Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Dart Lady was on target

When Peggy Kownack puts her mind to something, it normally gets done.

In this case, thanks to her efforts in proposing and gathering support for the plan, The Uptown Community Harvest Festival is a finalist for a $10,000 Pepsi Refresh Everything grant.

Peggy, known to many as The Dart Lady, writes the "Unique Perspective" blog on The Record's website. She is a native of Troy and a founding member of The Uptown Initiative. She really cares about this city and isn't shy about offering her ideas on how the Collar City should be revitalized.

Peggy worked hard to get support for the festival proposal, partnering with several other groups seeking funding so the festival proposal vote total would stay in the top 15 list of projects and be eligible for funding.

Among the groups she worked with was the Cohoes Music Hall, which successfully competed for a $25,000 grant.

As a finalist, the festival proposal must now go through a verification process, but Peggy is already making plans for the mid-October event.

Last year’s event featured free games, food and activities for children in the city’s North Central/Uptown neighborhood, but with the Pepsi funding, Peggy plans to open the festival to kids from all over the city.

Congratulations Peggy. Your proposal was right on target and we're proud of your efforts!

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Congratulations Joe!

I've always said that any one of us at The Record -- or all of us for that matter -- could call in sick, go on vacation, quit, move, etc., and the newspaper would still come out with barely a blip in the work flow.

All of us that is except for Joe Hack.

Somehow, when Joe isn't here, things just don't seem to go as well.

Joe is noting a special milestone in his professional life this Labor Day weekend.
On Saturday, Sept. 3, Joe celebrates his 46th anniversary with The Record.

Journal Register Company CEO John Paton, Senior Publisher - Connecticut & New York Clusters Tom Wiley and Record Publisher Mike O'Sullivan saluted Joe today in a series of emails to all of the employees at The Record, and I would like to add my congratulations, too, having spent my 35-year career here working alongside Joe.

In fact, for a lot of his 46 years, Joe has worked here in the newsroom as an assistant, handling a multitude of tasks. For the past few years, he has worked in the building department.

Joe is an institution at The Record.
He has an amazing recall of events -- particularly if they happened in Green Island -- and of the people he has met over the years.

When we were talking about his upcoming anniversary, I asked him what stands out as he thinks back over his career, be it news events or interesting personalities.

At first, he told me there were too many to recall. Once he got going, however, there were many special moments that came back to him.

Election nights, employee recognition dinners, Christmas parties at the old Mario's, the Century House and the Turf Inn; company picnics in Saratoga and at Grafton Lakes State Park; the addition of the current newsroom in 1972; the current press going on line in 1985; shaking the hand of Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller as he stopped by The Record for a visit; the resignation of President Richard Nixon at the height of the Watergate scandal, and the collapse of the Green Island Bridge on the Ides of March in 1977.

Green Island is a place that is near and dear to Joe's heart. It's the place he calls home. To all of us, he is Mr. Green Island. Not much gets by Joe over there; just ask Village Mayor Ellen McNulty Ryan.

In fact, Joe says he owes his career here to one of the village's most beloved leaders and Ellen's father, the late Jack McNulty.

Prior to joining The Record team, Joe worked for the village, Albany County and even the federal government through his work for the post office.

As Joe's temp job with the village came to an end one Thursday 46 years ago, Jack McNulty stopped by the park where Joe was working and told him to go to The Record and see Walt Kane about a job. He left the park at 2 p.m. and was given a job as a messenger in the business office later that afternoon.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

From the business office to the newsroom to the mailroom to the building department, it's been a pleasure for all of us to work with him.

Congratulations Joe on a job well done!

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Calling all high school sports fans!

Kudos to Record sports editor Kevin Moran and his staff for putting together a terrific 48-page high school football preview section, which is available today in print and online.

The section is a must-read for fans of the Friday night lights.

Among the section highlights are:

-- The end of an era: One final season for Shenendehowa icon Brent Steuerwald; (ABOVE)

-- The La Salle Institute Cadets return with 21 of 22 starters from last year as they kick off their 2011 season;

-- The Lansingburgh High School Knights expect to make another super run this season; and

-- It make take Troy High School's Flying Horses a few weeks to come together, but they have the talent to contend.

My thanks also to our sports reporters Laura Amato, Andrew Santillo, Ed Weaver, correspondent Mike Cioffi and Assistant Sports Editor Tim Martin for their work on the section.

Welcome aboard to Laura, our new high school sports reporter, who will be spending a lot of Friday nights under the lights. Say hello when you see her out at a game.

Praise also goes to Chief Photographer Mike McMahon and photographers Jim Carras and Jeff Couch for their terrific photos.

Thanks also to the local advertisers who supported this section!

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