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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 21, 2007

Heavy lifting: Voorheesville hires furniture movers

By Rachel Dutil

VOORHEESVILLE – With only two days to move the furniture out of the classrooms at the elementary school before the construction project is set to begin on June 25, the school board approved, at its June 11 meeting, a $9,828 contract with Schaap Moving Systems for the relocation of furniture and supplies.

The project requires two phases – the first phase involves relocating the furniture before construction, and the second phase is replacing it when the project has been completed. Phase Two is estimated to cost about $11,000.

"When you move a table out of a room and wait two months, does it weigh more"" retiring board member Richard Brackett rhetorically asked The Enterprise after the meeting.

The board only approved Phase One, and, thus far, said Assistant Superintendent for Business Sarita Winchell, "We don’t know if we need any or all of Phase Two.

"Phase One is a lot more critical than Phase Two," Winchell told The Enterprise. "I just really needed Phase One," she said. "We could wind up re-bidding" Phase Two.

Phase One needs to be completed in two days, and would not be easily managed by district staff, Winchell explained. But, she went on, the decision whether or not to go ahead with Phase Two will be made based on when the project is completed, and how much time there is to replace the furniture.

The costs are eligible for state aid at 62 percent, Winchell said.

"The community has proved to be good at volunteering," said board member Kevin Kroencke, adding that with enough volunteers the work might get done in only one day.

School board President David Gibson said that he was concerned about liability with having members of the community move heavy furniture up and down stairs.

No audience members showed signs of interest in aiding with the furniture relocation.

The money for Phase One would come out of the soft-money fund for the capital project, which can be used to cover legal and incidental costs that occur within the project, Langevin told The Enterprise.

Phase Two, if needed, would be decided on at the August meeting, she added.

Five board members voted in favor of the contract, while Kroencke abstained, and Brackett opposed.

Other business

In other business at its June meeting, the school board:

– Presented an award to Brackett for five years of dedicated service;

– Approved the purchase of a point-of-sale service through BOCES at a cost of $18,462.20, which includes registers, software, licenses, set-up, training, and support.

It is an electronic cash-register system for buying lunches. It would allow parents to put money into their children’s accounts on-line, even with stipulations about what they can eat, specifying "no snacks," for example, if they wish, Assistant Superintendent for Business Sarita Winchell said earlier.

"Three months ago, we didn’t need this, now the budget passes, and we need it again"" Brackett asked at last Monday’s meeting.

Gibson explained that the board had decided to buy it with money from this year’s budget, rather than making it a line item in next year’s budget.

Internal auditor Henry Binzer said that he was asked to take a careful look at the school-lunch program, and recommended that the district look into a point-of-sale system.

"The recommendation was made because it would smooth out the whole school lunch program," Binzer told the board.

"It will help speed the line up, which is a direct benefit to the kids," Winchell said. She also explained that parents’ credit-card information would be dealt with through a third party, and not directly through the school, she said.

The service is eligible for state aid at 52 percent, Winchell said. The $3,800 annual cost for support and software updates is also eligible for aid, she said.

"Lunches are short" We need to continue to do what we can to move them through," Gibson said.

The service was approved with opposition only from Brackett;

– Heard from middle-school students Jennifer Cillis; Allegra Fasulo; Hannah Brackett, the school board member’s daughter; Sarah Madden; Cassidy Smith; and Amanda Gatt on their experience at the Youth Leadership Summit.

The students said that, from their experience, they hope to make their school a better place. One idea, they said, is to have quarterly essay contests. The essays would be about people who have had an influence in the student’s life, and the winners would be given awards at a ceremony. The project would help students bond over personal experiences, the students said;

– Accepted the full-time probationary teaching appointments of: Kimberly Hyatt, who resigned from her position as a half-time music teacher to accept the full-time position; David Lawrence, social studies; Jamie McPherson, social studies; Theodore Simons, physics; Kimberly Simon, biology/chemistry; Stephanie Stoyle, calculus; Maribeth Bernarde, grade two; David Burch, grade five; Ashley Hillard, grade four; and Carrie Nowik, grade one.

The board also accepted the part-time temporary appointments of: Erin Christner, reading; Marie Coppola, music; Helene Runion, elementary music; Karen Jendrzejczak, long-term music substitute; and Andrew Karins, long-term physical education substitute.

Brackett asked if any of the new teachers from outside of the district would be enrolling their children in school at Voorheesville. "People who work here, who don’t live in this district and don’t pay taxes, treat their job as just that, a job," Brackett said, adding that they don’t take ownership of the district, and many people take advantage.

