Altamont, Oct. 10, 2013

We were driving along the highway and started a discussion about the road maintenance signs. They are all over and advertise the local group that has volunteered to clean up along the highways as a community service project.

Some cleanup is sponsored by corporations or companies and others are sponsored by fraternal groups, school groups, scouts, police, fire fighters, EMTs, churches or any group of people who want to do something for their community to help keep it clean.

My husband, Jim, is a member of Noah Lodge in Altamont that clean the sides of Route 146 from McCormick’s Corners to Gun Club Road.  In the spring and again in the fall they send out a call for volunteers to pitch in and help clean. The Lodge has done this for many years and the members always look forward to helping keep the road to Altamont neat and clean for Altamont residents as well as visitors and for folks passing through the area. 

The Master of the Lodge, Dale Hotaling said, “The work is not hard and the members have a good time talking and joking while they work. After they finish they gather for some refreshments. This is a good way for the men to get to know their Lodge brothers and to do some bonding.”

They do a good job of cleaning. There are days when they have had to work in the rain, or when it has been very warm, but regardless of the weather, these guys always do a good job. If you have not seen them while they are at work, you can always tell they have been there by the bags of trash left along the road waiting to be picked up and discarded.

At one point on our trip, we did not see any sign advertising who was picking up the roadside trash, but we did see several miles of bags waiting to be picked up. At another point, we saw a roadside tent sign that said, “Prison Inmates at Work”. A little further down the road we saw about a dozen men in bright colored work suits with a prison guard or two overseeing the work detail.

We have seen signs in almost every state we have traveled through that were very similar. They all said something to the effect that, “throwing trash out of the car is illegal and drivers will be fined.” Even with the threat of fines up to $500, the drivers do not seem to care.

As we crossed the border of another state, the large sign that greeted us said, “Our State is not an ashtray!” It gave me hope that they would have better luck keeping the roadside clean.

Driving near my sister’s house and hometown of Jamestown, N.C., we received a real treat. The medium of the highways and the entry and exits from the highway had been seeded and those areas were resplendent with colorful flowers. One exit might have had all red flowers and the next entry might have all yellow flowers. Then the next medium might have had a mixture of flowers and were dazzling with a beautiful variety of colors. It was a beautiful sight and we enjoyed seeing the area filled with this glorious scenery. 

Think about it.  The lawns did not need to be mowed every week reducing the cost of maintenance, and travelers were able to enjoy the beauty.

Although, we were impressed with the cleanup details, work crews and the beauty of the flowers, we were still disturbed with the need for the details. Why do people just open the window of their car and throw out trash that should be placed in a garbage can? If they stop at a fast food restaurant while traveling, they could hold on to the trash until the next rest stop.

Eating out 

When one goes to a nice restaurant for dinner they most likely have the table covered with a tablecloth. That is one of the amenities for which you pay extra. If the server is good they will be good at their job whether it is in a diner, café, or fancier restaurant. Another benefit of a restaurant, other than the service, good food and nice ambiance is the ability to just get up and walk out when you are finished with your dinner. You do not have to pick up or wash the dishes that were used for your dinner. I only mention this because of what I saw at a fast food eatery the other day. Jim and I were in a hurry and ducked into one of the popular fast food places. The restaurant was busy with a lot of folks who popped in for a quick bite before they went back to work.

Everyone waited patiently in line to order and then waited for the food.  Our food arrived and we sat down at a clean table to enjoy our lunch. 

When we started to pick up our trash to throw it away, we noticed a young woman sitting at a table along the sidewall of the room.

Almost everyone is respectful about others time and work. However, there are others like this young woman we saw who do not respect others. They sit, often self-absorbed, eating and when they finish just get up and walk out. Are you kidding me? Just walk out?

How rude! Customers usually do not leave tips in fast food restaurants but they do pick up after themselves. Not this young woman! She just got up and walked out, leaving her mess for someone else.

If you did not get the tone, I was (and still am) really angry at the inconsiderate attitude of this woman. Probably because it is not the only time I have seen actions like this inconsiderate woman, but because I see them much too often.

In the workplace, people throw away items and they miss the basket. Instead of taking an extra step back they just go on with what they are doing. On the highway people throw things out of the window, or they may get a flat tire and just leave the bad tire there for someone else to discard.

