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Derrick/Woolf to meet with Warren County Democratic Committee

Mike Derrick, the retired Army colonel considering a run for Congress in the 21st Congressional District, and Aaron Woolf, who ran in 2014, will both meet with the Warren County Democratic Committee June 9, said Warren County Democratic Chairwoman Lynne Boecher.

Boecher said it is not clear whether Woolf, a filmmaker from Elizabethtown, intends to run again, or if he is coming to speak about other projects he is working on.

Woolf showed up unexpectedly at a recent Queensbury Democratic meet and greet, she said.

"I had no notification that he was coming," Boecher said. "He did come up to me and say, 'Lynne, we have to talk.'"

On Monday, Woolf e-mailed Boecher and asked to speak at the June 9 meeting, at which Derrick already was scheduled to speak.

Derrick, who recently moved back to Clinton County from Colorado, said in May he is exploring the race. 

"His resume seems credible, and it seems like he's had some great life experience," Boecher said, referring to Derrick.

Democrats are seeking a candidate to run against Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, in 2016.

Boecher said Derrick and Woolf will have about 10 minutes each to speak with the committee, as the committee also will be discussing endorsements in 2015 races.

The meeting is closed to the public.

47 minutes ago(0)

With police, it's double standard from top to bottom

I've been on vacation, and while catching up on reading the news, I've been wondering why the Saratoga Springs officer who appeared to assault a driver without provocation has not been charged with a crime.

I'm referring to Officer Nathan Baker of Salem, who appeared to illegally detain Adam Rupeka of Troy, after Rupeka flashed him his middle finger. Baker made the situation worse by pepper-spraying Rupeka while he was sitting in his seat, buckled in, then reaching into Rupeka's car, grabbing his arm, pulling it out the window and twisting it.

Baker is a bully. He also seems to be not terribly bright, since he knew he was being filmed. Or perhaps, he had become so accustomed to physically bullying people, and getting away with it, he believed he could act with impunity.

Now, Baker's bosses are backing up his feelings of impunity by failing to charge him. They are doing an "internal investigation," which is police-speak for "we'll sit on this for a few months, then pretend it never happened."

A funny coda to the episode comes in the recent case of the troglodyte sports fan who was shouting insults, including a racial slur, at the Glens Falls JV lacrosse goalie. The goalie's father wanted the buffoon arrested, but Saratoga County Sheriff's Department said no crime was committed.

Lt. Dan Jones said using a racial slur is not a crime, but "freedom of speech."

" ... kind of like giving somebody the finger,” Jones said.

Was Jones sending a message to Officer Baker and other police officers that, indeed, Rupeka is correct and flashing the middle finger, while rude, is not a crime?

I don't know what Jones meant by his comment, if anything. Perhaps it was a coincidence. But here's the question: If the lacrosse player's father had assaulted the slur-shouting fan with a weapon, the way Baker assaulted Rupeka, would the local officers have launched an "internal investigation" or would the father be facing charges?

2 hours ago(0)
Sneak peek at a big one

Sneak peek at a big one

The Hudson River Music Hall has some big plans for the summer, and the biggest, perhaps, is a two-day festival in Lake George August 16 and 17.

Here's an advance look at the "British Invasion."

2 hours ago(0)

Stefanik co-sponsorship update

Catching up on legislation U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, has recently co-sponsored:

  • HR 2551 which Rep. Martha McSallly, R-Ariz., introduced May 21 authorizing the Veterans Administration to pay for veterans to attend pre-apprenticeship programs;
  • HR 893 which Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb,, introduced Feb. 25 to authorize the U.S. Department of Treasury to mint and distribute a series to commemorate the centennial of the the founding of Father Flanagin's Boy's Town;
  • HR 2393 which Rep. Michael Conway, R-TX, introduced May 18 to repeal country of origin labeling for beef, pork and chicken. (Watch All Politics is Local blog for more on this legislation.)
2 hours ago(0)

Polls and pairings

If rainy days ARE Mondays, how down are you? Well, I can try to fix that with state polls and playoff pairings.

The polls are a few days old, and I imagine this week's will more closely reflect the playoff situation, but it is interesting to compare the two.

First, the poll: http://newyorksportswriters.org/rankings/2015-baseball-06.shtml#.VWxqLk_BzGc

Now, the pairings. Please note the direct link is to Class AA, you can switch to other classes by clicking on the desired on at the top: http://www.newyorksportswriters.org/brackets/2015-boys-baseball-aa.shtml#.VWxr-0_BzGc

3 hours ago(0)

Today would be a good day to go fishing

My dad taught me a lot about fishing, and how to use weather conditions was among the many lessons I remember.

So one of the first things that jumped to my mind this morning (Monday) was that it would be a good day to be on a trout stream around here.

Yes, it would be cold, wet and raw. But after the dry spell we have had, with streams dropping to near-record low levels, trout are likely rejoicing by feeding aggressively.

When water gets that low and clear, trout spend more time hiding from predators than feeding. With water levels up and discolored from runoff, they generally will feel more comfortable moving around.

The rain gauge at my house in Queensbury showed just under 2 inches since Saturday morning. Even with that rain, many local streams were just getting back up to average flows for this time of year as of Monday morning.

More rain is coming, which is good. We had a big deficit to make up since the beginning of the year.

-- Don Lehman

5 hours ago(0)

Fort Ann rolls to fifth straight sectional title

Fort Ann completed its run to a fifth consecutive Section II title Friday with a 3-0 victory over Loudonville Christian. It is also the Cardinals' 11th Section II title in the last 14 years.

Senior Molly Bailey pitched a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts and one walk, as she dominated in the circle and was backed by flawless defense -- which did not allow either of Loudonville's baserunners past first base. Junior Bri Amodio drove in two of the Cardinals' runs and Emily Jackson added the other RBI -- and the game never seemed that close. It was Fort Ann's third straight Section II title-game shutout.

Here's a quick glance at Fort Ann's five-year run at Section II titles:

2011 -- Fort Ann 3, Germantown 2 (8 innings) -- Alli Clark hit a full-count RBI single with two out in the bottom of the eighth to score Kayla Bancroft with the winning run. Kara White had turned a double play with a spectacular diving catch in center field and threw out a runner at second to get the Cardinals out of the top of the eighth with no damage. Also, senior pitcher Kindra Monahan threw only about 75 pitches (including a three-pitch inning and two seven-pitch innings) and retired the side in order five times, scattering six singles in the process.

2012 -- Fort Ann 11, Loudonville Christian 4 -- The Cardinals racked up 12 hits, with Kaleigh Foran going 4 for 4 with two doubles and five RBIs, including a three-run double. Four other Cardinals had two hits each, including freshman pitcher Molly Bailey, who held Loudonville Christian to three hits with nine strikeouts. It was Fort Ann's eighth Section II title in 11 years.

2013 -- Fort Ann 13, Germantown 0 -- The Cardinals rolled to their third straight Section II title as sophomore Molly Bailey hurled a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and no walks and they rattled off 13 hits. Kara White went 4 for 5 with two doubles, and Kayla Bancroft socked a solo home run. White, Bancroft, Kaleigh Foran and Kimmi Ostrander each drove in three runs. The Cardinals went on to win their first state title since 2006.

2014 -- Fort Ann 14, Loudonville Christian 0 -- Fort Ann again collected 12 hits and pitcher Molly Bailey pitched a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts. Leading 3-0 in the first when the game was suspended by a thunderstorm on Friday, the Cardinals piled on seven more runs in the third on Saturday. Fort Ann went on to win states for the second year in a row.

2015 -- Here's a look at this year's Section II championship victory for Fort Ann:

Loudonville Christian first

-- Molly Bailey struck out the first batter, induced a flyout, walked No. 3 batter Ange Stephano, then struck out cleanup batter Kristin Hannay.

Fort Ann first

-- Bailey cleared out her own nerves by smacking a double to deep right field on the first pitch thrown by the Eagles' Jasmine Mullally. with one out, Bri Amodio ripped a line-drive single up the middle to score Bailey, but was thrown out trying to reach second. A groundout ended the inning.

Loudonville second

-- Bailey retired the side in order on two strikeouts and an easy grounder back to her.

Fort Ann second

-- Taylor Foran drew a walk, but Mullally struck out the next three batters in row.

Loudonville third

-- Bailey struck out the side.

Fort Ann third

-- With two outs, Casey Batchelder reached on a grounder that went through the legs of the Loudonville Christian second baseman. Amodio then nailed an RBI double to right field to score Batchelder all the way from first for a 2-0 Cardinals lead. A flyout ended the inning.

Loudonville fourth

-- Bailey retired the side in order again on two groundouts and a popup. She had retired 10 straight batters at this point.

Fort Ann fourth

-- Foran led off with a bloop infield single, reached second on Demi Stockman's sacrifice bunt, and scored on Emily Jackson's two-out RBI single on a line-drive past third base into left field.

Loudonville fifth

-- Mullally broke up Bailey's no-hitter with a single to short left-center. However, Amodio made a diving catch of a popup right in front of home plate from her catcher position. Then Bailey struck out the next two batters looking to end the inning.

Fort Ann fifth

-- Molly Bailey led off by ripping a double down the first-base line, but Mullally ended the threat by retiring the next three batters in order.

Loudonville sixth

-- Again, Bailey retired the side in order on a popup, a strikeout and a liner right to the glove of third baseman Allison Vrooman.

Fort Ann sixth

-- Foran led off with a base hit and Sarah Paige came on as her courtesy runner. Stockman laid down another sac bunt to move Paige to second. However, a flyout and a groundout ended the inning.