"Generally speaking, they’re dedicated people" Placing your child in this district is taking ownership," countered board Vice-President C. James Coffin;

– Heard from Michael Goyer, the superintendent of operations, maintenance, and transportation, that he has applied for federal assistance on behalf of the school district for flooding at the elementary school in April.

With the help of the Voorheesville Fire Department and the town, Goyer said, the school was able to control the water in the boiler room. "The water never got to the boilers," Goyer said.

"I think we’re going to come out on the positive end of this," he said;

– Approved the substitute teacher appointments for the 2006-07 school year as presented in the Capital Region Board of Cooperative Educational Services substitute registry;

– Adjusted the working hours for longtime district bus driver, Christine Allard, from six hours per day to seven-and-a-quarter hours per day;

– Approved tuition for foster-care placements to the Lake George Central School District from May 11 through May 14, 2007, at a cost of $222.64; and to the Troy City School District from Nov. 30, 2006 through Jan. 31, 2007, at a cost of $4,097.62.

When a student enters foster care, the district where they are placed from, is responsible for paying for the education, Winchell told The Enterprise;

– Approved requests for non-public school transportation for three additional students for the 2007-08 school year. The district will transport a total of 76 students to private schools;

– Approved a change in the substitute rate for food service workers from $7.50 to $9.88 per hour;

– Approved an out-of-town field-trip request for fifth-graders to visit Fort William Henry and the Lake George Steamboat Company in Lake George on June 19, at a cost of $13 per student and $26 per chaperone;

– Approved a contract between the district and Jennifer Kilinski to provide music therapy services for Voorheesville students with disabilities effective between July 1, 2007 and June 2008;

– Approved the school-to-work contract with Wildwood Programs for a special-education student for the summer and the 2007-08 school year at a cost of $40 per hour, $2,960 for summer services, and $7,920 for the school year;

– Approved the municipal cooperation agreement for energy purchasing services with the New York School and Municipal Energy Consortium (NYSMEC);

– Approved a renewal contract with SpecEd Solutions, LLC for processing special-education Medicaid claims for $170 per month, effective July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008;

– Appointed the auditing firm, Dorfman-Robbie, to conduct an independent audit of the school district for the 2006-07 school year at a cost of $12,300;

– Appointed Dente Engineering to conduct testing of material for the elementary-school reconstruction project and the high-school reconstruction project;

– Approved the telephone-system maintenance agreement with Allied Telcom for the middle school and high school in the amount of $2,690, effective June 19, 2007;

– Accepted donations to the technology department for five video cassette recorders, and one realistic stereo disco mixer, valued at $300, from Robert Shutter;

– Approved bid and standardization recommendations. Brackett questioned whether the bids were the best prices, indicating that he found them to be high.

"We’re bidding things we’re not even required to, to be sure we get the best prices we can," Winchell said;

– Heard from middle-school Associate Principal Theresa Kennedy that, during locker cleanup in the middle school, students recycled 800 pounds of paper, equivalent to seven trees;

– Issued $207,470 in bonds to cover the costs of bus purchases approved by voters in May;

– Approved the sale of a shed constructed by the technology department as part of a class project. Winchell will award the sale to the highest bidder; the minimum acceptable bid is $1,000;

– Announced that the board of education 2007-08 meeting schedule is posted on the district website;

– Announced that the re-organizational meeting and regular board meeting for July will be held on Monday, July 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the high-school library; and

– Entered into executive session to discuss current litigation and the employment history of particular individuals. No motions or actions were made following the session.

Tales from a blood drive and the struggle to donate

By Rachel Dutil

VOORHEESVILLE – Bob King, of Feura Bush, is a regular blood donor.

As King calmly sat in a chair with a thin tube attached both to his right arm and a centrifuge machine that separates his red-blood cells from the rest of his blood, I could feel myself getting lightheaded and sweaty.

King was participating in a Red Cross blood drive at the First United Methodist Church of Voorheesville on June 8. He explained that, once the blood is separated, the remaining components and a saline solution are pumped back into his bloodstream.

I could feel the inevitable about to happen. I patted King on the shoulder and thanked him for allowing me to photograph him as his blood was being taken and he nonchalantly squeezed a stress ball.

I was there simply to take a photo, and get some information about the double red-cell donation that King was undergoing. I wish I was able to donate, but I pass out at the sight of a needle.

I tried to escape quietly to my car, but, as I was nearing the doorway, a woman stopped me to ask something. Before I knew it, the technicians and volunteers were rushing over to me, now sprawled on the floor by the church doorway.

Overwhelmed with embarrassment and a foggy head, I was escorted by Daniel Ragone, a manager with the American Red Cross, to a bed where he had me lie down and sip a juice box.

The episode was unavoidable. I felt it about to happen, but I had no control over my own body.

