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Balloons return to the skies Saturday night

QUEENSBURY — Hot air balloon pilots at the 46th annual Adirondack Balloon Festival took off from the Warren County airport on Saturday evening after two consecutive launches were canceled on Friday night and Saturday morning.

“We are flying and we are glowing,” Balloon Festival Director Mark Donahue said after finding out the wind speeds would be fine. “It’s going to be awesome.”

The 96 registered pilots got their balloons ready. They had two choices: take a long flight with the winds taking them south toward Moreau, or take a short flight and stay for the moon glow at 8 p.m.

If they left the airport, the backed-up traffic would delay them beyond the moon glow’s start time. At the moon glow, the balloons are lit up when the sun goes down and the balloons’ colors pop in contrast to the night’s sky.

The National Weather Service out of Albany forecasts beautiful weather for the Glens Falls area on Sunday, the final day of the Balloon Festival. It projects winds to be around 2 mph for the morning launch in Queensbury and 3 mph for the event’s last launch in Glens Falls’ Crandall Park.

Saturday morning’s flights were canceled because wind gusts were up to 19 mph before 6 a.m., Donahue said.

Adirondack Balloon Festival parking

Many in the morning came to enjoy the balloons that could go up tethered, while walking around the vendors’ stands or grabbing a hot “Big Balloon Breakfast” to support The Open Door Mission. The breakfast will be held from 5 to 10 a.m. Sunday, with all profits going to the nonprofit organization that helps feed and shelter those struggling in the Glens Falls region.

Sunday is the final day of the Balloon Festival. Starting at 6:30 a.m., Walter’s Mass Ascension will go off with simultaneous flights of around 96 balloons and special shapes.

Walter’s Mass Ascension honors Walter Grishkot, who passed away in 2011. He played an integral role in developing the Balloon Festival into what it is today.

The festival moves back to Crandall Park for another launch of about 20 balloons at 5 p.m. with live music beginning at 2 p.m.

Photos: 46th annual Adirondack Balloon Festival

SHAWN LACHAPELLE, Special to The Post-Star 

Hot air balloons dot the skies above Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury on Saturday evening during a successful launch at the 46th Adirondack Balloon Festival.

Stefanik holds Super Saturday in Glens Falls to rally energy, support

Stefanik holds Super Saturday in Glens Falls to rally energy, support


GLENS FALLS — U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik gathered supporters on Saturday to host a rally at Centennial Circle and deliver an address in her Warren Street office for Super Saturday.

“It’s bringing people together, energizing them to get out to vote,” Stefanik said of the event.

Her campaign has conducted 350,000 phone calls and knocked on 18,000 doors to reach out to constituents ahead of the Nov. 6 election, she added.

At Centennial Circle, supporters hoisted signs touting Stefanik’s work to help farmers and veterans and lower taxes.

Stefanik said she enjoys this time of year, noting the fall foliage and making the last strides before voters get to the polls.

“I have been busy criss-crossing this massive district and we have energy in each of the 12 counties,” she said. “As you can see by the smiling faces and the honks as we were doing the sign waves outside, there is a lot of support within the community.”

Once the speech came to an end, the campaign team’s objective was to make more phone calls to voters and continue the rally.

During Stefanik’s address, the incumbent of New York’s 21st Congressional District said that voting in November is a “clear choice.” She is facing Democratic candidate Tedra Cobb and Green Party candidate Lynn Kahn.

“One key difference between myself and my opponent (Cobb) is I am against raising taxes,” Stefanik said. “We are taxed to death in New York state. My opponent has voted 20 times to increase taxes. … My opponent was a Cuomo appointee. I think we need a new direction in Albany.”

Stefanik added that she is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and has attained $2.7 million in owed benefits for veterans and has one of the most bipartisan records in Congress.

The Post-Star fact-checked Stefanik’s claim that Cobb voted to raise taxes 20 times during her time as a St. Lawrence County legislator and determined that seven can be defended as actual votes to increase taxes, and two more — requests to the state for permission to increase the sales tax and mortgage tax — were precursors to tax increases. Eleven other instances were unfounded.

The Post-Star received a comment from Cobb in response to Stefanik’s statements against her. Cobb said she was appointed to the Committee on Open Government under Gov. Eliot Spitzer and then Gov. David Paterson.

“She has no other choice but to issue attacks that keep getting debunked,” Cobb said in an email. “She’s forced herself into a corner because her voting record is that bad.”

Cobb said Stefanik voted to remove health care from 64,000, raise premiums for 300,000 northern New Yorkers and cut $2.6 trillion from Social Security and $1.3 trillion from Medicare.

Other Republicans attended the event on Saturday, including Assemblyman Dan Stec (R-Queensbury), Republican Morgan Zegers and members of state Sen. Betty Little’s campaign team (R-Queensbury).

Zegers, who is running against Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) in the 113th State Assembly District, emphasized the benefits to having a campaign reach its voters.

“There’s nothing better than a strong ground game, a killer ground game, and that’s what we have in you guys today,” Zegers said on Saturday. “… Right now, we have great examples of what Republican leadership can bring to our communities and we have to remind those people to show up on Election Day and vote all the way down the ballot for every (Republican).”

Photos: Stefanik, campaign team rally and address in Glens Falls

Andrew David Kuczkowski, 

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, holds a campaign rally and address on Saturday in Glens Falls. The rally was at Centennial Circle and the address was at her Warren Street office. Stefanik is running against Democratic candidate Tedra Cobb for the NY-21 seat.