Join us on election night at VAPOR night club at the Saratoga Casino Hotel, 8 PM until 12 midnight for our Annual Election Night Party! Watch Returns from Saratoga County, New York State, and Nationally. This is poised to be an historic night, so why not share it with fellow Republicans!

Appetizers will be provided, Cash Bar Available!

New Poll Shows Attorney General Candidate Michael Henry Defeating Letitia James

September 13, 2022

New York, NY — A Trafalgar/Insider Advantage Poll released today put Michael Henry ahead of Letitia James in the race for Attorney General.

“This is a winnable race and I am excited that New Yorkers have welcomed me into their communities so that I could listen to issues that transcend political affiliation. New Yorkers are sick and tired of rising crime, corruption and skyrocketing cost of living. Together, we are all going to put an end to pro-criminal policies like bail reform that continues to generate victim after victim after victim. We are going to root out the culture of pay-to-play corruption that corrodes confidence in government. And, we are going to reduce cost-of-living in this state,” said Henry.

The poll of 1,091 likely general election voters was conducted between August 31 and September 1.

Saratoga County Poised to Sign New Lease on Code Blue Shelter

SARATOGA SPRINGS – John Rolerad was in his 70s the first time he stayed in a Code Blue shelter. It was a rainy and cold fall night in 2020, and he’d been living in the woods in Glens Falls for several days. The now-75-year-old said he knew he wouldn’t be able to survive very long if he had to keep sleeping outside, so he was relieved to find respite at the Open Door Mission Code Blue shelter in Glens Falls. That facility then connected him to Shelters of Saratoga, which housed him for half a year while he found his footing and secured an apartment.

A former professional cook, Rolerad helped out with meal preparation during his time at the Saratoga Springs shelter on Walworth Street. And when he was able to move into his own apartment, he was so grateful to the staff and community at Shelters of Saratoga that he decided to come back as a volunteer cook.

“I wanted to help the people that come here, because I know what it was like, and I thought with my skills I could train some of the people who have never cooked before – besides [using] the microwave,” Rolerad said Monday as he spread chicken wings and thighs onto a baking sheet. He’d be serving the chicken with macaroni and cheese, salad and dinner rolls.

Rolerad’s experience paying it forward seemed especially relevant this week as Saratoga County was poised to renew the lease on Saratoga Springs’ Code Blue shelter at 145 South Broadway on Tuesday. The agreement, good from July 19 through April 30, 2023, ensures the county has a facility to house people experiencing homelessness during cold winter nights. The lease agreement with property owner Joanne Kodogiannis for $8,000 per month, allows the county to continue to host a Code Blue shelter at the same site it has been using as a Code Blue shelter for the past three winters.

Separate from the county’s more permanent shelter on Walworth Street, which houses people around the clock for an average of 54 days, Code Blue shelters provide overnight housing when temperatures drop below freezing.

Saratoga County’s Code Blue shelter averaged 44 people over 160 nights last winter, according Stephanie Romeo, associate executive director of Shelters of Saratoga. The Code Blue facility hosted 286 unique individuals from November to April, Romeo said.

At Code Blue shelters, guests are provided a pillow, blanket and cot, as well as a hot meal, which is donated by local organizations and restaurants.

“People really get excited for vegetables. They are not as common, so when we do have nice veggies, people get excited for that,” said Allison Nolan, who provides outreach support for Shelters of Saratoga. Chipotle is also a big hit, Nolan said.

While support staff at Code Blue shelters are trained to de-escalate any conflicts that arise, Nolan said guests are typically peaceful. Sing-alongs at the Code Blue shelter are commonplace, Nolan said, whenever one of the guests brings a guitar or another plays classic rock from a speaker.

Guests at Code Blue shelters aren’t asked to provide much more information than their name, and while they aren’t allowed to bring in weapons, drugs or alcohol, people under the influence are permitted. The goal is to have a low barrier of entry so that people are encouraged to come inside and stay safe, Romeo said.

Code Blue shelters often serve as an introduction to other homelessness services provided by Shelters of Saratoga, Romeo said. Shelters of Saratoga was in contact with 315 individuals experiencing homelessness last year, Romeo said.

Shelters of Saratoga has 23 beds at two buildings on Walworth Street. While Shelters of Saratoga relies heavily on grants and donations to operate its main shelter and employ a staff of about 30, including part-time support staff, funding for the Code Blue shelter comes from the county, Romeo said.

