Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our guide to summer entertainment

One of the best things about living in the Capital District is the amazing number of things you can do here, especially during the summer.
To help you get the most out of your summer, The Record is publishing its summer entertainment guide in Thursday's edition.
Feature correspondents Bob Goepfert, Don Wilcock, Phil Drew and Stephen Douglas have put together a comprehensive look at the local summer entertainment scene for this week's edition of "InSight," our weekly entertainment product.
The issue will include schedules for everything from major concerts to theater productions as well as guides to the free community concerts and local festivals.
We hope you enjoy the section and will keep it as your guide to a fun-filled summer in the greater Capital District.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Even Spielberg would be jealous!

Since our parent company, Journal Register Company, adopted its "Digital First" strategy almost a year and a half ago, producing videos for troyrecord.com has been a high priority for The Record staff.
It only stands to reason that producing videos should be a priority for our newspapers: Adding a video to a story enhances the experience for our readers.
While we can tell you all about a local high school team's jubilation at winning a championship game through words, seeing the emotion for yourself through video adds a whole level to our coverage.
After a recent dip in the numbers of videos produced by the staff, we decided to get the competitive juices going and launched an in-house competition for the most videos produced by a staffer in a single month.
While no blood was shed, it was a spirited competition among the staff. News reporter Danielle Sanzone was the winner, having produced 40 videos during the month, while sports reporter Andrew Santillo was a close second.
For her efforts, Danielle gets dinner and a movie on us.
Check out one of Danielle's videos below -- an interview with the superintendent of schools for the Enlarged City School District of Troy who recently announced that he is stepping down at the end of the school year.

Here are some links to a few more of Danielle's efforts on The Record's website:

Statewide tour stops in Troy; shows how budget cuts impact students http://bit.ly/kAqInO

Troy Board of Education will wait to draw final redistricting lines http://bit.ly/jHU2yn

Capital Region's district attorneys cite benefits of video recording interrogations http://bit.ly/iYzSrA

I am proud of the staff's efforts, and I have to say I think even Steven Spielberg would be jealous of their production this month.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

A great day for Troy and baseball

It’s not every day that Capital District residents get to see a World Series championship trophy – especially when that trophy belongs to a Major League Baseball team on the west coast.
For more than a decade, Record Sports Editor Kevin Moran has worked hard to get MLB to recognize the contributions the city of Troy has made to America’s pastime – from the Troy Trojans of yesteryear to the San Francisco Giants of today — through a series of stories and columns as well as petitions that were available online, in print and in local business establishments.

Thanks to a collaborative effort between The Record and the Tri-City Valley Cats, Kevin’s dream came true Thursday when the 2010 World Series trophy won by the San Francisco Giants went on display at the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium for two hours.
Fans who lined up to see the impressive trophy got an added visual bonus: The ValleyCats’ 2010 New York-Pennsylvania League trophy was also on display.

For Kevin, his family and The Record staff, it was a terrific day. Several of us from The Record went up to The Joe to share the excitement of the day with Kevin, the ValleyCats, the city of Troy and Hudson Valley Community College.
You could feel the excitement building at The Joe just before the recognition ceremony got under way prior to the public viewing of the trophy.

A performance by several members of The Racing City Chorus from Saratoga Springs added to the ambiance of the occasion.

Spotted among the crowd were Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian, City Councilman Mark McGrath, city of Troy Deputy Director of Public Information Jeff Pirro, George Rogers of the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino, Rensselaer County Historian Kathy Sheehan, Rich Crist of the Rensselaer County Legislative Majority Office who was there as Dad, Troy GOP mayoral candidate Carmella Mantello, baseball fan Joe Conners of the former St. Patrick’s parish in Troy, HVCC President Drew Matonak, Troy Police Capt. Terry Buchanan, ValleyCats owner Bill Gladstone, ValleyCats vice president and general manager Rick Murphy and everyone’s favorite mascot, Southpaw.

Kevin’s family – wife Diane, mother Jean, brother Brian and niece Amanda – was on hand to share in the celebration with him as well as his some of the members of his staff, reporters Ed Weaver and Andrew Santillo and sports clerk Mike Cioffi. Publisher Jim Murphy, digital specialist Tom Caprood, reporter Cecelia Martinez, photographer Jim Carras and I rounded out the contingent from The Record.

