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What you need to know for 08/21/2017

High Notes: March 20, 2017

High Notes: March 20, 2017

Celebrating the area's good works
High Notes: March 20, 2017
Schenectady native James Brooks at Brown School on Thursday, March 16, 2017.
Photographer: MARC SCHULTZ

Sure, last week's winter storm brought plenty of aggravation, especially if you needed to travel somewhere by car. But the storm also led to many acts of kindness. Neighbors helped each other dig our, strangers lent a hand freeing cars stuck in snowbanks and people, in general, seemed a bit more patient.

As usual, public works crews worked through the day and night to keep the streets passable. And while there were some inevitable complaints about delays in clearing some streets, the overall performance was impressive, especially given the size of this storm. 

Special kudos go out to the volunteer firefighters who fought two major blazes smack dab in the middle of the storm. Despite the heavy snowfall, intense winds and frigid temperatures, volunteers turned out in force to battle the Adirondack Trust bank fire in Wilton and the Methodist Church fire in Fultonville.

At Schenectady High, educators are working directly with some students in a program designed to help them graduate.

Operation Graduation gives students focused teacher attention and social support, enabling them to catch up on schoolwork and learn skills needed to stay on track when they return to regular classes. The point, said program coordinator Lauren Incitti, is not just to get work done but to build good habits. Junior Natalie Black called it "one of the best things that has happened to her in her three years of high school."

The New York Air National Guard named Glenville's Lynette Tangredi, a master sergeant, as its "first sergeant of the year for 2017," an honor that recognizes outstanding senior enlisted leaders within the 5,800-member guard. Master Sgt. Tangredi is the first sergeant for our own 109th Airlift Wing's Security Forces Squadron Air National Guard Base in Glenville. Her responsibilities include morale and family support for the 62 airmen in her squadron.

Schenectady's James Brooks and his Elephant Pants dazzled the sharks on ABC's "Shark Tank," earning an investment and a Shark Tank bump for his retro line of clothes. Of note: some of the money from the business is donated to nonprofits that support the conservation and protection of elephants.

Brown returned to his old school, the Brown School, last week to share his story, inspire students to turn their personal passions and interests into businesses and careers and talk about the need to protect elephants.

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