Schenectady-Belmont Pop Warner exceeds fundraising goal for title game trip

SCHENECTADY — Call it a Thanksgiving miracle. Or, perhaps more fittingly, a successful Hail Mary that put the team up by six with just seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Whatever you call it, Billy Kent, president for Schenectady-Belmont Pop Warner, is grateful. As are the more than two dozen 9- and 10-year-olds that make up the Schenectady-Belmont Pop Warner football team.

Following a 10-0 season that saw the team become state champs, the team earned a chance to compete for a national title. All that stood in the way was a $35,000 fundraising goal needed to cover the cost of travel and hotel fees to travel to Orlando, Florida.

With time running out — the playoffs begin Dec. 4 — the odds seemed insurmountable, even for a team that managed to plow through everything that stood in their way.

Then the community rallied around the cause, much like they’ve done all season, said Kent, who became president of the Schenectady Pop Warner program earlier this year following years of involvement.

In a matter of days, the team exceeded its fundraising goal, reaching $38,125 as of Wednesday afternoon, via a GoFundMe campaign launched earlier this week.

The team will travel to Florida, and the extra money raised will cover the travel costs for the program’s three cheerleading teams that were also invited to compete, and help cover the cost for new uniforms and equipment for future seasons.

“I’m overwhelmed with joy and just general positive energy just to know that these kids are going to be able to experience something a lot of them haven’t been able to experience to this point,” Kent said moments after learning the team will be able to compete.

Hundreds of community members donated to the cause, including several local businesses, after news of the program’s situation began to spread.

Mohawk Honda and OrthoNY each donated $5,000 to the cause, and several donations of $500 and $1,000 were made within hours of each other.

Kent said the program has a profound impact on the more than 200 children who compete on the program’s five football teams and four cheerleading teams. He hopes to grow the program to 500 next year and eliminate any sign-up fees.

The lessons, he said, extend beyond the field.

“We preach family, we preach love. We preach being a nice person, a kind person and we show how you can still be tough but you can also be kind. How you can still be competitive but you can also still be compassionate,” he said. “The kids have really taken to that and they are really understanding that.”

Kent said the community’s support will help solidify those lessons.

“They’ve put all this work in and they’ve done all the right things, and now they’re getting shown all that love and respect back,” he said. “I think this is the kind of thing that will help them grow into much better young adults than if they may not have had these types of opportunities.”

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold. 

EDITORIAL: Grateful for our blessings, for the people who give

Be grateful for gratitude.

That sounds like something old New York Yankees sage Yogi Berra might say.

But as we take this one special day out of our year to give thanks, gratitude is a gift we can share.

We at The Gazette like to run letters to the editor and High Notes in which people thank strangers for doing something nice for them.

One person wrote recently to thank postal workers and all the delivery people who make sure we get our packages and gifts all year long.

The writer pointed out their long hours and difficult work, and just wanted to convey his thanks and to invite others to share their gratitude for their service.

Another wrote recently to thank Schenectady police for their concern and sensitivity after their son died unexpectedly of a medical condition.

It was a difficult day, and the officers went beyond their tasks at hand to be extra kind to a grieving family.

Even in their distress, they wanted to say how they appreciated the effort.

The class advisers for the Johnstown Class of 2022 in a letter over the summer thanked those who made the recent prom so special for the school’s juniors and seniors, noting that students have had a long, hard year and that the volunteers’ commitment to the children in the community was truly appreciated.

One woman from Rotterdam was grateful for the patience and helpfulness of a store employee who helped her resolve an issue with a grocery delivery.

The writer didn’t expect the employee to even call her back, much less ensure the delivery of all the groceries, along with a gift certificate for her troubles. She called this employee “an angel.”

Gratitude is sometimes most satisfying when it’s unexpected.

In a recent High Notes column —in which each Monday we highlight the good works being done in our community — the grandchild of a woman who fell in a local store wanted to thank the anonymous patron who called for help and who comforted her grandmother until the ambulance arrived.

The granddaughter said in a Facebook post that the family was not only grateful for the patron’s assistance, but also for making sure that their grandmother knew she wasn’t alone in her time of distress.

These are the kinds of actions that we often take for granted.

Someone holding a door while we’re carrying an armload of packages.

