Wednesday, October 27, 2010

She's one hard-working woman

One of the best things about working for a newspaper is getting to know the people in the community you serve.

Sharon Smith, the energetic executive director of the Troy Boys and Girls Club, is probably one of the hardest working people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in recent years. Since she started the job, Sharon has a long list of ideas about how to raise funds so the club can continue to serve the youth of this community.

One of those fundraisers – the third annual “Pizzapalooza” – was held Tuesday night at Franklin Terrace in Troy. Guests at the event were invited to sample a smorgasbord of gourmet pizzas provided by area restaurants, vote for their favorites in various categories, and bid on an array of silent auction items. Among this year’s participating restaurants were The Arlington House, Baba Louie’s Sourdough Pizza, Carol’s Place, DeFazio’s, Gianna’s Pizzas and Subs, and Rusty’s Second Avenue Pizza.

This was my first “Pizzapalooza” and I thoroughly enjoyed mingling and having my fill of the gourmet pizza, which featured such culinary delights as buffalo chicken, shrimp and barbecued pork. My personal favorite was the pizza from The Towne Tavern on Route 43 in Averill Park, which won the competition’s “Best Overall” category. It was a pleasure to meet Lorraine Dickinson, the owner of Towne Tavern, and the members of her staff who assisted her at the event.

Spotted among the crowd at the event were Troy’s Deputy Mayor Dan Crawley, who is also a member of the club’s board of directors, Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino, Rensselaer County Legislator Peter Grimm, Troy City Court Judge Matt Turner and Tammy Palmer of YNN, who emceed the event along with Sharon.

Since The Record was co-sponsor of the event along with County Waste, several of my co-workers attended the event, including newsroom administrative assistant Sue Chasney and her husband Ken Villeneuve, reporter Katie Nowak and her fiancé Nick, reporter Danielle Sanzone, my boss, Publisher Jim Murphy, my husband, Jim Lewis, who worked in The Record’s composing room for more than 30 years, and several of our advertising sales representatives.

Congratulations to Sharon and all involved in this terrific event. A good time was definitely had by all!

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Fright Night 2010"

It's "Fright Night 2010" on The Record's web site.

This photo and video contest, which runs today through Oct. 28, is your opportunity to have some holiday fun on our web site by sharing your scariest photos and videos and possibly win a weekly prize or even the grand prize.

Thanks to John Stackrow and his team at the Black Cat Ale House on White Street in Cohoes for sponsoring the contest with us.

We invite you -- adults, children, families, local organizations, educational institutions, etc. -- to submit your spookiest photos and/or videos to the contest through the links on

Submissions will be approved by a Record staffer before they are officially entered into the contest. Nudity or profanity in submissions will not be accepted.
The top winner each week between the photo and video sections of the contest will earn our weekly prize. Winners will be selected based on the highest vote totals from the public on individual entries.

Complete contest details are available at

I hope you'll take part in "Fright Night 2010" with your own photos and videos and help select our weekly winners.

Hello again ...

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. In this case, I hope it's true.

To say it's been a while since I blogged on The Record web site is an understatement.

I could tell you I had an incredibly busy summer, and I did, but that wasn't the real reason I wasn't blogging.

In a very klutzy move, I tripped over an uneven sidewalk at a local drive-in while watching "Karate Kid II" with granddaughters Mollie and Morgan, fell and fractured my elbow.

In the aftermath of that "graceful" move, typing anything mean instant agony. Paginating a newspaper page required more twists than any professional contortionist would ever consider.

Now, thanks to the good people at Albany Memorial Hospital emergency room and Northeast Orthopaedics LLP, my elbow is healed and it's time to get back in gear with my blog.