We did spot a few Record alums in the crowd: former national advertising rep Bill McDonough and his wife Maureen and former photographer Tom Killips.

It was great to see Tom, who has been a big San Francisco Giants fan for longer than the 30 plus years I’ve known him. He was proudly dressed up in a true San Francisco Giants sweatshirt with an emblem proclaiming them as the 2010 World Series champs.

And how cute were the members of the Twin Town Little League who came dressed up in their baseball uniforms?

During the speeches, Kevin spoke about how Thursday was a great day for Troy and for baseball history in the Collar City and gave credit to Murphy, the ValleyCats, The Record and the San Francisco Giants for everything coming together.

I should also mention how grateful we are to Rick Murphy and Bill Gladstone for their help in getting the Giants to agree to bring their trophy to The Joe.

In his brief speech, Murphy recalled when Kevin asked for their help in getting the trophy here.

“I thought it was a great idea, absolutely,” he said. “Understanding the history of baseball in this area and … adding the fact that we had just won the New York-Penn League championship, it was a perfect match. And for us to be able to partner up with The Record, and through (Kevin’s) efforts and through our connections, it all came together. So, it was a great team effort.”

Thanks also go to Mayor Tutunjian, Jeff Pirro and Vic Christopher for their assistance with this effort.

And finally, a big thank you to the San Francisco Giants for bringing their trophy to upstate New York on a cloudy, drizzly day. This team and their fans are class acts and we are grateful that they were able to share a little bit of baseball history with us.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Help honor Old Glory!

On Sunday, The Record launched its annual Flag Day Fund Drive with this year's goal set at $10,000.

I've had the privilege of working with the Troy Flag Day Committee for more than two decades and they are a great group of hard-working individuals who volunteer their time year-round to bring you this wonderful tribute to our nation's flag.

For many of those years, my parade contacts were Jerry Weaver, Joe Killeen and the late Ed Verrillo -- a terrific trio of guys – for information on the parade and updates for our annual fund drive. In recent years, I've worked with Cindy Bizaro Wilson and Ed Manny, both of whom bring great enthusiasm to the task of making sure the parade is the best it can be year after year.

Funding the parade, which is now in its 44th year, is becoming a difficult proposition. Because of its own fiscal woes, the state was unable to provide its usual stipend. Faced with the increasing costs it takes to attract top-notched bands, the committee is struggling to come up with the funds to put on this year’s parade and is concerned about its future.

Keep in mind the parade annually attracts between 50,000 and 100,000 spectators. One parade supporter told me that if each of those spectators gave a dollar to show their support for this patriotic display, it would go a long way toward paying for this year’s parade and stabilizing it for the future.

We are proud to accept donations on behalf of the parade committee. Please consider sending your donation to Flag Day Fund Drive, c/o The Record, 501 Broadway, Troy, N.Y. 12180, or drop off your contribution at our downtown office at the corner of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Please make checks payable to the Troy Flag Day Parade Committee.

Already we have received donations from local veterans groups, businesses and individuals and we are hopeful of meeting this year's fund drive goal.

On June 12, come to downtown Troy and enjoy the incredible tribute to Old Glory!

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Share your prom photos with us

One of my proudest roles in real life is that of “Aunt.” I have three nieces (Katie, Meighan and Elizabeth) and four nephews (Andrew, Jared, JP and Sean) who have added greatly to my life over the years.

On Saturday, I got to play family photographer for THE PROM for my niece Elizabeth. A junior at Averill Park High School, Elizabeth and her classmates had their junior prom that night at Birch Hill banquet house in Schodack.

Being the proud aunt that I am, I’m happy to share one of the pre-prom photos I took of Elizabeth with you. I’m used to seeing her in her track or cross country uniforms so a formal dress was a different look for her.

Similar to last year, The Record plans to feature the prom photos of local students on our website at www.troyrecord.com Like me, I’m sure many of you are proud parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who would like to share the prom photos of your favorite teen. To be included in our prom photo gallery, email your photo to tcaprood@troyrecord.com Please put “Prom Photos” in your email subject line and include the name of your teen and his or her school.

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‘A Fistful of Cuomos’

The dress rehearsal for the 111th Legislative Correspondents Association Show, dubbed “A Fistful of Cuomos,” provided an enjoyable night of entertainment for those in attendance Friday night at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in downtown Albany.