I kidded that Ragone had likely not seen anything quite like it before. He said that I was the first reporter he’d seen pass out, but that he deals with people fainting all the time.

For many people, donating blood is a simple task. For me, it is an impossible one.

Only about 5 percent of the eligible population actually gives blood, "and they donate infrequently," Ragone said.

Whole blood donations are separated after the donation, he said, into white cells, red cells, and plasma, and can help up to three people.

"We struggle to get enough blood," he said, and explained that red blood cells are needed most, which is what makes the double red-cell donators valuable. Red cells can be stored for up to 42 days, he added.

"I think it’s more comfortable than the regular donation," King said of the double red-cell donation. "I got hooked on this when it first came out, and I’ve been doing it ever since."

The Red Cross has been accepting double red-cell donations for about three years in the Albany area.

The same amount of blood is taken during a double-red donation, Ragone explained, but two units of red cells are collected. It takes about 15 minutes longer, and donators only give every four months.

The advantage for the Red Cross is getting more from each donation, Ragone said. It is beneficial to patients, he said, because they are getting more red cells from the same donor.

Because it takes longer and it requires the machine, it is best to make an appointment to do a double red-cell donation, Ragone said. The last draw is done an hour before the blood drive ends, he said.

To be eligible, double red-cell donators must have at least 40 percent hematocrit – the percentage of iron in the red blood cells. Males must be at least 150 pounds, and be at least 5 feet, 1 inch; females must weigh at least 175 pounds, and be at least 5 feet, five inches. Donors with Type O or Type B blood are especially valuable.

After finishing my fruit juice, and regaining my composure and a bit of my pride, I got up at about the same time as King. Needing no juice or cookies, King walked out with me, and assured me that he wouldn’t tell anyone if I didn’t.

I guess the cat is out of the bag.

Shedd orchestrates a life-long love of music

By Rachel Dutil

NEW SCOTLAND – When Jerome Shedd was young, he used to watch Leonard Bernstein on television, said his father, Bob Shedd.

"He would stand next to the fireplace, and point to the violins, or whatever section was supposed to play," he remembered. "He started conducting when he was a really little guy," said Bob Shedd with a chuckle.

While other kids were reading movie magazines, Jerome Shedd said that he was ordering orchestral scores. "It was something that fascinated me," he said.

"He’s always had an appreciation of classical music," said his father. "He’s just an all-around musician and he’s just up to his ears in it."

Recently, Bob Shedd and his wife, Mary Lou, were astonished to witness their son’s symphony performed at Lincoln Center in New York City by the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra’s Chamber Orchestra.

"It was a wonderful experience," said Jerome Shedd of having his composition played for the first time at the renowned Avery Fisher Hall.

"It was just a great concert," his father told The Enterprise. "It was, of course, quite a thrill to go and hear a piece like that, composed by our son," Bob Shedd said with pride.

"It’s a great place," Bob Shedd said of Avery Fisher Hall. "It was a beautiful day" There were a lot of people there.

"I don’t like New York City or any other big city" I’m a country boy," said Bob Shedd. "But, I wouldn’t have missed it for anything," he said of the debut of his son’s piece.

"He’s kind of calm," said Bob Shedd of his son, "but I’m sure he was happy to have his piece played like that, in a setting like that."

Conductor Patricia Koppies, when the piece was finished, "reached out her hand for Jerry; I don’t think she knew where he was" He stood up and gave a thumbs-up to the crowd" He was very happy," reminisced Bob Shedd.

"Love the children"

Jerome Shedd graduated from Voorheesville’s high school in 1965 and went on to get his master’s degree in composition from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam.

He taught instrumental music in public elementary schools in Rockland and Nassau counties for 33 years, while his wife, Lindi Bortney, was a vocal teacher. They have been married since 1985, and are now both retired, he said.

They live in Ritton, Vt., and are both members of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

While still in college, Jerome Shedd did his student teaching in Schenectady under the supervision of Robert Campbell, he told The Enterprise.

Campbell advised him to "love the children," he recalled. "That stayed with me" Campbell was a wonderful educator."

Teaching music, Jerome Shedd said, especially at the elementary level, is not so much about music as an art form. "First and foremost, teaching music is about the children" helping them to grow," he said.

One of his former third-grade students, Michael Thornton, now plays central French horn for the Colorado Symphony, said Jerome Shedd. "Although that’s very satisfying, the career is more about the average child" and the number of students who experience music from the inside."

Musical roots

Music has been central in Jerome Shedd’s life, he told The Enterprise. "I couldn’t imagine not participating in music now, or at any point in my life."

Jerome Shedd’s musical upbringing began in Voorheesville Elementary School, where he was taught by Thomas Baker.

Baker taught at Voorheesville for 30 years, he told The Enterprise. He started teaching there in 1953, he said, when the entire school – including the high school – was in that building, which was, at that time, about half the size that it is now.

Baker taught music to grades one through 12, he said. "I also taught high-school band, chorus, and girls’ glee club," he said. "I was young then," he added with a chuckle.

"I knew Jerry in class about 40 years ago," Baker said. "I’ve had hundreds of kids since."

Even after four decades, and "so many little faces," Baker still remembers Jerome Shedd, he said.

"I do remember him as being very enthusiastic and cooperative," Baker said.

"He was incredible" I had him for many years," Jerome Shedd said of Baker. He taught music so that the students enjoyed it.

Jerome Shedd’s "self-esteem and self-worth were such that he would do anything," Baker said of his former student. "He wasn’t concerned with what others would think."

Jerome Shedd estimates that he has composed about 35 pieces. "For someone whose 60 years old, that’s not many," he said. "I don’t do it compulsively" I write only in response to a request."

He got a call in November of 2005, from Koppies, requesting that he write the piece that was recently played at Avery Fisher Hall, he said. "It took just about a year to complete."

His first composition was played in Voorheesville at the Clayton A. Bouton High School, Jerome Shedd remembered. He paired up with Don Person, to write a satire on the genre of surfing songs, he said. "He wrote lyrics; I sketched out a song," he said. "We thought it was hilarious."

Others who heard the song thought it should be played on the radio, he said, "We were mystified."

He also wrote a campaign song for a friend who ran for student council, he said.

"It was great to go from that on up to Avery Fisher Hall," he said.

"I’m a product of a public-school music program," concluded Jerome Shedd. "I understand that the program is even better now than it was then" It’s a credit to the community for continuing to support that program."

Northeast Quadrant feels development pressure – Tech Park and housing proposed

By Rachel Dutil

NEW SCOTLAND – With intense development pressure pushing against the Northeast Quadrant, concerns about maintaining rural character in the town contrast those about obtaining municipal water.

Proposed developments on Krumkill Road, Hilton Road, Route 85, and Route 85A, were discussed at last Wednesday’s town board meeting.

The four developments – Maldel, Kensington Woods, the Vista Tech Park, and the Colonie Country Club – are all located in the corner of town commonly referred to as the Northeast Quadrant, bordering the suburban towns of Bethlehem and Guilderland, close to the city of Albany.

A moratorium on large-scale building in the Northeast Quadrant is due to expire in September, a year after it was enacted.

Applications for all of the projects were submitted to the town before the moratorium was enacted, and therefore are not affected by it.

Kensington Woods

Kensington Woods initially came before the board as a planned-unit development (PUD) with 286 lots on 267 acres around Hilton Road. It includes land that was once a country club and golf course, Tall Timbers, and later mined.

The project has now been scaled back to 169 lots on 185 acres. The new plan qualifies as a cluster development, said L. Michael Mackey, the town’s attorney.

Cluster developments don’t require town-board approval, Mackey said.

Peter Barber, the state environmental quality review assessment (SEQRA) attorney for the project, said that a PUD generally has mixed uses within the same district, while a cluster development is more specific and is based on a certain density.

If a developer wants to exceed the maximum density allowed by the zoning law, Mackey explained, he would go to the town board and request a PUD.

The development will offer four styles of single-family homes with different configurations, said Mary Beth Slevin, the attorney for the developers of the project. The idea, she said, is to "create an environment with multiple options" for prospective buyers. The homes would range in price from $300,000 to over $1 million.

Two developers – Masullo Brother Builders and the Michaels Group – are working on the project, Slevin told The Enterprise. The builders have different styles, she said, which adds to the overall vision for the project.

Water is hard to find in much of New Scotland. A water source has been located on the site of the proposed Kensington Woods development, Slevin said. The Enterprise reported in October of 2005 that the well on the site pumped over 400 gallons per minute for 72 hours.

"There is going to be water developed that will service the project, and it is expected to be more than what is needed for the project, and will ultimately be made available" to the town, Slevin said, adding that the decision will be the town’s as to how the water will be used.

In scaling back the project, the parcel owned by the Donato family has been eliminated.

In response to a question from T.R. Laz, a Krumkill Road resident, planning-board Chairman Robert Stapf, who was at the meeting, said that there is nothing that would prohibit the Donatos from developing their property.

The board passed a resolution relinquishing its status as lead agency for the application and referred the project to the planning board, which will now act as the lead agency.


Regarding Maldel, a proposed 120-unit condominium development on 28 acres on Krumkill Road, Slevin, also the attorney for that project, requested that the board approach the neighboring town of Bethlehem regarding municipal water for the site.