A fellow driver letting us into traffic after we’ve been sitting their forever.

A delivery person making sure the package is left inside the door so it won’t get wet.

The thing we have to remember is that nobody is obligated to do anything for us.

Members of the military, firefighters, police and other emergency responders take on their dangerous responsibility because they care about people, and are willing to put their lives on the line because of it.

Doctors and nurses and other medical professionals don’t often get into their positions for the money, and whatever they’re making is very likely not enough for the skills and stress of their jobs.

They don’t always have to be so patient and understanding of our situation. But boy to we need them to be.

Delivery people, store employees, government workers, strangers in the produce aisle, they could all just go about their business. But they stop to help.

Have you seen what school teachers have to deal with these days?

These super-heroes don’t turn it off when the final bell rings for the day. The job was difficult in the past, but it isn’t even close to what it was two years ago.

Think of all the volunteers working in soup kitchens delivering or serving Thanksgiving dinner to those less fortunate today.

Think of anyone who volunteers in their community, whether it be staffing the grill at a charity barbecue, attending to others in their church or community group, collecting food at a food drive or dressing up as Santa at the downtown festival to put a smile on the faces of children.

We’re so lucky we have people for whom to show gratitude that gratitude itself is a gift.

For all the people in our lives —family members, friends and complete strangers — who take the time to make our lives a little easier, a little safer or a little more special, today is for you.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

We hope you’ll take time to count your blessings, whatever they may be, no matter how big or small.

Life itself is a blessing.

And remember to thank those who give selflessly of themselves.

We are so grateful for all you do.

Volunteerism an obvious choice for one local man

It all sort of happened by accident.

It was 2004 and Larry Lewis was working as a research chemist at General Electric when his children reached the age when doing things with your parents had fallen out of fashion.  

In search of a way to fill the void, Lewis attended a board meeting for Concerned for the Hungry, a local nonprofit best known for its annual Thanksgiving food drive, which provides everything needed to prepare a proper holiday feast to thousands of Schenectady County households unable to cover the costs on their own.

Lewis had volunteered at the drive with his children for a number of years and wanted to learn more.

“I approached one of the board members and I said, ‘Hey, tell me more about your organization,’” he recalled.

When he arrived, the group was without a secretary and asked him to record the meeting minutes. When he showed up at the next meeting, the group, still without a secretary, asked him to again record the minutes. 

“I was slowly but surely being sucked in,” Lewis said. 

At the next meeting, the board voted to make Lewis the organization’s permanent secretary, and the Glenville resident hasn’t looked back since. 

In fact, Lewis has taken on a more prominent role at the organization over the years as a grant writer, helping to secure thousands in funding that has helped the organization continue its Thanksgiving food drive and host a number of other charitable drives throughout the year. 

Today, around a third of the organization’s $70,000 budget comes from grants. 

Lewis was among a handful of honorees recently recognized for their efforts at the Nonprofit Business Awards hosted by the Capital Region Chamber. The awards recognize the impact nonprofit organizations have on the community and the quality of life for citizens.

Now 67 and retired, Lewis manages to carve out a few hours each week to give back to the community. 

In addition to his work with Concerned for the Hungry, he teaches children to read and has extended his grant writing skills to help secure funding for other area nonprofits. He also volunteers with SiCM, where he helps deliver food and works in the pantry. 

It’s something that Lewis wishes more people like him would find the time to do. 

“I get a little frustrated with some of my fellow retirees that talk about the stuff that they do,” he said. “You can’t find an hour or two a week to help the community and the less fortunate? It just seems obvious.”  

Concerned for the Hungry recently completed its 42nd Thanksgiving drive, handing out boxes stuffed full of turkeys, stuffing and other fixings needed to prepare a proper Thanksgiving meal at home to more than 1,700 households throughout Schenectady County.

The drive takes place over six days, with volunteers working to organize pallets of food donated from community members and the Northeast Regional Food Bank into individual boxes for distribution.   

Concerned for the Hungry doesn’t have a year-round home, so the organization, which used to lease space from St. Luke’s Catholic Church, completes the drive from the gym of Keane Elementary School on Albany Street in Schenectady, the former home of the church’s parish school.

The building is still owned by St. Luke’s, but a carve-out in the lease agreement guarantees the organization access to the gym six days a year to complete the drive. 

