Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It’s going to be a really ‘Big’ show

It’s going to be big and it’s going to be dangerous when Brass-O-Mania!, “The World’s Most Dangerous Big Band,” performs in concert at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on June 8 as part of the Flag Day weekend festivities.

Sponsored by The Record, the Troy Flag Day Committee and Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the free concert will start at 8 p.m.; the hall will open at 7 p.m. and all ticket holders must be seated by 7:45 p.m.

While a military band is normally the headliner for the free parade-eve concert, no military bands were available this year because of the federal sequestration.

Thankfully, Brass-O-Mania!,” a 19-piece big band made up of professional musicians and music educators, stepped in to help us out. The band, which was formed in 1994, also includes two vocalists.

Band business manager Tom MacDonald promises concert-goers an enjoyable evening featuring an eclectic mix of tunes, covering 70 years of great American Swing, Blues and Pop tunes.

Tickets to the free concert are available from The Record. To obtain tickets, mail a stamped, self-addressed envelope to The Record, 501 Broadway, Troy, NY 12180 ATTN: Marine Concert. Please include the number of tickets requested. No more than four tickets may be requested.

Tickets may also be obtained in person at the newspaper’s downtown Troy office at the corner of Broadway and Fifth Avenue.

My thanks to Record audience engagement editor Rebecca Eppelmann, Brass-O-Mania's!" Tom MacDonald,  John Elbaum of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and Ed Manny, president of the Troy Flag Day Committee, for putting together this terrific event.

We hope you'll be able to join us for this entertaining evening.

By the way, let the concert help get you in the mood for the 46th annual Troy Flag Day Parade, which will step off at 1 p.m. June 9 in South Troy and march north up Fourth Street into downtown. Thanks to the generosity of local individuals and businesses, the parade is a go for this year – and hopefully many more in the future!

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Preserving Troy's Flag Day Parade

Waving the flag and raising money for this year's Troy Flag Day Parade during "Troy Night Out" are, left to right, Allie Lockrow, Debra Lockrow, Nora Dwyer and Genn Peyser.

Buoyed by the response from local residents, organizations and businesses, the 46th annual Troy Flag Day Committee is tentatively set to step off at 1 p.m. June 9.

A final decision on whether the parade goes off will be made later this month. However, if current fund-raising efforts are successful, residents of the Capital Region will again be treated to a grand, red, white and blue tribute to our flag.

 As I wrote in Sunday's edition, the soft economy, the sequestration, a lack of state funding and the mounting cost of putting on a parade have greatly hampered the committee's efforts to put on a proper salute.
I don't think people realize what goes into putting on a successful parade year after year.

This small, patriotic group of people work almost year-round to put on the parade. They spend their own  time reaching out to local businesses for donations, seeking the best drum corps to march in the parade, working with the military to send one of its bands to the Collar City to lead the parade and perform at the annual parade-eve concert at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, making sure those band members are properly housed and fed, working out parade-day logistics with the various city of Troy departments, holding weekly meetings to make sure all the almost endless list of details are addressed, putting together the parade line of march — and that's only some of what they do!

It has been my privilege over the course of my almost 37-year career at The Record to work  with these terrific people. I always looked forward to March and my first visit of the year from various members of the parade committee. First it was Joe Killeen, Ed Verrillo and John Kacharian who would stop by to discuss plans for the parade. Jerry Weaver soon became part of those meetings and for the past few years it's been Cindy Wilson and Ed Manny, who is president of the committee. Ed and John have passed away, but they were great people who cared about the flag and this community. Joe, Jerry, Cindy and Ed, too, care greatly about our flag and this parade.

To aid the cause, The Record launched its annual fund-raising campaign in support of the parade and we hope to help the committee raise $10,000. Donations to our fund drive may be mailed to Flag Day Fund Drive, c/o The Record, 501 Broadway, Troy, NY 12180 or dropped off at the newspaper’s downtown office at the corner of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Contributions may also be mailed to Troy Flag Day Committee at P.O. Box 56, Troy, NY 12180. Please make checks payable to the Troy Flag Day Committee. All donations will be listed in upcoming editions of The Record unless otherwise noted.

In addition to The Record's effort, other campaigns are under way to help finance the parade:

Cindy Wilson, left, and Nora Dwyer

—  “Support Troy’s Flag Day Parade” was launched last month and accepted donations at the recent “Troy Night Out” and the Farmer’s Market in the Troy Atrium and on River Street on Saturday. Donations to this effort are also being accepted at Artcentric Gallery at 266 River St. in downtown Troy. Nora Dwyer and Troy businesswoman Debra Lockrow are behind this effort.

— The Flag Day Committee's  launched its “Step Up With A Dollar” fund-raising campaign in March, which seeks $1 from each of the upwards of 50,000 who turn out each year for the parade. Donations may still be mailed to Troy Flag Day Committee, P.O. Box 56, Troy, NY 12180.