The main facility on Walworth Street feels very much like a home. The living room has four couches. The fridge is filled with deli meats, dinner leftovers and yogurts. The pantry downstairs is stocked with Cheerios, granola bars and peanut butter.

While staying at the shelter – typically for no more than 90 days – guests receive help from Shelters of Saratoga support staff and program staff with everything from acquiring necessary forms and pieces of identification to apply for jobs to finding housing to maintaining sobriety.

Adam Doyle, a 40-year-old who said he has a psychological disability and has been at the Walworth Street shelter for six weeks, said last week one support staff member went to the pharmacy to get Doyle’s heart medication when his supply ran low.

Phil Barrett, Clifton Park’s Town Supervisor and a member of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, said signing the new lease agreement at the Code Blue shelter allows the county to continue to offer vital services to help the homeless population. Still, Barrett said more needs to be done.

“We’re in the process of developing additional ideas to help alleviate the issue of homelessness in Saratoga County,” Barrett said. “We’re going to continue to have those discussions, and we are all agreeing that we need to work together to get people on a positive track.”

Gabrielle Renzulli, 24, has been living at the Walworth Street shelter for about a month. She said she has a housekeeping job lined up at a local hospital that will begin in two weeks, after she gets her second COVID-19 vaccine dose. Raised in Queensbury, Renzulli said she spent three days on a Greyhound bus to come back to upstate New York after her boyfriend in Texas became abusive. She came to this region because she said the homelessness resources here are better than in other areas.

While Renzulli said she has never spent a night in a Code Blue shelter, she said if her situation had occurred just a few months earlier, she very well may have found herself landing at the facility on South Broadway.

“It’s definitely important because it gets really cold up here in the north. The ice and snow is deadly here,” Renzulli said. “Just having some place to go for the night to be able to sleep and recover and get back at it the next day, it’s having that place at night to rest your head.”

Andrew Waite can be reached at and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.

Published: Daily Gazette

Saratoga County Presents $50k Check to Saratoga County Fair

Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Town of Moreau Supervisor Theodore T. Kusnierz, Jr. recently presented a check for $50,000 to Jennifer Flinton, President of the Saratoga County Fair at the America’s Turning Point tent. The County awarded the grant to the Fair as part of its Non-Profit COVID Relief Grant Fund. Also pictured are 18th-century reenactors and children from the Ballston Area Community Center Summer Day Program. (Photo provided)

Published: The Saratogian

Saratoga County Healthiest in New York State

SARATOGA COUNTY — A U.S. News & World Report ranking nearly 3,000 U.S. counties and county equivalents in 89 metrics across 10 health and health-related categories has named Saratoga County at number 60 in its overall rankings, and tops in all of New York State.   

The ranking system used 89 individual metrics, and communities were scored across 10 categories: Population Health, Equity, Education, Economy, Housing, Food & Nutrition, Environment, Public Safety, Community Vitality, and Infrastructure. 

Saratoga County’s highest rankings came in the Education, Public Safety, Economy, and Population Health categories. The county’s lowest rankings came in the Housing and Community Vitality categories. 

The broad framework of categories and subcategories is based on factors key to evaluating community health that were identified by the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics – a policy advisory board to the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – as part of its Measurement Framework for Community Health and Well-Being.

The top 3 ranked communities in the country, according to the report are: Los Alamos County, New Mexico; Falls Church City, Virginia, and Douglas County, Colorado. 

Nassau County, at number 98, was the only other New York community to rank in the top 100. Of Saratoga’s neighboring counties which made it to the top 500, Warren Country was ranked at number 357 overall, Albany County at 444, and Rensselaer County at 442.   

For an in-depth analysis and the complete Healthiest Communities Rankings of 2022 list, go to: 

Published: Saratoga Today

Saratoga County Cuts Fuel Tax as Gas Prices Keep Setting Records

BALLSTON SPA — As Capital Region gasoline prices set another record Wednesday, Saratoga County moved to give motorists a little relief at the pump.

County supervisors voted to opt in to the tax break the state is allowing counties to offer. The move will take effect June 1 and save consumers several cents per gallon through Dec. 31.

The pennies will add up: County officials estimate the cumulative savings for motorists this year will equal $4 million if gas prices remain in the $4-per-gallon range. 

“That’s a sizable savings across the county,” said Moreau Town Supervisor Theodore T. Kusnierz Jr., chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

That also means a $4 million drop in revenue to the county, but officials say the revenue projections for 2022 were drawn conservatively. Sales tax revenue so far is significantly higher than projected, and should make up for the loss.