“We make what I call a pop-up warehouse,” Lewis said. “We have a gymnasium and then suddenly it’s a food warehouse, and then we take it apart.”

It’s tough work that gets harder as the years go on, Lewis said.

The organization relies on volunteers, but the core group that oversees the Thanksgiving drive has been with the organization for decades in some cases. 

Lewis said finding willing candidates to step up to fill the leadership positions is one of the biggest problems facing the organization.

“Everyone’s a year older every year. You can’t fool father time,” he said. 

But while the organization continues to look for new leadership, Lewis plans to keep pushing forward.

“You got to keep yourself busy,” he said. 

For more information on Concerned for the Hungry, visit: concernedforthehungry.org.

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold

 

Outdoor Journal: Field reports from the opening days of deer hunting season

The first deer report of the season was by Steve Baker of Rotterdam. He got a 180-pound, 13-point buck taken Nov. 16 in the afternoon in Schenectady County. Baker got his buck with a 10-point crossbow.

Ashley Chamberlain of Pecks Lake wrote to me about her first crossbow hunting story. She said hunting season was right around the corner, and the thought on her mind this year was figuring out what she was going to shoot. It was at that moment she stumbled upon the weapon of choice — the crossbow. This choice was going to prove the most successful indeed.

Her husband Clarence knew her birthday was fast approaching and, therefore, gifted her with a beautiful Killer Instinct brand crossbow with all the accessories to make for a successful first crossbow deer hunt.

Later that week her, husband booked a one-day hunt in Saratoga on a preserve called Easton View Outfitters, which is an hour drive from Pecks Lake. Their guide set them both up on watches with a guaranteed kill. Upon her watch, she sat waiting for a good six deer to approach for her to take a shot at.

There she sat waiting, and nothing came. She was frustrated.

Then around noon, a young female approached. She knew she had a clear shot at 20 yards, and she was right within that range. She took her shot. The deer was down. Upon examination, she had doubled lunged her, thus delivering the lethal shot. She said her first crossbow hunt was a great success.

Tim Blodgett from Schuylerville shot his buck last week. He was up in a tree stand with his Elite Synergy Bow, all settled in. Around 2 p.m., he spotted a buck about 100 yards out. But it was standing behind a large tree. He gave a small whistle, and the buck came around.

Tim was ready and settled to draw and at about 15 yards brought him down. The buck was an 8-pointer weighing about 175. Nicely done Tim.

From the Buck Fever website, i had a piece on a local business owner Rick Milham, a Guilderland High School graduate. He was an excellent football player and he was a standout on the volleyball team. He now owns Buck Fever, a synthetic deer lure. It is a New York-based company, and the product is made by New York residents. For more information, go to https://www.buckfever.com.

NEW FOR ICE FISHING

Want to target the biggest fish through the ice this winter? Check out the new Vibratina Baits. Their built to bring in those big walleyes, lake trout, etc.
I think I will be seeing if they work while I am in Florida fishing in February and March, but I will be awaiting those ice fishing reports from up North, especially if that new bait works like it says.

AIR GUNS

For those of you that do some small game hunting, the New York state Air Gun Regulations allow air gun hunting for squirrels. I have sent several squirrel tails to Mepps for trading for their fishing fly’s. I use a Gamo Wild Cat Whisper Air Gun, and have been very pleased with its accuracy. Air guns are allowed for small game in Florida, also.

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected]

UAlbany men’s basketball’s Neely sinks late 3 to deliver Killings’ 1st win as Great Danes coach

The UAlbany men’s basketball team had lost the first five games of its 2021-22 season.

Justin Neely had missed the first five 3-point attempts of his college career.

In memorable fashion, both of those streaks didn’t reach six.

Down a point in the final seconds of Wednesday’s game against Eastern Illinois, Neely hit a game-winning 3 as the Great Danes claimed the first win of Dwayne Killings’ head-coaching career with a 64-62 victory at McBrayer Arena in Richmond, Kentucky. Neely wasn’t the first option on the game-deciding play, but the freshman lined up the pivotal shot with confidence off a pass from graduate student De’Vondre Perry.