The show, which pokes fun at our state leaders, is the oldest political satire spoof in the nation.

I haven’t been able to attend the rehearsal the past years because Fridays tend to be hectic days at The Record. This year’s rehearsal was clever, well written, well-paced – and funny. The songs were entertaining, ranging from “Born to be Gov,” sung to the tune of “Born to be Wild,” to “Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Teachers” (better known as “Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”) to “Paladino! (I’ll never think of the musical “Oklahoma!” in the same way again!).

One of the best parts of attending the LCA rehearsal – the actual black-tie dinner and show was held Saturday night with proceeds benefitting charity – is getting to see Record alumni.

Former Record Capitol bureau reporters Kevin Hogan, Terry O’Brien and Kyle Hughes had prominent roles in the show and former Record reporter and copy editor R.W. Groneman greeted people at the door and handled backstage duties. Terry and Kyle also served on the script committee, which wrote the show, while Kyle’s wife, former Record graphic artist Margaret McIntyre, was responsible for the cover and print design for the evening’s program.

In my humble opinion, Terry O’Brien stole the show with his singing. Terry, who played Donald Trump, wowed the crowd with his rendition of “The Wonder of Me” -- sung to the tune of “The Wonder of You.” My former co-worker has a terrific voice.

Kevin Hogan got to show his acting chops, playing both Charlie Sheen and Donald Trump Jr., while Kyle Hughes show his acting range starting in Act I as Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy to portraying Duke the Dog in Act II.

Too bad Gov. Andrew Cuomo decided to skip the Saturday night show. He missed an enjoyable evening!

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kicking off the local golf season

Despite the rain, the dampness and the cool temperatures, we’re officially kicking off the 2011 golf season Friday with the first of The Record's weekly golf pages.
Correspondent John Craig returns again this year as golf writer, producing a variety of stories and videos from the local links for our print and online editions.
If you want to get a preview of what John will be writing about each week, check out Rodger Wyland’s “Big Board Sports” program on Fox Sports 980 each Thursday during the 11 a.m. hour.
I caught some of today’s program. John and Rodger had an interesting interview with the brother of local resident and former Siena College golfer Bryan Bigley, who is playing this week in the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina.
John is one busy guy. You can also catch him on "On the Green, which" debuts tonight on My4Albany. He will be doing a news and notes segment plus an upcoming calendar of events segment for the weekly half-hour show that runs Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on WNYA-TV. The show is hosted by former WTEN-TV Sports Director Dan Murphy.
Anyway, don't forget to check out our golf page on Friday in our print edition and online at troyrecord.com

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The trophy's coming, the trophy's coming!

For more than a decade, Record Sports Editor Kevin has worked hard to get Major League Baseball to acknowledge the Collar City for its contributions to America’s national pastime.
On Thursday, the city of Troy gets that recognition when the San Francisco Giants bring their 2010 World Series championship trophy to the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium for a public viewing from 5 to 7 p.m.
The visit is the result of a collaborative effort between Kevin and the Tri-City ValleyCats. Team owner Bill Gladstone and general manager Rick Murphy used their contacts to reach out to the Giants about a possible visit to upstate New York after Kevin and his staff launched a petition drive to get the Giants to bring the World Series trophy to Troy.
A native and resident of Watervliet, Kevin has worked for The Record since March 1987. He was one of the best high school reporters this paper has ever had and he has done a terrific job as our sports editor. Whether it’s rooting for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, the Cannoneers of Watervliet, or his alma mater, the LaSalle Institute Cadets, Kevin is a true sports fan.
Kevin, Publisher Jim Murphy and I will be up at The Joe Thursday night for a look at the trophy. Stop by and say hello.
While you’re there, enjoy some food, the music of a barbershop quartet and peruse a table of some old baseball artifacts.
The ValleyCats promise it will be a good time!

P.S. The Collar City’s many contributions to Major League Baseball, from the Trojans to the ValleyCats, are detailed in a 24-page, glossy magazine, “A Shared History: From the Trojans to the Giants, Welcome Home,” produced by The Record’s sports staff. Copies of the magazine will be included in our Thursday edition. I hope you check it out. Even a big basketball fan like me found the magazine a fascinating read.

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