There is no question that times are tough, but we hope the community will support the committee's  efforts so the parade can step off this year — and many in the future.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We'll be in Philly

 University at Albany Great Danes bus is readied Wednesday.
The University at Albany men's basketball team is on the road to Philadelphia today and The Record is, too.

The Great Danes and Coach Will Brown are heading off to the NCAA college basketball tournament where they are slated to play the Blue Devils of Duke University at 12:15 p.m.  Friday in the Wells Fargo Center.

Record college sports reporter Andrew Santillo leaves this afternoon for the City of Brotherly Love to report on the Great Danes' journey.

Andrew Santillo
Andy, an Ithaca College graduate, has been a member of our sports staff since September 2006. After a busy winter covering the Great Danes and the Siena College Saints, he is excited about the opportunity to cover the NCAA basketball tournament for The Record and our sister newspapers in the New York cluster - The Saratogian, The Oneida Daily Dispatch and The Daily Freeman in Kingston - as well as the rest of the Digital First Media company.

In his tournament preview story today, Andy writes that the Great Danes, who are seeded No. 15, are up for the challenge of facing the big men of Duke, which is the No. 2 seed. Check out his story here.

In the coming days, don't forget to check out Andy's coverage in The Record in print and online at

You can also follow Andy on Twitter at @AndrewSantillo. If you have any questions or comments about the Great Danes appearance in the Big Dance, don't hesitate to email him at

Here's wishing the Great Danes well in the NCAA tourney and don't forget to check out Andy's coverage of their run.

We also offer best wishes for success to the Great Danes women's basketball team, who are also competing in this year's NCAA tournament. Seeded No. 14, they take on No. 3 UNC at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Delaware.


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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Take part in our injury prevention seminar

This Thursday at 6 p.m., we are inviting both seasoned and amateur runners to join us in our Community Media Lab on the first floor of our downtown Troy building for a session on how to avoid injuries.

Dr. Tim Maggs, a specialist in Sports Biomechanics, will present a hands-on injury prevention seminar that will focus on how to prevent and care for all types of running injuries, figuring out “good” vs. “bad” pain, and the importance of stretching.

Maggs has been a Sports Chiropractor for 35 years, is a national lecturer on fitness and conditioning, worked in the New York Giants (professional football) strength department, was the founder and director of the Team Stick Kenyan Running Program, gives 25 seminars a year to doctors on the importance of structural biomechanics, and has completed 16 marathons.

In addition, he has developed the: Structural Management Program, Structural Fingerprint Exam, and the Maggs Muscle Management Program.

As The Running Doctor, Dr. Maggs has contributed to: New England Runner, Florida Running & Triathlon, Chiropractic Economics, Chiropractic Products, Pace Setter and American Chiropractor magazines; and a frequent contributor to many other running publications.

Maggs is heavily involved in the Training Challenge for the Freihofer’s Run for Women and frequents their Saturday training sessions for consultation with participants.

Space for this seminar is limited, please RSVP at

Free parking for the session is available in The Record's lot on Broadway between Fifth and Sixth avenues.


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Ed gave it his best

Well ... he gave it his best -- and so did you!

I wanted to let you know that Record sports reporter Ed Weaver lost in the "Sweet 16" round of the Tri-City ValleyCats Media Bobblehead Bracket Buster Tournament.

My thanks to all of you who voted for Ed, who came in seventh in the first round of voting but lost to  Steve LaPointe of CBS 6 in the Sweet 16.

Here are the results from the round of voting that ended Sunday:

Greg Floyd (CBS 6) defeats Doug Sherman (CBS 6)
Rodger Wyland (News Channel 13) defeats Bruce Jacobs (104.5 The Team)
Tim Wilkin (Times Union) defeats Quinn & Cantara (PYX 106)
Benita Zahn (News Channel 13) defeats Drew Brill (News 10)
Marisa Jacques (YNN) defeats Sean & Richie (107.7 WGNA)
Bob Kovachick (News Channel 13) defeats Mike Bono (YNN)
Steve LaPointe (CBS 6) defeats Ed Weaver (The Record)

Chuck & Kelly (News Talk 810 & 103.1 WGY) defeats Ken Schott (Daily Gazette).

A lot of good people -- and some tough choices -- remain in the competition, so don't stop voting now!

The next round of voting goes through Sunday, March 24 and the pairings follow:

(1) Greg Floyd of CBS 6 vs.  (9) Chuck & Kelly of News Talk 810 &103.1 WGY;
(2) Rodger Wyland of News Channel 13 vs. (10) Steve LaPointe of CBS 6;
(3) Tim Wilkin of the Times Union vs. (6) Bob Kovachick of News Channel 13, and
(4) Benita Zahn of News Channel 13 vs. (5) Marisa Jacques of YNN.