“It was a big play from ’Dre,” Neely said during the post-game teleconference. “It shows the trust that we have; [Perry], as an older guy, giving it to the freshman, and putting the game in my hands, essentially. That’s a major play and I appreciate that from him.”

Killings said the need for the Great Danes to be “selfless” had been a major part of his message in recent days. The first-year head coach said the way the team’s final offensive possession, which put the ball into Perry’s hands and allowed the transfer from Temple to decide what to do with it, played out showed that the Great Danes had listened.

“That’s got to be part of our identity, our culture,” Killings said of Perry’s unselfish play, “and I thought that last play was everything we want.”

Wednesday’s matchup was a neutral-court game that was part of the Eastern Kentucky Invitational, and the contest wrapped up a three-games-in-five days stretch for UAlbany. For stretches of the second half, it appeared likely the Great Danes would head into the Thanksgiving holiday with a 0-6 record, but UAlbany put together a fantastic finish to earn its first win.

“We’ve still got room to improve,” UAlbany’s Matt Cerruti said, “but we’ll take the win.”

UAlbany (1-5) trailed Eastern Illinois (1-5) 52-44 with less than seven minutes to play. A pair of free throws from Neely started up a 15-5 run that included seven points from Cerruti and five from Jamel Horton to give the Great Danes a 59-57 lead.

Eastern Illinois tied it at 59 as the game headed into the final minute, and Horton continued his strong finish to the game with a bucket to put the Great Danes up two with a half-minute to go. Horton had nine points, six rebounds and six assists in the game, with seven of his points coming in the final four minutes of regulation.

Eastern Illinois, though, had one big shot left in it. After Horton put UAlbany ahead 61-59, CJ Lane made a 3-pointer for Eastern Illinois and UAlbany called a timeout with 8.3 seconds to go.

In that huddle, the Great Danes were provided their play and a message from their coach.

“Believe in yourself,” Killings said he told Cerruti, Trey Hutcheson, Horton, Neely and Perry before they headed back onto the court.

Perry delivered the inbounds pass to Neely, who then handed off the ball to Perry as the freshman screened the defender chasing the graduate student. Shooting threats Cerruti and Hutcheson each moved to a corner, and Horton headed for an opening on the perimeter as Perry started to dribble toward the basket.

Eastern Illinois, though, met Perry with a trio of defenders, leading him to circle back. Neely’s job was to read and react to the defense, and he made the right call; Neely swooped behind Perry, took the short pass and didn’t hesitate with what to do next.

“We put the ball into ’Dre’s hands and just said, ‘You’ve got to make the right play,’ and he was poised enough to get the ball to Justin,” Killings said, “and Justin hit just a big-time shot.”

Neely — the reigning America East Conference rookie of the week — was 0 of 5 from 3-point territory before Wednesday’s game-sealing 3. He took the shot, though, without fear of missing.

“I know my team’s got my back, make or miss,” Neely said.

Neely’s shot went through the net with 1.4 seconds to go, and Eastern Illinois’ ensuing desperation 3 was off the mark — and UAlbany got to celebrate its first win of the Killings era.

“It’s a huge step for us,” Cerruti said. “We just want to get the ball rolling, so hopefully this starts to get us going here.”

Eastern Illinois’ starting lineup featured a familiar face for Capital Region college basketball fans. Sammy Friday IV — who played four seasons at Siena — was averaging a team-high 11.5 points per game for Eastern Illinois, where Friday transferred to after the 2019-20 season, heading into Wednesday’s game. A sixth-year player, Friday received a medical redshirt for his junior season at Siena and is now using his extra season of playing eligibility that the NCAA granted all winter athletes that competed last season due to pandemic-related issues.   

Friday had eight points against UAlbany, while Kashawn Charles led the team with 14. For the Great Danes, Cerruti had 14 points, Hutcheson added a dozen and Perry contributed 10.

Off the bench, Neely produced eight points and four rebounds in 22 minutes.

UAlbany doesn’t play again until next Wednesday at Kansas State of the Big 12 Conference. Killings said UAlbany will take Thanksgiving and Friday off from practice to allow players to enjoy some “much-needed time off,” and spend the holiday with their families.

That break arrives off a win the Great Danes will surely remember for quite some time, and one they hope to build off when they return to Albany.

