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Locals beat the heat in variety of ways

Locals beat the heat in variety of ways

Oppressive weather expected to pain region through Monday
Locals beat the heat in variety of ways
Camila Sylvester, 4, of New Hope, PA., is sprayed Saturday by water spouts at West Side Rec in Saratoga Springs.

It was so hot Saturday the popular summer business Jumpin' Jack's Drive-In closed for the day.

The summer staple announced the shutdown on its Facebook page, stating the extreme heat as the reason, and advising customers to "Stay cool everyone!"

Staying cool was easier said than done Saturday, as the temperature at Albany International Airport reached 94 degrees, three shy of the record set in 1991. The heat provided a business opportunity for some.

Lisa Rustowicz, an Eastern Avenue resident of Schenectady, erected a lemonade stand and a garage sale in front of her home. Her son Ryan Rustowicz, 10, and his pal Kaston Bryan, 6, ran the stand, selling lemonade for 50 cents a cup.

"You just wait for the people to come over, and you ask them what they want," Ryan said. 

Kaston handled the sales, with one plastic cup for bills and another for coins. 

"I take the money and I put it in the cup!" Kaston exclaimed.  

Lisa Rustowicz said her family is no stranger to lemonade stands. She said they recently moved to Schenectady from Myrtle Beach, S.C., where it was a family tradition to sell lemonade whenever the weather became hot. She said a lemonade stand teaches valuable lessons to youngsters.

"It's learning how to work, make the money obviously, life, and because it's hot. We've got to serve our people," Rustowicz said.   

National Weather Service meteorologist Christina Speciale said the heatwave that's sweltered the Capital Region this weekend originated in hot air from the Midwest.

She said temperatures are expected to stay in the 90s Sunday, then cool slightly on Monday, but the humidity will remain high. After that relief from a cold front is expected. 

"We should be in the clear by Tuesday or Wednesday," she said.

Central Park in Schenectady proved to be a nexus of people looking to beat the heat. Mr. Ding a Ling Ice Cream truck driver Daniel Martinez parked his vehicle right outside the Central Park pool. He said the biggest ice cream sellers Saturday were confections shaped like popular children's characters like Spider-man, Tweety Bird and Sonic the Hedgehog. But while the treats were cold, Martinez was not. 

"My plan is to sit here and roast," he said inside his truck.

Schenectady's four public pools — Central Park, Front Street, Hillhurst and Quackenbush — were all open from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., and are scheduled to be open Sunday. 

Theresa Ruiz and her son Enrique, 2, went to Central Park to swim. Theresa said Saturday was the first time she's had a weekend day off on a day made for swimming since she moved to Schenectady seven years ago. 

"Now I just need to get him in the water," she said of her son.  

Central Park head lifeguard Cidney Walton, a Schenectady County Community College student, said she's worked at the Central Park pool for the last five summers. She said on a hot day like Saturday if the number of swimmers exceeds 65 she orders the roped-off swimming area expanded to both sides of the pool and deploys her eight lifeguards accordingly.  

"We also try to have a 30-minute break for our lifeguards when it's a heatwave like this," she said. "They're in the chair for 15 minutes, and then down for 30."

For people who wanted to stay dry and cool, the Schenectady County Library system provided air conditioned cooling stations throughout the county Saturday.

Budding filmmaker Kquamaine Winters said he decided to do some work on his web series "Lifted" inside the cool confines of the main branch on Clinton Street. 

"It's a lot hotter outside," he said. 

An abrupt thunderstorm Saturday at about 7:30 p.m., right in the middle of a free music concert performed by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band at the Rivers Casino & Resort Harbor, held at the Mohawk Harbor Amphitheater, shortened that performance. 

Luca Scarlotta, from Saratoga Springs, said he's been to all of the Rivers Casino & Resort Harbor Jam concerts, and attended as much of Saturday's as he and his family were willing before raindrops started to fall. 

"I'm with my daughter and my girlfriend and her son. We listened to probably three songs, and then we seen a big black cloud come over and the wind started blowing, so we ran into Druthers [Brewing Co.] and we made reservations," Scarlotta said.

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