AAA reports that regular unleaded gasoline averaged a record $4.59 per gallon in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area Wednesday. That compares with $4.20 a month ago and $2.98 a year ago. 

The price of diesel fuel, which factors into so many aspects of commerce, has surged even more: It averaged a whopping $6.45 a gallon Wednesday, up from $5.06 a month ago and $3.08 a year ago.

As part of the budget process concluded last month, New York state decided to cut its fuel tax by 16 cents a gallon from June 1 through Dec. 31. It also authorized counties to implement cuts of their own. 

Schenectady County took that step in late April, and Saratoga County followed Wednesday, with a 21-1 vote.

Savings will vary for consumers.

Saratoga County currently taxes fuel at the same rate as other sales, at 3 cents on the dollar. On June 1, it will effectively switch the tax on fuel to a flat 6 cents per gallon. 

So the motorist saves 9 cents per gallon if each gallon costs $5, or 12 cents if the gallon costs $6. If gas suddenly drops to $3 a gallon, the savings will be only 3 cents per gallon.

Supervisor Tara Gaston of Saratoga Springs, who cast the only vote against the tax break, said she objected to the lack of public input and questioned the need for speed. 

Kusnierz said the board had to act by May 16 to get the cut in place by June 1; if it missed the window, the cut could not take effect until the start of the next sales tax quarter, on Sept. 1.

Gaston also asked what fiscal impact cutting the fuel tax would have on the county.

Multiple factors are at play there: Sales tax revenue so far in 2022 is exceeding both the 2021 total and the budgeted 2022 amounts. But county government itself is paying more for fuel. The cost of summer highway projects alone is expected to climb almost $1 million because of this.

But all told, the finances should even out, Saratoga County Manager Steve Bulger said.

Edinburg Supervisor Jean Raymond said she would support the tax cut, but reluctantly, because there’s no way to guarantee or even check that motorists will actually see the benefits: Retailers could raise prices by a few cents a gallon and cancel out the savings.

“Your point is well-taken,” Kusnierz said, adding that he’d spoken to the largest fuel distributor in the county about that scenario. The distributor, which he didn’t identify, was confident that motorists would see actual savings.

The subject of environmental and economic justice didn’t come up at Wednesday’s meeting.

In March, a coalition of environmental, poverty, transit and good-government advocacy groups urged the state not to grant a gas tax holiday, saying it would benefit the wealthy because they drive more than the poor, and would remove an incentive to drive less and pollute less.

Saratoga County is one of the wealthier counties in upstate New York, and its residents are heavily dependent on cars because so much of the county is suburban or rural.

It’s also a solidly Republican county, both in voter enrollment and elected leadership. 

Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett framed the tax cut as a small step within the larger context of decisions made by Democrats in Albany and Washington. 

“I think there’s some merit in the consideration that every little bit helps,” he said. “Really, the only initiative that can have a dramatic effect on the price of energy is changing the energy policy both on the federal and state side of things.”

Whether New Yorkers drive fewer miles as fuel prices climb higher remains to be seen.

Data from multiple federal agencies suggest that Americans take their foot off the gas pedal when the economy is slumping, but not necessarily when gas prices are soaring.

Annual miles driven in the United States nearly tripled from 1970 to 2020, increasing each year except during the recession of 1973-1975, the malaise and recessions of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the small recession of 1990-1991 and the Great Recession of the late 2000s, with lingering after-effects well into the 2010s.

The steepest drop of all, however, was February 2020 to February 2021, when COVID limited travel and commuting.

Miles driven then increased every month from March 2021 to February 2022, the last month for which data are available — even as fuel prices skyrocketed 50%.

Saratoga Springs Candidate Robin Dalton Lies About Bankruptcy Filing

Two weeks before Robin Dalton, the Saratoga Springs public safety commissioner, announced on April 14 her candidacy for mayor, she filed for bankruptcy protection under her birth name, Robin Lakian.

When asked about the bankruptcy petition on Thursday, Dalton denied that such a filing existed: “I’ve literally never filed for bankruptcy,” she said. “I have no idea what you are talking about… I think I would know if I filed for bankruptcy.”  READ MORE ON THIS EXPLOSIVE STORY HERE:  

Our Military and Our Allies No Longer Trust Biden

President Biden has lost the trust of the military, our allies — and the American people. In April, the president promised that troops would come home from Afghanistan “responsibly, deliberately, and safely,” downplaying any risk associated with withdrawal.

Today, he says the “evacuation of thousands of people from Kabul was going to be hard and painful no matter when it started, when we began.” Continue reading the article here: