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Nigra Arts Center Seeks Submissions for Regional Art Show

Written By Editor on 2/22/23 | 2/22/23

Gloversville, NY – The Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts is seeking submissions for its annual Regional Art Show, open only to artists who live or work in New York’s Fulton, Montgomery and neighboring counties. Submissions in all media and from any artist within the region are welcome. Pieces selected will hang alongside a showcase of art by elementary, middle and high school students from the region’s schools.


The show will be on display from March 31 to May 25. Community artists may submit now until March 5 through Please note that this is not a juried show, but this website is used for ease of submission and selection by the curators. For further submission guidelines or to submit artwork, visit or Artists may also email Brenda Dwyer at or visit the Nigra Arts Center to obtain an application form.


Art teachers at any of the local elementary, middle and high schools are invited to display their students’ artwork free of charge. High school pieces are eligible to be selected for awards. Student submissions are due by March 13. For more information about participating as a school, please visit or contact Brenda Dwyer at or (518) 661-9932.


The community artist fee for entry of up to three works is $15 for members of the Nigra Arts Center or $25 for non-members. Artists may submit an additional two entries maximum for a fee of $7 each for members or $10 each for non-members. There is no fee to display student artwork. Notification of acceptance will be sent out by March 8 and the dates for drop-off or mailing of artwork are March 22-25. More information about the drop-off procedures will be included in the acceptance notifications.


If you are not currently a member of the Nigra Arts Center but would like to join and receive a discount on your show submissions, please visit or contact Maria Nestle at or (518) 661-9932. Membership levels start at just $25 per year and carry benefits such as discounted admission to classes and art exhibitions, mailing list access, invitations to special events, charitable tax deductions and more.


Through the generous donations of supporters, the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts is able to offer awards and prizes to outstanding submissions. All winners will also receive a free one-year membership to the Nigra Arts Center.


The Nigra Arts Center will host a Meet the Artists Opening Reception for this show on Thursday, April 6, 4-7 p.m. This reception is free and open to the public. The show will also be available for public viewing throughout its run weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A virtual tour of the exhibition will be posted after the opening reception on the Nigra Arts Center’s Facebook page,, and website,


The Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts is located at 2736 State Highway 30 in Gloversville. For more information about this show or the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts, call (518) 661-9932 or visit

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Bassett Valentine's Soirée Raises More Than $250,000 for School-Based Health

Cooperstown, N.Y. – More than 330 guests attended the Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network’s fifth annual Valentine’s Soirée at the Otesaga Resort & Hotel in Cooperstown on Saturday, February 11. The event raised over $250,000 in support of Bassett’s School-Based Health and Dental Program.


This year’s Soirée paid tribute to two individuals who have been key to the 30-year-long success of Bassett’s School-Based Health Program – Chris Kjolhede, MD, MPH, Bassett pediatrician and program co-director, and Jane V. Hamilton, RN, practice manager. They have a combined 57 years of dedicated service to the program. Their desire to help close the gap in healthcare coverage for rural children, many of whom are poor or live in areas where care is not readily available, was made possible by the establishment of Bassett’s School-Based Health Program.


“We are very appreciative of the continued support from our sponsors for Bassett programs and initiatives,” says Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, President and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network. “The proceeds of this year's event will have a profound impact on Bassett’s 21 School-Based Health Centers across 17 districts, serving more than 7,000 children each year with medical, dental, and mental healthcare. It is also the dedication and commitment of our Board of Trustees, Friends of Bassett team, and other volunteers that made the Valentine’s Soirée the remarkable success that it was.”


Friends of Bassett extends a special thank you to lead sponsor, NYCM Insurance; Founder’s Circle sponsor, Tom Morgan & Erna Morgan McReynolds; Chairman’s Circle sponsors, Dr. & Mrs. Charles & Natacha Casale, Davin Healthcare, Arnold Drogen, EPIC Landscapes, Inc., Terry & Keith Fulmer, KPMG, LLP, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., and The Otesaga Resort & Hotel; Leadership Circle sponsors, Bank of Cooperstown, Patricia & Robert Hanft, Mirabito Energy Products, O’Connor First, Attorneys-at-Law, and Preferred Mutual Insurance Company; and President’s Forum sponsors, Tricia Asaro & Steven Kroll, Monica Brané & Bennett Sandler, Elaine & Marc Bresee, Eastern Heating & Cooling, Hill & Markes, Inc., Robert Nelson & Van Broughton Ramsey, Senator James & Cindy Seward, Thorn Gershon Tymann & Bonnani, LLP, Ellen Tillapaugh & Gary Kuch, Kathleen & John Zogby, and Dr. Amy & Jerel Zoltick.


A special thanks is also extended to the Valentine’s Soirée committee: Holly Bennett, Mike Cook, MTC DJ Service, Jane Hamilton, RN, Betty Hamel, Jackie Hull, Rose is a Rose Florist, Chris Kjolhede, MD, MPH, and Corrine Smith.


For more information on sponsorship opportunities, call Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network at 607-547-4799.

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New York Power Authority and EPRI Complete Study Funded by APPA on Sustainable Land Practices Integrating Agriculture and Solar Systems


Study to Inform and Offer Improvements to Agrivoltaics in

New York State and Industry Nationwide


Agrivoltaic System Pictured Here


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced the release of a new report, Agrivoltaic Leading Practices, that recommends proven and innovative approaches on integrating dual-land use for agriculture and solar energy production. The study determined that a best practice agrivoltaic site ideally involves stakeholder collaboration, community education, policy incentives, site safety practices, and site-individualized crop selection and solar array design.


“With this report, the Power Authority has drafted a blueprint for sustainable land practices to help guide New York to a more resilient, carbon-free future,” said New York Power Authority Acting President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “This agrivoltaic study provides significant insights for NYPA and New York State as we collaboratively work to meet our nation-leading climate and clean energy goals.”

Agrivoltaics is the simultaneous use of land for typical agricultural practices and photovoltaic (PV) power generation through the use of solar panels. Agrivoltaic systems are designed so that solar panels allow sufficient light to pass to ground crops while also capturing enough sunlight to generate electricity.


“Farmers have always been first and foremost stewards of the environment, taking great care, consideration, and patience in tending to the land that produces their harvest,” New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “NYPA’s work to research dual-land use for agriculture and solar energy production is an important step toward identifying successful outcomes that will balance our need for renewable energy, while sustaining our agricultural industry.”


In March 2022, NYPA announced receipt of a $102,000 grant to fund the report through the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments (DEED) program. The program funds research, pilot projects and education to improve the operations and services of public power utilities. NYPA collaborated with EPRI, an independent, non-profit energy research and development organization, to conduct research and publish the report.


Researchers who authored the new report examined how native vegetation, pollinators, low maintenance plants, agricultural crops as well as grazing livestock can coexist on the same parcel of land as a solar energy project.


The study determined that leading agrivoltaic practices are those that promote the following:


  • Collaboration between the farmer, solar developer, and the power purchaser early in the site selection process to mitigate concerns and establish protocols for the development and management of the solar site that work for the farmer’s needs.


  • Educational programming that fosters a two-way dialogue between farmers and solar developers to create a mutually beneficial site.


  • State-level incentive policies for co-location that makes site-selection more affordable for developers.


  • The development of solar site safety practices that compliment a partnering farmer’s crop rotation schedule to ensure that they can access the site to tend to their crops or herd.


  • Continued research to identify site-specific crops and array design alterations to accommodate the selected crop where appropriate.


The research initiative is one of the Power Authority’s many innovative projects that support New York’s goal to generate 70 percent of the state’s electricity from renewables by 2030. The commitment includes the installation of 6,000 megawatts of solar power by 2025. New York is on target to meet that goal, and by annually installing more than 400 MW per year since 2018, it reached a combined total capacity of 3.3 GW of solar generation at the end of 2021.


“Understanding the nexus between food and energy through agrivoltaics aligns with EPRI’s efforts to explore sustainable technology solutions that benefit communities and the environment,” said David Porter, Vice President, Electrification and Sustainable Energy Strategy. “We enjoyed working with NYPA to examine strategic projects relevant to New York State and its clean energy goals.”


“This project proves the value of collaboration in research and development and shows how diverse organizations can work together to forge new paths,” said Paul Zummo, Director of Research & Development at the American Public Power Association.


NYPA completed an agrivoltaic system comprised of 250 solar panels at the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill in partnership with the college and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in 2015. The photo above is a picture of the SUNY Cobleskill system. 


In addition to the Power Authority’s efforts in agrivoltaics, New York State has established the Farmland Protection Working Group (FPWG) and the Agricultural Technical Working Group (A-TWG). The working groups are designed to ensure solar siting that is responsive to the needs of New York's agricultural communities.


The full Agrivoltaic Leading Practices report is available here. A webinar discussion about the report is taking place today and will be available to APPA DEED program members and others via the APPA website.

More information on the Power Authority’s efforts in creating a more sustainable New York State can be found on NYPA’s website.


NYPA is a long-time DEED program partner and received $250,000 to fund two demonstration projects in 2021—one that is analyzing the impact of ice on a hydropower plant and one testing an advanced technology that evaluates the health of high voltage assets in a substation.

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Extended Drone Capabilities at Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project Will Allow for More Efficient, Thorough Infrastructure Inspections and Improved Worker Safety


The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has received its first federal approval to fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) of the pilot in command. In a significant step forward, this Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) waiver enables NYPA to conduct fully remote drone operations such as asset and vegetative management inspections at its Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project in Schoharie County. NYPA’s growing drone program supports its industry-leading asset management strategies and is part of an Authority-wide digitization initiative to modernize grid infrastructure to advance the efficient delivery of clean power statewide.


“The Power Authority is proud to be leading the way in the advanced deployment of automated flight technologies for use in the utility industry,” said Justin E. Driscoll, New York Power Authority Acting president and CEO. “Drones will become an even more valuable tool as we expand our capability to detect infrastructure issues and support our mapping and land management responsibilities. Being able to capture images remotely, regardless of weather conditions or distances, will allow us to track and evaluate our assets more efficiently and safely.”

FAA Part 107 regulations require drone pilots to maintain visual contact while operating a drone. This waiver allows operators to conduct operations without the requirement for the pilot or an observer to see the unmanned aircraft or to scan the surrounding airspace throughout the entire flight. Routes, however, must be pre-planned and the drone must remain within 50 feet above ground level or within 50 feet of structures.

The waiver was obtained with the help of Skydio, a U.S. drone and software manufacturer providing equipment and advisory services. NUAIR provided a safe testing environment and safety case development, conducting test flights and training for NYPA at the New York UAS test site.

"This important approval enables NYPA to operate Skydio drones beyond line of sight without visual observers,” said Jenn Player, Skydio’s senior director of Regulatory Affairs. “Skydio autonomy and collision avoidance capabilities are key to conducting these low-altitude, high-value operations safely and easily."


Peter Kalaitzidis, NYPA’s UAS program manager, who submitted the application, said the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Project was proposed as a first use case to prove the technology’s application, primarily because of the sparser population in the region. Drones are already being operated at various NYPA sites throughout the state to monitor asset health, including for inspection of transmission lines, vegetation management and monitoring of overgrown trees, and spillway erosion mapping.

Being able to view assets remotely will improve safety for workers and save time. For example, a drone can significantly reduce the time needed to inspect a transmission line, particularly after inclement weather.

The waiver, which is specific to Skydio drones, authorizes operations through 2027 and  grants NYPA the capability to conduct remote operations from other locations without an on-site pilot or visual observer. The timing of the waiver dovetails with the launch of a new drone docking technology by Skydio that allows drones to take off and land autonomously from the dock with a pilot directing operations from a remote location.


“Our application demonstrated to the FAA that we are ready to enhance our program and capabilities,” Kalaitzidis said. “Having this waiver removes limitations and unlocks opportunities moving forward. We will continue to explore potential uses for this technology that will benefit the Authority and hopefully the industry at large. At present, we are developing the procedures, mitigation steps and hardware so we can best use these resources over the next few years.”


NYPA’s extensive in-house drone program is researching and testing new applications to implement drones more fully into day-to-day utility operations while maintaining the highest standards of aviation professionalism and safety. More than 40 employees are now trained as drone pilots, and work on projects ranging from vegetation management to line inspection to project monitoring.



About NYPA

New York Power Authority (NYPA) is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit or follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagramTumblr and LinkedIn.


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“Color Our Community” for World Down Syndrome Day, 3-21

Pathfinder Village encourages community participation in WDSD 2023,
and issues engagement activities to celebrate the global event


Edmeston, New York, February 21, 2023 … Pathfinder Village invites community members and local families to “Color Our Community” in blue and yellow on March 21, World Down Syndrome Day 2023. WDSD is a celebration that highlights the talents and inclusion of people with Down syndrome in communities around the globe.

“We invite our friends and neighbors to put out blue and yellow ribbons, make wreaths or signs, or hang out colorful lights to show their support for those with Down syndrome,” said Monica Clark, Pathfinder’s Manager of Fund Development and People Engagement. “Many of us have enjoyed friendships and meaningful moments with individuals with Down syndrome who color our lives in lasting ways. This is a fun way to show support, boost spirits, and celebrate locally.”

Additionally, Pathfinder will mark WDSD through its 21-Day Challenge, starting on March 1, and participate in the “Rock your Socks” crazy socks day on March 21st that is a mainstay of the global WDSD event. To learn more about “Color Our Community” and Pathfinder’s 21-Day Challenge and other activities, visit the Village’s Facebook and Instagram pages. The Pathfinder Village Foundation will also have its $21 Challenge as a WDSD fundraiser at its online donations page. The goal this year is to receive 2,100 $21 donations.

March 21 – “3-21” – is observed as World Down Syndrome Day as the numerical date represents the triplication of the 21st chromosome in the human genotype, the genetic cause of 95% of occurrences of Down syndrome or Trisomy 21. WDSD has been observed since 2006; it first received recognition by the United Nations in 2012. Blue and yellow have long been viewed as the traditional colors of Down syndrome awareness.

Community members who submit photos and participate through Pathfinder’s social media for “Color Our Community” will be judged to win Pathfinder Village-themed gear.


Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected open-access community and services provider in upstate New York and was founded in 1980 to provide people with Down syndrome and other disabilities an independent and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality services for individuals with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful educational, day services, pre-vocational, and outreach programs. To learn more, plan a visit or visit our fan page on the popular social networking sites, Facebook and Instagram.

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Enhancing Your Retirement Plan through the SECURE 2.0 Act

Written By Editor on 2/19/23 | 2/19/23

The newly-enacted SECURE 2.0 Act contains significant changes that may affect how you plan for retirement. The bill, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden in late 2022, could help you bolster your retirement savings and income strategy. 

Here are some of the key provisions included in the new law, which are being phased in over the next several years: 

New rules now in effect

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) start after age 73

Until recently, RMDs from traditional IRAs and workplace retirement savings plans, such as 401(k) or 403(b) accounts, had to begin after reaching age 72. Now individuals can wait until reaching age 73, extending the benefit of tax-deferred growth of earnings. Distributions must commence by April 1 of the year after turning 73. 

New rules in effect in 2024

Matching contributions for those paying student loans

Employers will have the ability to offer contributions to workplace retirement savings plans that match the amount of student loan debt repaid by an individual employee in a given year. 

Rollovers of 529 education savings plan balances to Roth IRAs

Beneficiaries of 529 plans that have been in place for 15 years or more can transfer assets from the 529 plan to a Roth IRA. The transfer is subject to the beneficiary’s annual contribution limit and up to a lifetime maximum of $35,000.

This provision may alleviate a parent’s potential concern that they are over-funding a 529 plan. For example, if a child qualifies for scholarships, or school expenses are less than anticipated, leftover 529 amounts could be transferred to the beneficiary’s Roth IRA.

Requires catch-up contributions to be made as Roth contributions using after-tax dollars

Catch-up contributions for participants aged 50 or older must be made on a Roth basis under 401(k), 403(b), and governmental 457(b) plans. However, the requirement applies only if the employee’s prior-year wages from the employer sponsoring the plan exceed $145,000 in the previous taxable year. The option to make pre-tax catch-up contributions will continue in 2023. When deciding whether to make pre-tax or Roth contributions for 2023, consider that your future catch-up contributions will have to be Roth contributions if you earn more than $145,000.

No RMDs for Roth workplace plans

Under current law, those with Roth 401(k)s or Roth 403(b) plans are subject to the same required distribution rules as standard workplace plans. However, the new law will eliminate RMDs for workplace-based Roth savings plans, comparable to current rules for Roth IRAs. 

Emergency savings

New emergency savings accounts, associated with an employer’s retirement plan, can be established for many employees. It will allow them to accumulate up to $2,500 in the account, with penalty-free access to the funds allowed once a month, to meet current needs.

Other key changes beyond 2024

Other provisions of the SECURE 2.0 Act that will take effect in 2025 include:

  • The ability of workers ages 60 to 63 to make catch-up contributions of $10,000 per year above the standard limit for workplace retirement plans.

  • A requirement that employers with 401(k) or 403(b) plans automatically enroll eligible employees in a workplace savings plan, starting at a contribution rate of at least 3% (workers can choose to opt out of the plan). 

  • The ability of part-time workers to participate in a workplace retirement plan once they’ve worked at least 500 hours for two consecutive years, rather than the current three-year threshold.

What does it mean for you?

How can these changes enhance your own retirement savings plan? It may be beneficial to talk to your financial advisor to determine how you might be able to leverage the new rules listed here and others to help secure your retirement savings plan.



Michael D. Lanuto, CRPC®, AWMA® is a Financial Advisor with S.M. Miller & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. in Albany, NY.  He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 7 years. To contact him: 518-949-2039; 4 Atrium Drive, Ste 200, Albany, NY, 12205;; 


Ameriprise Financial and its affiliates do not offer tax or legal advice. Consumers should consult with their tax advisor or attorney regarding their specific situation.  


Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser.  


Investment products are not insured by the FDIC, NCUA or any federal agency, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, and involve investment risks including possible loss of principal and fluctuation in value.  


Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC.  


© 2023 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.   


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The Landis Arboretum 2023 BIG Tree Search is now open!

For this BIG tree search Landis is looking for:

  1. NYS's BIGGEST tree. We are looking for the biggest overall single stem tree in New York State regardless of species.
  2. NYS's Champion trees.

A New York State champion is the biggest single stem tree of its kind in NYS. Remember, a champion apple tree will not be as big as a champion white oak will, but all are eligible as possible species champions! All winners will receive a CASH award, Landis membership, and Landis swag!

Want more information? Visit our website here, or download information and an application here. We can't wait to see what you find!

Landis Arboretum is grateful to Bill and Roberta Winsman for their generous support of the 2023 BIG Tree Search.

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Cobleskill Woman Arrested Following Crash in Stolen Vehicle Investigation

Written By Editor on 2/14/23 | 2/14/23

On February 10, State Police of Princetown arrested Jessica L. Glass, 31, of Cobleskill, for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, Unlawful Fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle, Reckless Driving and other Vehicle and Traffic Law Violations. 

On February 10, at about 2:11 a.m. Troopers were dispatched to the Stewarts Shop on West Main Street in Cobleskill=, for a 911 call, reporting that a vehicle had just been stolen from the location. While enroute, Troopers located a vehicle matching the description of the stolen vehicle being operated on State Route 145 near Keyser Road and initiated a traffic stop. The operator, later identified as Glass, failed to comply. Troopers pursued the vehicle until it crashed in the area of Cliff Street in Middleburgh, NY. Glass was taken into custody uninjured, and the vehicle was recovered. 

Glass was transported to SP Cobleskill for processing. She was arraigned at the Cobleskill Town Court and released on her own recognizance. 

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