FREE VOLUME 2: NUMBER 31 WEEK OF JANUARY 21-27, 2016 On the rise Most Fulton County districts see 2015 graduation rates improve By JOHN BORGOLINI Fulton County Express Gloversville Water Board considers
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FREE VOLUME 2: NUMBER 31 WEEK OF JANUARY 21-27, 2016 On the rise Most Fulton County districts see 2015 graduation rates improve By JOHN BORGOLINI Fulton County Express Gloversville Water Board considers removing fluoride By LEVI PASCHER Fulton County Express The New York State Department of Education released its graduation rate figures for 2015 last week, which showed an increase in almost all Fulton County school districts. The Greater Johnstown School District was the only district in the county that showed a drop in its graduation rate, albeit a one percent drop from 83 percent in 2014 to 82 percent in The Mayfield Central School District led all county districts with a 95 percent graduation rate, up from 84 percent in Superintendent Jon Peterson, who began serving his position July 1 last year, said he has discussed this increase with several district officials to get an idea of how he can help continue this graduation trend. I think the consensus is, number one, we were early adopters of the Common Core learning standards, Peterson said. These standards came with a couple of things. Number one, they were much higher standards than what we had PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID AMSTERDAM, NY PERMIT #26 ECRWSS *********ECRWSSEDDM********* Please see GRADUATION, Page 4 RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER GLOVERSVILLE, NY TINKERING AROUND Photo by Alex Cooper Broadalbin-Perth student and Programming People team member Jack Bartow fixes a course obstacle during a practice run at the LEGO League Robotics Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 16 at Amsterdam High School. Students designed a LEGO robot that could be programmed to operate independently and accomplish several tasks. See more pictures on pages 6 and 7. GLOVERSVILLE The city Water Board is currently considering the possibility of removing fluoride from the water to accommodate the city of Johnstown, according to city officials. Water Department Superintendent Christopher Satterlee said the removal of fluoride is being considered after Johnstown was seeking Gloversville water for a section of the city experiencing water pressure issues but decided against it because they don't allow fluoridated water. He said the discussions in Gloversville of possibly removing the substance are only preliminary at this stage. Satterlee said the decision to change the water could ultimately be made through either a public referendum or the decision by the Water Board. The Water Board has the choice to put it Lexi Swatt takes Miss Fulton County crown Photo by Alex Cooper Lexi Swatt sings during the talent competition of the Miss Fulton County Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, Jan. 16. Swatt was crowned the winner. By JOHN BORGOLINI Fulton County Express GLOVERSVILLE Lexi Swatt was surprised Saturday night at the Gloversville Middle School when she heard her name announced as Miss Fulton County Swatt was one of five county women competing for the title. Once I heard my name, obviously my face showed how surprised I was, because this year, even though there were only five of us, they were all so fantastic, Swatt said. And they all really knew what they were doing -- even the girls who were competing for their first or second time. It was a great time, and to even have this honor, it's insane. I can't believe it. Swatt is a Johnstown High School graduate who now attends Monmouth University where she is on track to Please see PAGEANT, Page 3 Please see FLUORIDE, Page 2 Photo by Alex Cooper Morgan Romano is pictured during the opening ceremony of the Miss Fulton County Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, Jan. 16. Romano was the runner-up OFF WEATHERTECH FLOOR LINERS Expires February 29, West Fulton St. (Rt 29A) Gloversville (518) W W W. F U L T O N C O U N T Y E X P R E S S. C O M Page 2 week of January 21-27, 2016 Annual ice fishing competitions cancelled due to thin ice By JOHN BORGOLINI Fulton County Express MAYFIELD After inspecting the ice levels at several spots on the Great Sacandaga Lake Monday, Lou Stutzke of Fuel N Food announced that it wouldn t be safe to hold the Walleye Challenge at the end of the month. For the first time in its eight-year history, the tournament that draws over 1,500 people had to be called off due to insufficient ice levels on the lake. A raffle will still be held at Lanzi s on the Lake beginning at noon Jan. 30. Last week, leading up to Monday s determination, Stutzke said safety is the most important thing when making this decision even if that means sacrificing the turnout for the event. Even if it is down 50 percent the draw and the economic impact it s one year. It s no big deal, he said. If someone were to go out there and get hurt because we had this contest for economic reasons, that would kill the contest