Loudonville seventh

-- Fort Ann first baseman Taylor Foran -- who just came back from a knee injury midway through May -- made a diving catch of a pop foul for the first out. Another popup and a strikeout ended the game for the Cardinals, who celebrated their fifth Section II title in a row.

-- Also Friday:

-- Hoosic Valley cruised to a 7-2 victory over Maple Hill for the the Indians' first Section II title since 2007 -- the year Valley won the state title.

-- Section II Most Valuable Player Caraline Wood of Averill Park drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Warriors to a 3-2 victory over Troy for the Class A title. It is Averill Park's first Section II title since 1985.

-- Ichabod Crane defeated Cohoes 3-1 for the Class B crown.

-- Shenendehowa shut down Shaker 7-0 for the Class AA title.

17 hours ago(0)

Got any ideas?

OK, so I am a sucker for special stories, especially the warm, fuzzy ones.

I am actively looking ideas for Father's Day stories involving folks in or from Washington or Warren counties.

Please drop me a note at btoscano@poststar.com if you have any ideas. 

The sooner the better and feel free to pass this along.

18 hours ago(0)

A couple notes from the Section II playoffs

I haven't had time to do a full breakdown of the Section II Softball Tournament's final four yet -- I apologize, but with only four people currently in the sports department, we're all doing everything we can to stay on top of things. Wednesday's storms turned the Section II final four into a two-day, Thursday/Friday tournament, which left little time to write something up. I had a desk shift on Saturday, too, so I had no time to do anything until after deadline -- so I'm writing this after midnight with one foot out the door.

I plan to add a few notes on Monday about Fort Ann's Section II title game -- the Cardinals' fifth consecutive title -- and some more on the other games Thursday and Friday.

Until then, here's a couple notes from the Fort Ann and Schuylerville games in the sectional tournament:

Foran back in action

If any proof was needed to know that Taylor Foran is 100 percent back for the Fort Ann softball team, one only needed to see one play.

Loudonville Christian led off the seventh inning with a fly ball into foul territory, several feet beyond first base.

But Foran, the Cardinals' sophomore first baseman, sprang after it and made a diving, full-extension catch for the first out of the seventh -- snagging the ball inches above the ground. Still on the ground, Foran raised her glove to show she had made the catch, and Fort Ann went on to a 3-0 victory.

"It feels amazing, I’m just glad to be back with my team," Foran said after the game.

Foran now wears a black knee brace that matches her black uniform pants. She injured her knee playing soccer for the Cardinals last fall, and was cleared to play just three weeks ago.

"I tore my ACL and MCL on Oct. 25, I had surgery Nov. 14 and then I was out for six months," Foran said.

"I love it -- I just love being in the game, it’s so much fun," she added. "And it’s my team, so I love doing anything for my team."

When Fort Ann coach Jason Humiston mentioned the injured players that were back in the lineup, he was sure to highlight Foran.

"Taylor went 2 for 3 (at the plate), she scored a run and did a great job," he said. "Having her back is huge."

Schuylerville's breakthrough season

Following a tough 2-1 loss to Ichabod Crane in the Class B semifinals of the Section II Softball Tournament, Schuylerville was certainly disappointed.

But coach Kelly McKinley was proud of her Black Horses and their 18-3 season -- a remarkable accomplishment for such a young team. The Horses only had two seniors this year -- pitcher Jessica Kelleher and designated player Stephanie McBath.

"We told them they can't hang their heads, they did a great job all year," McKinley said of her team. "They had a great season. We're a young group, a lot of freshmen, sophomores and juniors -- a lot of hope for next year."

It was also Schuylerville's first season moving up from the Wasaren League, made up of primarily Class C schools, to the Foothills Council, which has all Class A and B schools. McKinley said that paid off with a strong sectional run for the Horses, following a tie for first place in the North Division with perennial power South Glens Falls.

"We saw a lot of higher competition all year, which was really nice for us. There are a lot of good ballplayers (in the Foothills)," she said.

May 31, 2015 12:00 am(0)

Stefanik co-sponsors three more Democratic-introduced measures

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, has co-sponsored three more Democratic-introduced measures, according to the Library of Congress government information web site.

 The measures are:

  • H Res 8, which Rep. Susan A Davis, D-Calif. introduced Jan. 12 to encourage U.S. Postal Service to continue mail delivery to the doors of residences and business;
  • HR 539, which Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., introduced Jan. 30 to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide grants or enter contracts to purchase portable mobile dental equipment or pay operational costs for free dental programs for the poor and senior citizens;
  • HR 1683, which Rep. Joe Courtney, D-CT, introduced March 26 to authorize U.S. Department of Treasury to mint and issue a series of U.S. Coast Guard commemorative coins.

Stefanik has now co-sponsored 11 Democratic-introduced measures.

May 29, 2015 6:05 pm(2)

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