“To win your first game for a college basketball program in that fashion is pretty cool and it’s great for the guys for them to have that kind of joy in the locker room before they go home is awesome,” Killings said. 

Johnstown boys’ basketball getting ready for opener

JOHNSTOWN — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been nearly two years since the Johnstown boys’ basketball team has played a full season.

The Sir Bills were able to play a condensed, eight-game schedule over a span of 12 days last March, but that has been their only on-court action since February 2020.

“It’s been two years since we’ve had a normal season, so it will be a bit of a learning curve, especially with our younger guys,” Johnstown coach Phil Satterlee said. “They’re still looking to shake the rust off a little bit.”

That’s understandable, given the circumstances.

Johnstown went 3-5 last March in games against Mayfield, Northville, Broadalbin-Perth and Gloversville as COVID protocols limited Fulton County teams to in-county play.

“The season we had last winter was good to five guys the opportunity to have some sort of season,” Satterlee said.

The Sir Bills return an experienced group that includes four seniors and five juniors.

“We’ve got a lot of returning guys this year,” Satterlee said. “They are familiar with the system that we’re running.”

Seniors Kyle Everest, Bryce Mureness, Jared Stewart and Steven VanNostrand all return for Johnstown, along with juniors Jordan Fox, Brandon Frank, Braden Jones, Elijah Jones and Nathan Waight.

Sophomores Matthew Wheelis and Ryan Hoyt round out the Sir Bills’ roster.

Unlike last year, Johnstown was able to hold open gyms in preparation for the season.

“We were able to get some preseason work in. It’s nice to be able to prepare the guys to start the season,” Satterlee said.

In its last full season in 2019-20, Johnstown was 1-19 overall and 1-17 in Foothills Council play.

Satterlee said he’s looking to improve on those numbers this season.

“We want to win every game we play. We don’t show up not looking to win,” he said. “This group works hard and wants to learn.”

With a relatively normal season ready to begin, Johnstown is looking forward to getting back on the court.

“We’re ready to roll,” Satterlee said. “We’re hoping everything goes as smoothly as possible.”

Johnstown is scheduled to travel to Queensbury on Dec. 3 to open its season in Foothills play.

Saratoga Springs filmmaker to adapt Stephen King story

Sometimes it pays to play by the rules. Other times, it pays to push against them.

Saratoga filmmaker Spencer Sherry intended to do the former but ended up doing the latter with his latest endeavor; adapting a chilling short story by Stephen King titled “The Monkey.”

During the pandemic, Sherry wrote a film script for it with plans to submit it to King’s Dollar Baby program, in which the author grants students and aspiring filmmakers permission (for $1) to adapt select short stories of his. The catch is that they cannot profit off of their film adaptations. Several famous directors and filmmakers, like Frank Darabont (“The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Green Mile”) got their start through the program.

“I heard about this program a couple of years ago from a friend who did it, and I was under the impression that any of his short stories were available,” Sherry said.

It turns out that “The Monkey” wasn’t part of the program, though Sherry didn’t find that out until after he’d written the script. At first, he decided to shelve it, but he returned to the script this year and decided to see if anything could be done with it.

“I love my idea for this, I love the story. I’m a huge Stephen King fan, which is how I got into this,” Sherry said.

He reached out to King’s agent and pitched his adaptation of the story.

“[I] asked for an actual commercial option first,” Sherry said. That was quickly denied.

“So I said, ‘Okay, ‘I know I’m not supposed to ask and it says right on the website not to ask, but could I extend the Dollar Baby contract?’ … I just want to do this because I love the story.”

The following day, the contract landed in his inbox, along with a note from King’s assistant commenting on how unusual it was for King to grant these rights for a story outside of the usual stories available for the Dollar Baby program.

According to Sherry, Darabont once had the rights to the story, but let them expire and this will be the first film adaptation of “The Monkey.”

The up-and-coming filmmaker isn’t taking the opportunity for granted. Sherry, an Oneonta native who attended SUNY Albany, worked in the industry in New York City for about a year before moving to Saratoga in 2017. He’s worked as a production assistant on films like “Set It Up” with Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Taye Diggs, Lucy Liu and Pete Davidson.

“The Monkey,” which was published as part of King’s book “Skeleton Crew,” marks the first time Sherry has adapted an author’s story. He was interested in it because of the duality of the story.