forever. I m the one who makes that decision, and I would not want to live with that decision, that I made the wrong one. Safety is always the most important thing. In a message posted to Fuel N Food s Facebook page, Stutzke said that the most ice seen on the lake Monday was seven inches in the bay near Lakeside Tavern, but most of the bays had four to five inches of ice. He also said on much of the lake from Beacon Point to the north and east, there was only one to two inches of ice. Last week, Stutzke said he would like to see at least six inches at Sinclair Point in Northampton to feel good about hosting the contest. He also said Monday that in the 10-day forecast he didn t see enough cold weather to feel confident that the lake will make significant enough ice everywhere by next Saturday. Gina DaBiere-Gibbs, tourism director of the Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce, said they are still encouraging people to come for the raffle at Lanzi s on the Lake and to explore Fulton County. She said that 53 percent of the 1,750 ticketholders come from outside the Fulton County area. DaBiere-Gibbs said there are still other events taking place over the weekend including a snowmobile hill climb at Royal Mountain. This cancellation also means the Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation s annual ice-fishing tournament, held on the same day, has been cancelled. Federation Chairman Randy Gardinier said the members are going to talk to other organizations who hold ice-fishing contests, but they will most likely have to rely on their spring and summer fishing tournaments to raise money to stock the lake in the fall. As far as ice, we re going to have a meeting tonight to see if there is anything we can do, Gardinier said Tuesday. There are several other groups who have their ice-fishing contests coming up Realistically, you don t want to step on the foot of another group who is having an event the same day Going forward, hopefully we ll be able to have good events throughout the rest of the year and we ll be able to pick up donations for stocking. He said last week that 100 percent of the federation s members are volunteers, and any money that they receive goes directly back into stocking the lake. Gardinier said this will be the 25th anniversary of the federation s summer fishing tournament. He said he s unsure if that will draw more of a turnout. Regardless, he said people have always been good at supporting the federation and its events. It s just difficult, because the icefishing contest is probably our biggest fundraising contest of the year, he said. I guess you have to take the good years with the bad. We ve had several good years as of late. It s been nine years since we haven t been able to hold the contest. It s Mother Nature, and we can t change it It s safety first. The last thing you want is a successful contest overshadowed by somebody going through the ice and drowning or something like that. No amount of money is going to be worth that. Fluoride from page 1 out to a public referendum or they could just vote to take it out, he said. He said the board is waiting for the state to develop a set of guidelines on what would need to be done to take it out of the water source. The Department of Health is writing a guidance on removing fluoride, which includes a 90 day comment period, Satterlee said. During that period the public would be able to voice their concerns and [Department of Health] would bring in experts to inform everyone on what it does and the benefits it brings. He said Johnstown has previously stated the city will not change its laws to allow fluoridated water to be brought in from Gloversville, which led to the Gloversville Water Board discussion of possibly removing it. He said fluoride started being used in Gloversville in 1958 and doesn't serve any cleaning purpose other than dental health benefits. Satterlee said the amount of fluoride used in Gloversville is about.7 parts per million gallons of water. He said the Water Department currently spends about 5,000 a year to purchase the little amount of fluoride it introduces to the water supply on an annual basis. It's a very small dose, he said. I think it's a small expense for some pretty significant benefits. Satterlee said after speaking with local health officials he believes the use of fluoride in water helps prevents cavities and is having a positive impact within the city. A lot of parents and children can't afford to regularly go to the dentist so this has been their link to dental health, he said. Speaking with dentist in Fulton County they have said they can see a noticeable difference between those that come from the city of Gloversville and those that come from other parts of the county. He said opponents to the use of fluoride believe it can cause other health problems. Gloversville Mayor Dayton King said he and members of the council are concerned about the city making major changes to the water supply simply to accommodate neighboring Johnstown. I want our community to grow within Fulton County but not at the expense