The winner will be announced on April 8.

If you want to pick up one of the media bobbleheads, you'll have to be among the first 1,500 fans through the gates at The Joe Bruno Stadium on Monday, Aug. 1.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Our own March Madness!

On Sunday, the madness begins for college basketball fans when the teams selected to play in this year's NCAA Basketball Tournament are announced.

Here at The Record, our version of March Madness has under way for more than a week.

Sports reporter Ed Weaver, who has covered RPI hockey and the Tri-City ValleyCats for us for several years, is participating in a special brand of March Madness as part of a promotion for local New York Penn League baseball team. He is competing in the ValleyCat's 2013 Media Bobblehead Bracket Buster Tournament.

Ed is one of 16 personalities from local print, radio and television media competing for the bobblehead honor. Each personality has chosen a charity to represent throughout the tournament and Ed is competing on behalf of the American Heart Association. The winning personality's charity will receive $1,500 cash and partial game sponsorship of the bobblehead giveaway night. The second place charity gets $1,000; the third place, $500.

At the end of the preliminary round of voting to determine the bracket seedings for the tournament, Ed came in in seventh place.

We're thrilled that Ed, a true baseball fan and a constant at the ValleyCat games, has been asked to participate in this event on behalf of a worthwhile charity.
The current round of voting for the 2013 Media Bobblehead winner goes through 9 p.m. Sunday, March 17. The winner will be announced on April 8.

We're all voting for Ed and we hope you will, too. Click HERE to a link to the BobbleVote Round of 16. You'll find a lot of worthy candidates and terrific charities who will benefit from this effort.
By the way, the winning media personality will be given away to the first 1,500 fans through the gates at The Joe Bruno Stadium on Monday, Aug. 1.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Tonight's the night

Tonight, The Record is sponsoring a debate between the two candidates vying for the Democratic line in the reconfigured 44th state Senate District.

The debate, which will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bush Memorial on the Russell Sage College campus at the intersection of Congress and First streets, will feature incumbent state Senator Neil Breslin and challenger Shawn Morse, the Albany County Legislature chairman, both of whom are on the Sept. 13 primary ballot.

The free public event is co-sponsored by The Sage Colleges.

 The debate will be moderated by Record columnist John Gray, co-anchor of Fox 23 News. Record City Editor James V. Franco, Record reporter Danielle Sanzone and longtime Capitol reporter Kyle Hughes of NYSNYS News, who provides content to The Record and its sister newspapers
in New York state, will question the candidates.

If time permits, we will include questions from the audience submitted in writing as part of the debate.

We felt it was important to shine a spotlight on this race because of changes made to the 44th Senate District during the recent reapportionment process. Senator Breslin's current Senate district includes only Albany County. However, come Jan. 1, a portion of the city of Troy and the entire city of Rensselaer will be added to the new 44th state Senate District, which also includes several Albany County communities.

While many of us at The Record have dealt with both men over the years, we thought it was a good idea to provide such a forum so voters on both sides of the Hudson could get a better understanding of these candidates and where they stand on the issues.

This debate came together quickly and it wouldn't be have been possible without the cooperation of several people.

First, let me offer my personal thanks to our co-sponsor, The Sage Colleges, in particular, Ardelle Hirsch, director of media and public relations, and Christine Cowieson, coordinator of conferences and events. These are two dynamite professionals who are good at what they do and a pleasure to work with on any project.

I also want to thank John Gray, who after a quick check of his very busy schedule, readily agreed to moderate the forum. John, whose popular column appears Wednesdays in The Record, moderated a previous debate for us at the same location between then Troy mayoral candidates Frank LaPosta and Harry Tutunjian.

It's also terrific to have Kyle Hughes back in the fold for the debate. Some of you might remember Kyle from his days as The Record's Capitol bureau chief. He did some great work for us then and we're happy to be working with him again through his NYSNYS News role and with this debate.

Record readers know Jim Franco, who writes two weekly columns for us, including the popular "Talespin" political column that appears in print on Mondays and online daily.

Reporter Danielle Sanzone covers several Albany County communities for The Record as well as the Troy school district and fills in on just about every other beat on the paper while writing a blog and putting us all to shame through her use of social media.

Thanks also goes to Digital Specialist Tom Caprood, who has been working with Sage to make sure we will be able to video the session.

Reporter Andrew Beam will be on hand to cover the debate, while Chief Photographer Mike McMahon will be taking the photos.

Finally, I would like to thank the gentlemen of the hour, Neil Breslin and Shawn Morse. Both men readily agreed to participate in this debate and their campaigns worked hard to clear their schedules so we all could pull this off for the residents of the newly configured 44th state Senate district.

As I type this, the days are quickly winding down toward the Sept. 13 primary. The time demands on all of us are great, but I hope you'll be able to take some time out of your hectic schedule and join us for what promises to be an interesting evening.

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