"It was decided it was more appropriate to look for public water" with this project, Slevin told The Enterprise.

When the project was originally submitted, it was for land located both in Guilderland and New Scotland. At that time, water was to be obtained from the town of Guilderland.

The plan, though, has since been cut back to include property only in New Scotland.

Slevin asked that the board submit this plan to Bethlehem on a "project-specific basis."

Supervisor Ed Clark said that, since the towns have been unable, thus far, to reach a "global" agreement, New Scotland had asked that Bethlehem consider projects using a "piece-by-piece" approach.

"I have no problem approaching them," Clark said.

The board voted unanimously to allow Clark to speak with the town of Bethlehem.

Colonie Country Club

Though the development project at the Colonie Country Club is still in the sketch stage, an agreement has been reached with the village of Voorheesville to provide water to the site.

The water district will be created in the town of New Scotland, but water will come from Voorheesville.

Since the original agreement was drafted, a few changes have been made.

One such change is the requirement for a 50-foot buffer zone, explained town engineer Keith Menia. It’s basically a "no-cut zone," he said, permitting vegetation between the development and adjacent properties.

The draft agreement had a condition that it could be cancelled with five years’ notice. The village thought that was acceptable, but wanted the agreement to be mandatory for the first 10 years, and could then be cancelled with five years’ notice, if a better water source is found.

The board voted unanimously to adopt the agreement.


The Vista Technology Park is a 451-acre campus located mostly in the town of Bethlehem with about 24 percent, or 120 acres in the town of New Scotland. The New Scotland portion will be primarily office space.

All utilities and access to the site will be through the town of Bethlehem. The entire site is located within the Bethlehem School District.

The New Scotland parcel is a residential zone with minimum two-acre lots, and needs to be rezoned to a mixed economic development district.

"It’s not a zone that currently exists in our town," zoning-board Chairman William Hennessey told The Enterprise earlier. The town board would have to enact a law to create it, he said.

Councilman Richard Reilly has been working out the language of the zoning law, since the moratorium on building in the Northeast Quadrant was enacted in September.

He is working, in part, on the rezone for the Vista project. Only about 41 acres will need to be rezoned, said project attorney Theresa Backner, during a presentation at last week’s board meeting.

When completed, the campus will include about 150 developed acres; "about 219 acres will be left forever wild," said Ray Ursprung from Saratoga Associates.

The buildings will be clustered to allow for green space, Ursprung said, adding that green-building practices and renewable energy resources are encouraged.

Vista Development is currently working with the town of Bethlehem on the master plan process; the plan is expected to be approved at the end of June or beginning of July.

The next step after that, Backner explained, is site-plan and subdivision approval within the master plan. Vista Development will then come to the New Scotland town board for a rezone, she said.

The key element, now, she said, is to get the roundabout built in the appropriate location on the Route 85 bypass.

The public hearing on the rezone that was scheduled for la

st week’s meeting was canceled because the project is not yet at that stage.

Other business

In other business at its June 13 meeting, the town board:

– Adopted a facility-use agreement with the Albany County Board of Elections for use of Town Hall and the Wyman Osterhout Community Center as polling places for the Sept. 18 primary election and the Nov. 6 general election;

– Heard from Mackey that the Capital Bicycle Racing Club is seeking town approval to travel over County Route 301 in the town of New Scotland during its second annual bicycle race on Aug. 11. The board approved the same request last year.

Public Safety Commissioner Doug Miller said that last year there were problems with inadequate law enforcement and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and a man nearly died. EMS and Rescue authorities have not been contacted about this, Miller informed the board. "We need to have enough people," he said.

The board opted to postpone approval until next month, so that the appropriate officials can be informed;

– Amended the 2007 contract with the Mohawk-Hudson Humane Society. In the current contract, stray animals, at the end of the redemption period, become the property of the shelter. In the amended contract, the society will not become the owner of the animal.

"If we don’t take animals there, we don’t get charged," explained highway Superintendent Darrell Duncan.

The board also discussed the possibility of adopting a local law that would raise the fees associated with lost dogs.

Duncan said that representatives from the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets visited the town’s garage and two staging areas, and the town is exploring the cost of portable cages to house animals. If the town decides to keep stray animals, the garage would be considered a full-time facility and would need to be staffed.

Because Kevin Schenmeyer, an animal control officer, is also a full-time highway employee for the town, Duncan said that Ag and Markets seemed agreeable to this plan.

Only the amendment to the contract with the Mohawk-Hudson Humane Society was approved;

– Appointed the building department as "keeper of the records" for education and training of planning- and zoning-board members. Building Inspector Paul Cantlin will notify those members who may be short on hours. Town Law requires that board members have a minimum of four hours of training each year.