of our city, he said. Both King and Satterlee said when the Smart Waters deal was previously negotiated Fulton County officials never brought up an issue with fluoride being used in the water source that could supply numerous municipalities around the area. It never came up, King said. This was never an issue besides with the city of Johnstown. Smart Waters will continue to happen, Satterlee said. If Johnstown doesn't want our water with fluoride then it will flow right around them to the other municipalities that need it. King said he believes if Johnstown wants to use Gloversville water they should consider changing its laws to accept it or find an alternative to have it removed. If we are looking to sell water to the city of Johnstown and they don't want the fluoride then they need to figure it out, the mayor said. If we want fluoride I don't think we should change so they can get the water they need to grow and expand business. We want to help each other but we can't help another municipality at our own expense. Johnstown Mayor Michael Julius couldn t be 312 Jansen Ave., Suite 100, Johnstown YOUR YEAR ROUND CRAFT SHOW We are pleased to offer the works of these talented artisans Linda Hemmerich (Sweet Annie) Fabric & Needlework Claudia Collins Wool felting, Stitcheries, Needlework Melisa Feinour Paper Crafting Beverly Bartlett (The Apron Lady) Aprons & Kitchen Accessories Theresa Morici Wood & Fabric Home Decor Robin Hitchcock Photography Sharon Manno Quilts, Dolls, & Home Decor - Gift Certificates Available - W-F 11-5 Sat Sharon Manno, Proprietress reached for comment. A previous engineering study to evaluate Johnstown's water system revealed the municipality has some options to increase capacity. The most feasible option showed 500,000 gallons per day of extra water could be transferred from Gloversville to Johnstown at an estimated infrastructure investment of 255,000. C.T. Male Associates engineer Chad Kortz previously told Johnstown if it is looking to increase their own capacity Kevin McClary Publisher Geoffrey Dylong Associate Publisher Brian Krohn General Manager Joe Ulrich Ad Manager Lori Hinkle Controller Levi Pascher Editor John Borgolini Staff Reporter Steve Hansen Advertising Executive further investments would be required that would raise the cost to more than 5 million. Johnstown currently has a safe yield of about 3 million gallons per day and on peak days it has previously reached 2.8 million gallons. Satterlee said the city of Gloversville has about 1 billion gallons of water between all of its reservoirs that could be used to potentially supply Johnstown and other municipalities. He said the city currently uses about 1.8 million gallons per day. Published Every Thursday by McClary Media, Inc. Editorial Policy The Fulton County Express accepts signed letters from readers and reserves the right to reject any advertisement, letter or news copy. Copyright Policy The Fulton County Express retains all copyright ownership of advertisements created by its staff members. Advertising Claims The Fulton County Express does not guarantee the accuracy of any claim made by any advertiser. Advertising Rates Available on request. Available FREE at many commercial locations in the Fulton County area. Mail to: The Fulton County Express 1 Venner Road., Amsterdam, NY Phone: (518) or Fax: (518) Contact us at week of January 21-27, 2016 Page 3 Pageant from page 1 Photo by Alex Cooper Priscilla Smouse sings during the talent competition 42 North Main Street Gloversville NY (518) Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B Sherman Robert Lopez, & Kristen Anderson-Lopez Photo by Alex Cooper Lauren Simonds sings during the talent competition of the Miss Fulton County Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, Jan. 16 at Gloversville Middle School. Music Adapted & Arranged and Additional Music by Will Van Dyke Book by Cheryl Davis Based on the stories of A.A. Milne & the 2011 Disney Animated Feature Film January 28, 29, & 30 at 7pm January 31 at 2pm Director: Gregory Mytelka Musical Director: Meredith Galea Choreographer: Anthony Balogh Stage Manager: Devan Eagan Costumer: Deborah Rochet Disney s Winnie the Pooh KIDS is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized materials are supplied by Music Theatre International, 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY Script, music and all other material 2011 Disney graduate one year early with a bachelor's degree in communications for radio or television. She hopes to become a sports broadcaster for a major television network. In the meantime, she will be representing Fulton County on her Love Yourself: Promoting self confidence in girls and women platform. Most of all, I'm looking to go to the local public schools and throughout the county and really reaching out about my platform, she said. It's really to promote inner body, inner beauty, especially at such a young age for elementary, middle school and high school students to really understand what it means to have inner beauty and to understand what's on the outside has nothing to do with what's