“I love stories, especially sci-fi or horror that really blend grounded drama with whatever the supernatural element is, and that’s why I’ve always liked Stephen King,” Sherry said.

King’s story follows a young father, Hal, whose two children find a cymbal-clapping, wind-up monkey that haunted him as a kid. Whenever the money’s cymbals clang, someone close to him dies.

In Sherry’s adaptation, the storyline has moved forward a bit; the two children (Dennis and Pete) are adults and Pete is about to have his first child. As he’s dealing with all the anxieties that come with that, there are also flashbacks to the horrors of the monkey seen in King’s story.

“It’s a unique opportunity to be able to make this story my own and part of it’s almost like a sequel where I’m kind of showing where these characters have ended up 20, 30 years after the original story, and so it’s interesting trying to balance King’s work and the themes in his story,” Sherry said.

To create the film, he’s teamed up with Colonie filmmaker Joe Gietl, who recently released “A Void,” and will produce “The Monkey.”

Their goal is to keep the adaptation as locally focused as possible, enlisting the help of local companies, local actors, artists, etc.

“This is also something I really want to do with the people in the Capital Region and with peers and industry professionals that are in this area. I like a lot of people’s work in this area and I want to make this experience as collaborative and engaging as possible,” Sherry said.

“My goal is to support and work with passionate filmmakers who have unique perspectives and stories to tell,” Gietl said. “Working with Spencer on this project fits that bill to a T. There’s a burgeoning youth movement of driven local filmmakers that we’re excited and proud to be a part of and our goal is to continue to support, promote and ultimately bring that community closer together with this film.”

They launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the film on Halloween and have raised more than $13,000 of their $35,000 goal. The campaign is slated to run through Jan. 6.

If all goes according to plan, filming will start in May. In the meantime, Sherry will be scouting for locations and reaching out to others in the local film community to collaborate with. Eventually, when the production is complete, he’ll be able to screen it at select film festivals and theaters. He’ll also send a copy of it off to King, who reportedly watches the films that arise from each Dollar Baby contract.

“This is just an amazing opportunity that could kick off [my] career,” Sherry said.

For more on the project, visit indiegogo.com.

On Exhibit: Blacksmith’s imaginative pieces seen at New York Folklore

Opposites attract in the latest exhibit to open at New York Folklore on Jay Street.

Delicate flowers, leaves and root systems made of weighty metal are on display, all made by Capital Region blacksmith Noah Khoury.

The exhibit, titled “The Helderberg Blacksmith: A Blacksmith’s Art,” reveals not only the practical side of the craft but also the imaginative side. In one section, an ornate garden bench is placed next to a metal skeleton of a pre-historic-looking creature.

“These objects are romanticized visions of the natural world around us. These forms, which are familiar to us all, are framed and tailored into art objects, rich with texture and hand-wrought forms,” Khoury writes in his artist statement. “It is also interesting to consider the forceful and aggressive nature of the forging process in contrast with the tranquil nature of the subject matter.”

Khoury is an Albany native who first learned about metalworking in his father’s blacksmith shop. After high school, Khoury attended SUNY New Paltz and went on to study at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee, getting his bachelor’s degree in metals. He started his Altamont-based business The Helderberg Blacksmith in 2013 and he specializes in home decor, ornamental railings and historic reproductions. Khoury also teaches blacksmithing workshops at venues like the Schoharie River Center.

In one piece included in the exhibit, Khoury shows the development process of making one leaf, a trowel and a small mouse. At each stage, one can see the metal as it’s flattened, hammered and reshaped. In another piece, called “From the Ashes,” viewers see more of the delicate metalwork, as three saplings seem to be rising from a brick-like foreground.

Further along in the exhibit, viewers get a glimpse of Eurypterids, an extinct type of sea scorpion. The carapaces of two such creatures are a textured copper-colored metal, that seems to shimmer when the light hits it just right. Their limbs, if they should be called that, are a muted black, and give the impression that the Eurypterids are swimming.

Also on view are a few of Khoury’s home decor pieces, including accent tables and lamps, the latter with creeping vines and leaves climbing up the bases. There are also smaller pieces, like hooks, bottle openers, business card holders, etc., for sale.