The town board has the ability to waive the training requirement if a board member cannot attend training, said planning-board Chairman Bob Stapf. He added that extra hours could be carried over into the following year;

– Increased the maximum amount of money to be spent on the Clarksville Water District Extension 7 from $432,000 to $495,000. At its May 9 meeting, the board adopted a resolution to increase the amount, but it was subject to a permission referendum, Mackey said. No petitions were presented.

The board also approved a contract with Cranbrook Construction for the project at a cost of $495,000;

– Heard from Councilwoman Peg Neri that the New Scotland Historical Association would like to implement a lease agreement with the town for its space at the community center. The State Board of Regents chartered the association and recommended the formal document, Neri said. The association has been nervous about losing its space, where it has a good deal of money invested, she said. What the historical association adds to the town is "priceless," Neri said;

– Heard from Duncan that the town’s geologist and a geologist from FEMA ( Federal Emergency Management Agency) met at the Krumkill Road site where the road was heavily damaged as a result of flooding in April.

Duncan also announced that the highway department will pave Western Avenue in Feura Bush this summer and also will replace a deteriorating piece of pipe that runs under the roadway. The catch basin will need to be moved from one side to the other, he said; he hopes that the project doesn’t create any problems downstream;

– Approved the payment of $75, allowing Diana Bortell to obtain a Notary Public license;

– Announced that the town was awarded a grant for water meters. The town asked for $75,000, but the amount awarded will not be known until the end of the month;

– Appointed Councilwoman Neri as New Scotland’s representative on the Albany County Municipal Services Board to explore the potential for savings from shared services and resources;

– Appointed Lance Moore as an alternate for the town’s zoning board of appeals. The position has been vacant since former alternate Todd Britton was appointed to serve on the board when Ronald Von Ronne retired at the beginning of the year. Moore has been a builder for many years and has recently passed the code-enforcement examination, said Councilman Reilly, who made the motion to appoint him;

– Heard from Reilly that Albany County has set up a task force to look at the lack of affordable housing in the county and has appropriated $300,000 for this.

Reilly also discussed the Dunn Commission, which was established a few years ago to look at town courts in the state. New Scotland’s town court was visited a few weeks ago, and the town should be informed as to the findings, he said;

– Heard from Safety Commissioner Miller that the Onesquethaw Fire Company, in the past year, responded to 105 fire-related calls and 177 EMS calls, with 2,477 people responding; there was one fatal fire and one severely-burned patient. He also announced that the fire company is in the process of getting a new ambulance in service, and it should be ready for use in a few weeks;

– Heard from Councilman Douglas LaGrange that R. Mark Dempf, an engineer with Stantec, the town’s engineering firm, is working on adjustments to the comprehensive plan, and also on a water inventory for the town. A comprehensive-plan committee meeting has been scheduled for July 17 at 7 p.m. The group is working on assigning budget numbers for the Quality Communities Grant it was awarded;

– Heard from Reilly that the town’s recreation program is going well. LaGrange said that he, and others in the community, are uncomfortable that the town is sponsoring a trip to a casino. "We’ve had comments before on adult-movie night, too," Duncan joked;

– Councilwoman Deborah Baron asked for the board’s permission that Duncan be allowed to bid on power-washing and painting Town Hall. She said that she has received numerous complaints about the appearance of the building. She also requested that he seek bids for a new roof;

– Announced that Norma Walley was recognized as a New York State Elder Volunteer from Albany County. Susan Kidder, the town’s senior liaison, nominated her; and

– Heard from Neri that 2007 marks the 175th anniversary of the town. Baron asked if a committee to explore a celebration would be appropriate. Neri said she would look into something in conjunction with Clarksville Heritage Day on Aug. 4.

Hoyt-Fowler dies at 55
School loses its voice, husband misses literary love

By Rachel Dutil

VOORHEESVILLE – Molly Hoyt-Fowler’s English accent was well known around the community.

Her smile was genuine, her frame petite, and her personality was bubbly.

Hoyt-Fowler worked for nearly 11 years as a secretary in the main office at the Clayton A. Bouton High School in Voorheesville, and was planning on retiring in September.

She died unexpectedly on May 10, 2007. She was 55.

"Molly was a unique person," said her husband of 27 years, Russ Fowler. "She believed in speaking the King’s English," he said. She loved language, and she understood the meaning behind words, he said.

"I never understood why she didn’t get a job as a translator for the United Nations," Fowler said, adding that she was fluent in several languages.

Fowler said that people would often inquire as to where she got her English accent. "Who knows where she got the accent from; she grew up in New Jersey," he said with a laugh.

"Molly enjoyed using the British phraseology," said high-school Principal Mark Diefendorf. For example, he said, she would refer to the elevator as "the lift."