on the inside. I've dealt with a lot issues myself growing up. It took until my freshman year in college to understand who I am on the outside and who I am on the inside really make a nice mesh. But just because who I am on the outside shouldn't affect the inner beauty I have on the inside. I just want to make sure that girls my age who are struggling don't have that [problem] that they are able to recognize who they are and build confidence. Photo by Alex Cooper Lexi Swatt is pictured during the opening ceremony. Swatt competed with Caroga Lake's Heather Graves, Broadalbin's Lauren Simonds, Gloversville's Priscilla Smouse and runner-up Morgan Romano of Johnstown. If for any reason Swatt is unable to perform her duties as Miss Fulton County, Romano would serve the role. For the talent portion of the pageant, Swatt sang Miranda Lambert's The House that Built Me. Two other contestants sang as well, with Smouse singing a the song Popular from Wicked and Simonds singing Adele's Set Fire to the Rain. Meanwhile, Graves performed an interpretive dance to a spoken-word song, and Romano performed a tap dance routine to Michael Jackson's Blame it on the Boogie. In addition to representing the county, Swatt also received a 4,000 scholarship and will represent Fulton County in the Miss New York Pageant. Swatt's father, Christopher, shared his daughter's surprise when he heard her name. I was shocked, Christopher said. She's really comfortable in her own skin. We really thought she would be nervous. Swatt said she is excited to compete in the Miss New York Pageant and meet the other winners from across the state. Serving Daily Breakfast, Lunch Dinner and Lite Fare ENJOY CASUAL NIGHTLY DINING BY OUR FIREPLACE North Comrie Avenue Johnstown Locally Owned & Operated Offering Full Service Banquet Facilities Up to 300 People Showers Rehearsal Dinners Business & Retirement Parties Family & Class Reunions Holiday Parties Wedding Ceremonies/Receptions ~ Any Special Occasion ~ SNOW PLOW REPAIRS Broadalbin Manufacturing Corp. 8 Pine St. Broadalbin - Mike Deuel, Owner Phone: (518) Fax: (518) or Machining Fabricating Welding of ALL Types As Well As On Site Welding Repair (on site or off site) Page 4 week of January 21-27, 2016 Gloversville takes ownership of potential access road By LEVI PASCHER Fulton County Express GLOVERSVILLE The city of Gloversville has officially accepted ownership and maintenance of a proposed street that could become a future access road along Route 30A. Last week, the Common Council supported a resolution that gave the city ownership of a section of land off Steele Avenue that could potentially be used to access future developments along the state roadway. The Common Council previously passed a local law to annex the 16-acre property, owned by Recreational Realty and Stephen Mauro, into the City of Gloversville and allow the owners to link into the available services. The city has been working to get break-in access for the planned access road from the state Department of Transportation. However, in order to move that process along the city was required to own the new roadway that would be constructed and create the intersection where the potential break-in access would be permitted. Mayor Dayton King said the council previously passed a similar resolution taking ownership of the planned roadway but it was determined there were some minor issues that needed to be addressed. We finally got that done correctly, King said. We passed that resolution in December but we had the wrong [parcel numbers] so we made that right and we are ready to move forward. The city previously submitted an access request packet which included a finalized study of the accessroad proposal to the state Department of Transportation for its approval. The DOT responded to that packet but wanted it to be made clear the city's plan is to have development and commercial businesses on the edge of the city along Route 30A. The city accomplished this request within the 2015 Comprehensive Plan. DOT Regional Spokesman Jim Piccola said the state DOT decision, which he estimated could take between four to six weeks, would only be conceptual and the city or developers would still need to seek engineering approvals later in the process. We haven't received the official resolution yet but once that happens it would be put together with the package and move forward in the process, Piccola said. The proposed access road would run on the west side of Route 30A and continue parallel with it for about a mile between South Kingsboro Avenue and Steele Avenue. The road would have direct access to South Kingsboro Avenue at one end and Steele Avenue at the other end. If granted approval from the state, the access road would connect with Route 30A at the halfway point. Mauro previously said the land will be used for future businesses and economic development. King said he believes if the access to the Route 30A corridor is permitted it could lead to major development in the future. We know that they want to develop that property wi
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