“The Helderberg Blacksmith” will be on view through spring of 2022. The gallery is located at 129 Jay St. in Schenectady and it’s open from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday through Christmas Eve. The gallery is closed Sundays in January and February. For more information visit nyfolklore.org or call 518-346-7008.

Ken Schott’s ECAC Hockey Faceoff Selections 2021-22: Week 8

I’m not usually good at predicting the outcome of games. For example, in Week 10 of the NFL season, I went 4-9-1. If I ever gambled, I would be bankrupt.

So I hope you will indulge me in doing a little bragging.

I had one of the best weeks I’ve ever had since starting the ECAC Hockey Faceoff Selections. Heading into Wednesday night’s Vermont-Yale game, I posted a 10-0-1 record. I rarely pick games to end in ties, but I had a feeling that last Saturday’s RPI-LIU game would end in a tie. Not only did it end in a tie, but I picked the correct score, 2-2. Amazing!

Four other players also went unbeaten, while nine others only had one loss.

The race for first place continues to be tight. Ryan Fay has a two-point lead over Brian Unger and Kevin Sokolski, and three over me.

Here is a look the standings, with Week 7 records in parentheses:

Ryan Fay 54-19-12 120 points (8-1-2)

Brian Unger 53-20-12 118 points (8-1-2)

Kevin Sokolski 53-20-10 118 points (9-0-2)

Me 53-21-11 117 points (10-0-1)

GB-BE-ME 51-22-12 114 points (8-1-2)

Achilles 3-7-5 50-23-12 112 points (9-0-2)

Jim Kalohn 49-24-12 110 points (7-2-2)

Matthew Ruffini 49-24-12 110 points (8-1-2)

David Trestick 49-24-12 110 points (9-0-2)

Dan Dickinson 48-25-12 108 points (8-1-2)

Rich Large 47-26-12 106 points (8-1-2)

Andy Weise 47-26-12 106 points (8-1-2)

RedLiner36 48-28-9 105 points (9-1-1)

Towell68 46-27-12 104 points (7-2-2)

Rowena Watson 46-27-12 104 points (8-1-2)

Dutch Crazy 44-29-12 100 points (7-2-2)

Christopher Chadwick 45-28-12 102 points (8-1-2)

Togany 44-29-12 100 points (7-2-2)

Richard Derrick 42-31-12 96 points (5-4-2)

Harvey Kagan 40-34-11 91 points (9-0-2)

Union Bob 37-15-7 81 points (7-2-2)

Time for my Week 8 selections. There are 16 games to pick between Friday and Sunday. Tuesday’s Harvard-Boston College game has been postponed because of COVID-19 protocols within the BC program. Your picks must be in by 4 p.m. Friday. Email your picks to [email protected].

Here are my picks:

FRIDAY

No. 18 Northeastern at RPI Northeastern 3, RPI 2

Dartmouth at No. 14 Providence — Providence 5, Dartmouth 2

Brown at Holy Cross — Brown 2, Holy Cross 1

New Hampshire at No. 16 Harvard — Harvard 4, UNH 1

RIT at Princeton Princeton 4, RIT 3

No. 7 Western Michigan at St. Lawrence — Western Michigan 6, St. Lawrence 3

Clarkson at Wisconsin Clarkson 5, Wisconsin 4

SATURDAY

Union at Merrimack Union 3, Merrimack 3

Colgate at UConn — UConn 4, Colgate 2

Clarkson at Wisconsin — Wisconsin 3, Clarkson 2

Western Michigan at St. Lawrence — Western Michigan 5, St. Lawrence 1

Providence at Brown — Providence 4, Brown 1

RIT at Princeton Princeton 2, RIT 1

Boston U. vs. No. 10 Cornell at MSG Cornell 5, BU 2

SUNDAY

RPI at Northeastern Northeastern 4, RPI 1

Vermont at Dartmouth Vermont 3, Dartmouth 2

UAlbany women’s basketball falls on buzzer-beating 3

ITHACA — Helene Haegerstrand made a go-ahead shot, a clutch 3-pointer, for the UAlbany women’s basketball team with less than 10 seconds to play in Wednesday’s non-conference game at Cornell.

Shannon Mulroy, though, provided a game-winning answer for the home team at Newman Arena, as Cornell prevailed 47-46.