Diefendorf knew Hoyt-Fowler for the extent of her time with the district. He met her when he was teaching economics, before he became principal.

"She was a nice lady," Diefendorf said, "a person I depended on."

She was "very opinionated, but very respectful," Diefendorf said. The two would frequently talk about their favorite movies, and both were fond of going to the Spectrum Theater, in Albany. He remembered their discussion on the movie, The Queen, in which Helen Mirren plays Queen Elizabeth. "She loved it," he said, adding how much she enjoyed talking about the British monarchy.

Hoyt-Fowler’s death shocked everyone, Diefendorf said. The irony, he said, was her upcoming retirement. "You hope that people get enough quality time" in their lives, Diefendorf said. "Molly had told me that she and her husband had bought a boat," he remembered.

"You personalize it," he said of her death. "She had all these great plans, and she didn’t get to follow through with them.

"It was a sad time for all of us," he said.

"We are planning on doing something in her memory," Diefendorf said. "She was a very literate woman," he said. A bench with an engraved plaque would be a fitting tribute for her, Diefendorf said, adding that the district will probably also plant a tree and donate to the local food pantry in her honor.

"The parents and students were affected by her and affected by her loss," Diefendorf said.

At last Monday’s board of education meeting, Superintendent Linda Langevin, in a trembling voice, formally recognized Hoyt-Fowler’s work with the district. "Molly J. Hoyt-Fowler passed away unexpectedly last month, just before her retirement," Langevin said. "Our sympathy goes to her and her family."

Following Hoyt-Fowler’s death, Langevin said, the district’s flag flew at half-staff for a week to honor her.

Hoyt-Fowler was a hard worker, and she was very detail-oriented, she said. "She was always positive and bubbly.

"It was a loss without any closure, and very difficult for us," Langevin said.

Russ Fowler met his wife at the Eastchester Public Library in Westchester County, he told The Enterprise. They were both employed there.

The couple moved to Delmar in 1990, he said.

His wife was a selfless, interesting, and fun person, Fowler said. "Molly was always willing to pitch in and do what needed to be done."

They had no children, but Sasha – a collie "just like Lassie" – and Puff – a cat they picked up from the Menands shelter – were like children, Fowler said. "We all sort of tried to co-exist here peacefully," he said.

Fowler said that he recently gave Sasha to a family who had just lost a pet. "She was too much for me to take care of," he said. He misses her, though, and will visit her "when I’m sure she’s settled in," he said. "Now all I do is get glared at by Puff," he added.

Fowler said that his wife "loved New York City." He remembers taking her there to see the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden. "She always wanted to see the Stones," he said.

"When Mick Jagger came out on stage, the whole crowd was cheering as one," he remembered fondly. He and his wife stayed that night at the Pennsylvania Hotel, he said.

Fowler said he misses his wife tremendously. "I miss the person who I spent 27 years sleeping next to," he concluded.

Serving time for God: Pastor Loux walks with his flock

By Jo E. Prout

ONESQUETHAW — The Reverend Joseph A. Loux Jr. serves the Lord best himself by serving those who serve others, and those who serve time.

Onesquethaw Reformed Church installed Loux last weekend. Loux, pronounced in the French as "Lou," is Onesquethaw’s part-time minister and teacher.

"‘A pastor is a feeder,’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep,’" Loux said. "This involves walking with the flock. Teaching involves opening the Word, and applying it in a relevant way, to where people are, addressing their problems, their concerns, and their needs."

Loux, who has served as a minister over the years throughout the Capital Region, retired several years ago. He was soon asked to serve as the Protestant chaplain at the state prison in Washington County. Prison church services are on Saturday, he said.

On Sundays, Loux served as pulpit supply to fill in for absent ministers at other churches. He filled in, off and on, at Onesquethaw for two years. The congregation, itself, and its missions drew him back often.

"It is a very socially-minded congregation. They have mission projects around the world," Loux said. The church supports, with another church, a mission family in Tanzania.

The Onesquethaw congregation also supports Samaritan’s Purse projects, and churches who help Hurricane Katrina victims, he said. Members in Onesquethaw are going to Kentucky to finish a Christian camp for people with physical challenges or disabilities, he said.

"They truly celebrate their faith," Loux said about Onesquethaw. "They’re saying, ‘You can do this. You can do that with God’s power.’ It’s an atmosphere of forgiveness and empowerment. These people are interested in encouraging people to develop to their fullest potential in a Godly way."

Loux said that his work at the state prison complements his ministry in Onsequethaw. He referred to the saying, "The only difference between an inmate and one who is on the outside is that one never got caught."