We have a beautiful world to live in.  Let’s take care of it. Let us all enjoy what we have and not need to be reminded.  Remember that sign we read as we traveled,  "Our State is not an Ashtray".  Let's all try to keep everything around us clean.

Clothing sale

The Farnsworth Middle School PTA is now selling T-shirts, sweatshirts, flannel shorts, (girls only) and flannel pants. All articles of clothing have the FMS emblem.

The costs are as follows:  T-shirts $10; hooded sweatshirts $25; hooded zip up sweatshirt $30; flannel shorts $16;  and flannel pants $25.  The items come in the following sizes:  Child  (S-L) and adult, (S-XXL).  please add $2 to all sizes larger than XL. 

All orders and checks are due by Oct. 18.  Checks should be made payable to FMSPTA.  Delivery of items ordered should be by Nov. 22 via backpack mail.

Questions should be directed to Jessica Peck at

School banking

The Altamont Elementary School in conjunction with SEFCU once again offers students the opportunity to save money and to have their very own savings account. The Altamont school has designated Fridays as banking days.  

If parents have questions regarding this program, they may contact Mary Beth Mulligan, school banking coordinator  at 861-8565 or by e-mail at You can also contact SEFCU by calling 452-8234 or by e-mail


A reminder to Guilderland High School juniors. The preliminary SAT/National Scholarship qualifying test (PSAT) will be given on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the high school.  Registration forms have been given to the students. The form and fee of $25 must be returned to the counseling office by Friday, Oct. 1. 

Evacuation drill

Parents have been advised that Friday, Oct. 11, the Farnsworth Middle School will have the go home early evacuation drill.  Students will be dismissed 15 minutes earlier than the normal dismissal time. This early dismissal is required by the State Department of Education.


The preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test will be given at the Guilderland High School on Saturday, Oct. 19.  Eligible sophomore students have been given the registration form and the form and $25 fee must be returned to the counseling center by Friday, Oct. 11.

Village office

In observance of Columbus Day, the village of Altamont office will be closed on Monday, Oct. 14.

Saratoga battle

The Guilderland Public Library will welcome Ray Misiewcz to the library on Tuesday, Oct. 15.  He will speak on how the battlefield  was  returned  to farming,  then became a New York historic site  and later became the Saratoga National Historic Park.  The talk will begin at 7 p.m.

Night of comedy

The Altamont Fire Department has announced that it will sponsor its 5th annual Night of Comedy.  It will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9.  More information to follow. 

Halloween parade

The members of the Altamont Fire Department and the ladies auxiliary will again host the Altamont Halloween Parade on Thursday, Oct. 31.  More details will be forthcoming.


The first fund-raiser of the school year for the GHSPTSA will be the opportunity to buy or renew your BJ's membership. A 15-month membership costs $43.80 with $5 of that amount going to the PTSA. Applications will be available at the open house.  For information, contact Emily Santoro at

Membership forms to the GHSPTSA are available on the  Guilderland High School website under PTSA.


Happy-anniversary wishes are extended to:

—  Natalie Michael and Eileen Margaret who will celebrate their special day on Oct. 11

—  Heidi and Paul Levin  on Oct. 12;

— Tammy and Ray Weiler on Oct. 13;

— Marian and Bud Munroe on Oct. 14;and

— Marcia and Bud Peerlee on Oct. 17.


Happy-birthday wishes are extended to:        

— Benny Crupe, Audra Kalinski, Dan Neet, and Grant Roberts on Oct. 11;,

— Josephine Cox, Richie Kronsberg, and Jeff Timer on Oct. 12; 

— Elizabeth Caruso, Shannon Dowen, and Darlene Stanton on Oct. 13;

— L.J. Brock, Andy Krauss, Sandra Radzewicz, Matthew Schuhle, and Kyle Weiler on Oct. 15; 

— Louise Adams, Christian Marie Delf Bracken, Thelma Crounse,  Henry Stuart, and Janell Stevens on Oct.16; and

— Kody Adams, Dan Felgentreeff, Morgan Elizabeth Munroe, and Eleanor Paradis on Oct. 17.

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