After Haegerstrand’s made 3 and a Cornell timeout, Cornell inbounded in its frontcourt with 5.6 seconds left. UAlbany’s Grace Heeps deflected the inbounds pass, causing the time to start ticking away, and Mulroy to head into the backcourt to retrieve the ball. Mulroy — with UAlbany’s Ellen Hahne defending her — had just enough time to make it back to the 3-point line and let fly a shot, which rattled around the rim before falling through for the buzzer-beating, game-winning basket.

The defeat dropped UAlbany to 1-2 on the season, while Cornell improved to 3-3.

The final seconds provided a fitting end to the game, which included five ties and 11 different leads for each team. After UAlbany started the game with an 11-0 run, Cornell answered with an 11-0 run of its own. From there, the teams stayed within two possessions of each other.

Cornell led 36-34 to start the fourth quarter, which included six lead changes. The final four baskets of the game all resulted in a lead change.

Haegerstrand led UAlbany with a game-high 16 points, while Lucia Decortes added a dozen points and eight rebounds. No other UAlbany players recorded double-digit scoring in the game. While Decortes and Haegerstrand combined to make 11 of 19 shots, the rest of the Great Danes made 6 of 29 from the field.

For Cornell, Olivia Snyder scored a team-high 14 points and collected 10 rebounds. Theresa Grace Mbanefo scored 12 points and Mulroy had seven.

UAlbany next plays Sunday at Boston College, which is coached by former UAlbany head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee.

Median Capital Region home sale price 12% higher so far in 2021 than year ago

ALBANY — The Capital Region real estate market in October saw higher median sale prices and fewer new listings than either September 2021 or October 2020, continuing a long-running trend.

Higher prices and lower inventory are putting the dream of homeownership out of reach of some first-time homebuyers, as properties average less time on the market and command a higher percentage of their original asking price.

The statistics are drawn from the Greater Capital Association of Realtors’ Global Multiple Listing Service, which handles many but not all sales in the Capital Region and nearby parts of surrounding counties.

The sales data from any individual month or county can be influenced by limited factors. Year-to-date and year-over-year data are better at showing trends.

GCAR data show that for the first 10 months of 2021, 2020 and 2019:

  • 15,045 houses have been listed for sale in 2021, down from 15,660 in 2020 and 17,553 in 2019.
  • 11,931 sales closed in 2021, up from 10,725 and 10,577.
  • The median sale price was $254,000, up from $227,000 and $212,000.

Earlier data show that for the first nine months of 2021, sellers got 99.5% of their original asking price, up from 96.1% and 95.3% in 2020 and 2019.

Houses sat on the market for 38 days on average before sale in those nine months, down from 63 days and 61 days in the two preceding years.

GCAR CEO Laura Burns said in a news release Wednesday that average time to sale was just 26 days last month, faster than any recent October, due in part to buyers seeking to lock in their mortgages as interest rates begin to increase.

Here are GCAR’s county-level stats on the number of closed sales and median prices for the first 10 months of 2021, and the percentage change from 2020:

  • Albany: 2,605, 8% — $265,000, 11% 
  • Fulton: 529, 10% — $155,040, 17% 
  • Montgomery: 338, 28% — $160,000, 20% 
  • Rensselaer: 1,345, 5% — $235,000, 10% 
  • Saratoga: 2,832, 11% — $345,000, 11% 
  • Schenectady: 1,895, 30% — $210,000, 14% 
  • Schoharie: 281, 12% — $180,000, 20% 

Troopers: Halfmoon woman stole prescription medication, cut victim with knife

HALFMOON – A Halfmoon woman stole someone’s prescription medication then then used a folding knife to cause a superficial cut to the victim’s wrist recently, state police said.

Leanne N. Champ, 37, of Halfmoon, was charged with second-degree assault, a felony, along with misdemeanor counts of weapons possession, petit larceny and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

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The incident happened just before 1 p.m. Nov. 16. Troopers responded to a domestic dispute at a residence  in Halfmoon, state police said.

Champ is accused of cutting the victim and taking the victim’s medication. Champ then left the scene prior to troopers arrival but was found a short time later.

She was taken to the Clifton Park barracks and found to possess Klonopin and about 1.8 grams of cocaine.

Champ was arraigned and released to return to court later.

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