyclable containers.

The company, which recently began operations in the former St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church at 31 Broad St., Glens Falls, is all about sustainability, environmental conservation and giving back to communities. According to COO Jim Siplon, "we are a social impact consumer company."

JUST aims to be a disrupter in the bottled water industry, not just by paying six times the municipal rate for water, or by using less than 3 percent of the excess water in the Adirondack's watershed and working with the municipality to improve its water delivery infrastructure, but also by changing the way water is packaged and sold, according to the company.

Working with Tetra Pak, a producer of innovative and environmentally safe packaging, JUST developed a container it calls "a better bottle." The water container is made of 54 percent paper, sourced from 100 percent certified and traceable Forest Stewardship Council-managed forests; 28 percent plant-based plastic, which is made from an FDA-approved sugarcane-based resin; 15 percent traditional plastic; and 3 percent aluminum foil, which forms the protective liner on the inside of the packaging.

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LGLC Hands Out Awards To Volunteers And Donors At Annual Meeting In Bolton Landing

August 10, 2016 5:42 PM

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State Assemblyman Dan Stec speaks at the LGLC annual meeting in July.

Courtesy LGLC

"Protecting 600 acres is equivalent to the prevention of building 60 new houses, 60 new garages, 60 new driveways ... All things that could impact the health of lake," said Jamie Brown, executive director of the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC), at the group's annual meeting in July.

He said LGLC had protected a total of 600 acres in their fiscal year of 2016.

The meeting, at the Bolton Conservation Club in Bolton Landing, was attended by 55 people who listened to conservation and program updates. Among the speakers were state Assemblyman Dan Stec and Adirondack Council Chairman Robert Kafin.

The LGLC does not advocate against development, rather it works with willing landowners to protect sensitive lands and promote sustainable building practices that have minimal impact on the lake's water quality. Brown also stressed the importance of the LGLC's partnerships with other entities to protect the lake.

Stec spoke about his work keeping the protection of Lake George relevant in the New York State Assembly. He has voted for increased Environmental Protection Funds specifically to continue the fight against aquatic invasive species. Stec also recognized the LGLC on a successful hike-a-thon event where he and his family hiked Cook Mountain for the first time.

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New Holiday Inn And Suites To Be Built Near Northway Exit 18; Opening Expected In May

August 10, 2016 5:40 PM

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This is an architect's rendering of the new Holiday Inn Express & Suites that will be built near Northway Exit 18, on Corinth Road. Ownership says it could be open by May of 2017.

Courtesy Prestige Hospitality Group LLC

By Jill Nagy

Developer Jerry Nudi hopes to break ground this month for the construction of a new Holiday Inn Express & Suites motel in Queensbury.

At the beginning of August, he was awaiting "one more piece of paper," that one from New York state, before beginning to dig. If all goes according to schedule, the motel will open May 1, 2017, he said.

Plans for the new Holiday Inn were approved by the Queensbury town planning board in March.

The motel will be located near Northway Exit 18, on Corinth Road, "adjacent to McDonald's," according to Nudi. It will be visible from the Northway and have an entry road across from Big Bay Road.

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