Loux said that counseling and nurturing those at the prison and working at Onesquethaw allow him to find lay people to work in prisons as Christian volunteers.

"A significant portion of the New Testament was written from jail," Loux said.

He said that the Onsequethaw church nurtures within a loving environment.

"They have that spiritual gift," he said. Loux said that, often, scandal is hushed up.

At Onesquethaw, troubles are not hidden away, he said. "Where there is scandal, that is where ministry needs to be. That impresses me. I don’t find that in many churches."

Onesquethaw hired Loux as a part-time minister; he works mostly on Sundays and Mondays.

"They are a very benevolent congregation. They are a great supporter of Camp Fowler," he said. Loux said that if Onesquethaw were to hire a full-time minister, the congregation would need to divert funds that it uses for benevolent giving to pay for a larger salary. "I think they’re correct," Loux said.

"Onesquethaw Church stays in contact with its various missions," he said. Before each service begins, announcements are made, and letters and updates on missions are read then. "That sets the stage for a global context for worship, recognizing that we’re not just one church in the middle of nowhere, but that we’re part of the holy Catholic Church," said Loux.

Worldwide faith

Loux’s own studies and work have been catholic, or worldwide, as he studied first at New Brunswick Seminary and then in Holland, where he received his doctorate in 1985. He studied and preached there for two years. He and his wife, Marjorie, occasionally go back.

"I’m still a licensed preacher in the Netherlands," Loux said. "My wife and I plan to go back, again. I will do some preaching in Dutch." While in the Netherlands, Loux maintained his busy schedule, preaching in Dordrecht on Sunday morning, then driving more than three hours to Terneuzen for an evening service.

"My ministry has always involved traveling," he said. "That’s my prayer time as well, so it’s not wasted time."

Driving in the United States today causes some of his prayer time to "revert to prayer for safety and for self," Loux said, but he notices his fellow drivers. Some are happy, some distraught, and he prays for them, too.

Loux is an intelligent man who keeps many fires burning. He directs and performs with the Adirondack Baroque Consort, a not-for-profit educational organization founded in Glens Falls in 1962, he said. The consort is the oldest early-music performing group in the United States, he said, and it was the first performing group at the fledgling WMHT public television station in Schenectady.

"We do concerts about three times a year," Loux said. Last weekend, the consort performed at Earl Chapel at Oakwood Cemetery in Troy at a Renaissance fair.

"That’s an excellent venue for music. The interior is all marble. The sound comes alive in there. Our mission statement is to make early music come alive," he said.

The Adirondack Baroque Consort does historical performances that are researched and performed, sometimes in costume, Loux said.

Loux is also an editor for Dove House Editions in Ottawa, Canada.

"I am a musicologist and a linguist. I edit the baroque chamber music series, the Italian Renaissance consort series, and the viola de gamba series," he said.

He and Marjorie also publish music under the name Loux Music Company, which provides sheet music for early instruments like recorders, violas de gamba, crumhorns, and early percussion and string instruments.

"It’s a very specialized market," he said. "That’s my down-time therapy, you see."

Marjorie is busy, herself. She is the clerk for the town of New Baltimore planning board and zoning board of appeals, and she is deputy town clerk. Their son, Joseph Loux, III, lives and works in France full-time.

New programs

Loux hopes to begin new programs with his Onesquethaw congregation while continuing the current missions. He hopes to get a website set up for the church.

"You find that church shoppers are now looking online," Loux said.

The church is working with others in the Hilltowns to reach out to youth and seniors. For the youth, the churches want to bring in Christian music groups and find other ways to engage them and meet their needs, he said. For the seniors, Loux said, midday programs centered around lunch and some form of entertainment are being discussed.

"I find this is something that we, as a church, need to discern and prayerfully chart our course," he said. "There are a lot of lonely people, a lot of lonely seniors."

The Onesquethaw Reformed Church is the parent of the Clarksville Community Church, Loux said. The Onesquethaw building, itself, inspires Loux.

"It’s a stone church," he said. The church was constructed from stones that were mined for the Erie Canal locks, but that were too small or were otherwise unacceptable to be used.

"The building is a metaphor for what God does with people who are broken and unacceptable because of sin," he said. "[God] shapes them and builds them into a spiritual structure through Jesus Christ."

Onsequethaw offers nursery care during the 9:30 Sunday service to give parents "some time and some peace," Loux said. Sunday School is after service, and it follows the public school calendar, resuming this fall. This Sunday, the senior high youth group will meet to make final arrangements for a mission trip in the South, he said.

Loux was embarrassed to be interviewed.

"It’s not about me. It’s about the Lord," he said. Asked what he would tell the community, Loux said, "They’re invited to come share our acceptance, our joy, and love."

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