When the weather reporter started talking about rain during fair week, I was a little disappointed. I have worked as a ticket seller on Gate 2 for several years, and know how important it is to have good weather. Even with the rain on Senior Citizens Day and Veterans Day, people showed up with their identification, raincoat, umbrellas, and a smile on their face. They were not going to let a little water keep them from having fun. Fortunately, the weather improved as the week progressed and so did the attendance.

Greeting the visitors to the fair is something I look forward to each year. The children are usually excited to see the animals, ride the rides, or watch the entertainment on one of the stages on the grounds.  The rabbits, chickens, and circus will frequently come into their conversation as they wait in line with their family. There are times I think the parents are more excited about the rides and games than their children are, perhaps because they have a point of reference from earlier fairs.

I just hope that everyone had a good time with many fond memories to carry them through to next year. One very sad aspect about the fair is that it means that summer is almost over and the children will soon be going back to school. We usually think about the younger children because of the back to school sales going on in most of the big chain stores. It is just as important to think about the older students and ID thieves. With clean credit histories these students make easier targets.

Identity thieves are equal opportunity thieves. They will steal the identity from anyone they can regardless of age, religion, ethnic background, or race. If they find a way to steal your information, they will. It could be someone who is having a hard time financially, and feels that they are justified in what they are doing.

 We all may have a false sense of security when we are with groups of people with similar backgrounds. Students, even more than adults, cannot imagine a fellow student stealing from them. They leave doors unlocked with valuables in plain sight, and unprotected. Thieves can take advantage of backpacks, cell phones, and laptops that are left unattended.

As April 15 approached last year there were many stories about people filing their income taxes only to find out someone had already filed them with a change of address and received the money that was not theirs. Other targets for the ID thieves are student loans and medical accounts. One operation or one student loan could be more lucrative than stealing a credit card.

 Since an ID thief could start by going through your junk mail you probably would never know that someone was about to take your identity. They can file for a credit card on your name and good record using a discarded application you threw in the trash. If they were able to get your social security number, they can fill in a different address and when the card comes to them in the mail, they can start spending your money. Students might not discover they are victims until they are turned down for a student loan or perhaps are unable to rent an apartment.

College bound students, as well as other adults need to take time to receive a regular credit report. Everyone can obtain a report from each of the three credit reporting companies every year. If you take time to review your credit reports each year you can correct any errors that exist and be sure there have been no improper charges to your accounts.

Protecting your personal information is not just a nice thing to do, it could cause you hours, weeks, or even months of anguish to correct any problems created by theft of your identity. Do not share your social security number with anyone who is unauthorized for it is a key that will open many doors for an identity thief.

Computers and smart phones can hold key identification information. You should never leave documents around where others can obtain your private information. Identity thieves troll computer sites such as Facebook and Instagram looking for potential victims. We all need to beware of unsolicited offers on the computer as well as in the mail. Do not click on links in out-of-the-blue e-mail messages, they could bring malware into your computer or place a Trojan horse waiting to gather all of your private information.

Sir Francis Bacon (1561- 1626) was an English Renaissance statesman, lawyer, scientist, and philosopher. Bacon said, “Knowledge is power, and education is the fundamental precondition for political development, democracy, and social justice”. He was so right. Knowledge is power, but the knowledge of your private information in the wrong hands gives them the power to steal your identity. Protect yourself and your information.

Continuing Ed

Registration for Guilderland Central School District's fall continuing education classes must be postmarked by Aug. 29. 

Chemistry students

Guilderland Honors chemistry students are reminded that the summer assignment will be due the first full week of school.

School portal

Parents of students in the Guilderland School system are reminded to create your student's Parent and Student Portal account. New users should contact Kim Ten Eyck at 456-6200, ext. 3123.  User assistance is available weekdays from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.


Dick Spadaro, son of Betty Spadaro of Western Ave., is a patient at Albany Medical Center.  Cards and notes can be mailed to both Betty and Dick at P.O. Box 17, Altamont, NY 12009. 

Golf outing

Registration for St. Lucy/St. Bernadette's annual golf tournament to be held on Monday, Sept. 15, at the Pinehaven Country Club is now being accepted.  For additional information contact Lou DeMaria at 861-1230.


The summer gathering of  the Humzingers  group met on Aug. 6,  at the Caruso's property on Sand Street.  The guests were officers who served in 1997 when the Caruso's were the district grand matron and district grand lecturer. The group has met annually in August and again in January since 1998 celebrating their friendship.

Those in attendance included Brian Becker, Audrey and Bill Branion, Jan and Richard Clark, Pat and Gerry Irwin, June Pelham, Fred Pettingill, Elissa and Harry Prout, Colleen Stoltzfus, and Ann Vlahos.

The group voted unanimously to keep the same officers: Caruso's as president; June Pelham, vice president; Audrey Branion, secretary; and Elissa Prout, treasurer.

Helping with set-up and breaking down and cooking were their daughter Cindy and Matt Francis the Caruso’s daughter and son-in-law.. The group will again meet for a social luncheon in January.


Happy-anniversary wishes are extended to:

— Fran and Mike Kitto who will celebrate their special day on Aug. 22; and

— Linda and Bill Hoogkamp celebrating on Aug. 27.


Happy-birthday wishes are extended to:

— Rachel Boyer, Richard Boyer, Tristen Harrington, Jackie Kelly, and Kim Rau on Aug. 22;

— George Pratt, David Todd Spiak, and Jennifer Stooks on Aug. 23;

— Nicholas Blackman, Anna Marie Cardone, and Brad Grant on Aug. 26;

— Lizzie Bintz, Verna Chapman, Jamie Forand, Jason Mohr, Ernest Orsini Jr., and Arnie Rothstein on Aug. 27.