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Record staffers bring you information on the comings and goings of New York's Collar City.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Volunteers needed for Troy in Bloom

Claire Davis, who has spearheaded the annual Troy in Bloom beautification project, is looking for volunteers tomorrow morning to assist with planting flowers across Troy.

Davis will be at the parking lot of the old City Hall building in Monument Square from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to hand out plants and assignments to volunteers. According to an e-mail sent out to the community, she is especially short on volunteers this year, and with enough people it should only take an hour's worth of work per person.

Anyone interested in helping out can stop by, and volunteers are encouraged to bring along a trowel if they have one but it is not necessary to participate.

Any questions can be directed to Davis at 272-1267.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bryce quiet about latest parking garage deal

Troy developer David Bryce wouldn't say definitively whether or not he would accept the latest deal from the City Council for the sale of the Uncle Sam Parking Garage, but did say that he is still hopeful that a deal can be reached that "works for everyone."

Bryce said that he hasn't personally seen the latest deal, up for vote at the next regular City Council meeting on June 3, but that his lawyer, William Doyle, may have received it. Bryce said that for now he is leaving it up to Doyle to find an acceptable deal.

Doyle declined to comment, referring all questions to Bryce.

The latest proposed deal was presented by Councilman Kevin McGrath, D-District 1, at the City Council Finance Committee meeting on May 20 after a proposed ordinance to reconsider the original sale of the garage -- which failed in a narrow vote in February with one abstention by Ken Zalewski -- submitted by Mark McGrath, R-District 2, was ruled out of order because Mark McGrath did not vote with the majority on the original deal. The latest deal is similar to an interim contract submitted to The Record by Kevin McGrath that was later deemed illegal because it set and froze an assessed value for the garage for a period of ten years.


Kevin McGrath said that he has exhausted negotiations and that this is the deal they are offering to Bryce, "take it or leave it." Mayor Harry Tutunjian has already said he doesn't believe Bryce will take the deal.

Bryce said that he just wants to bring business to Troy, but wouldn't say whether or not that involves accepting this latest deal for the sale of the garage.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Record photographer loves Uncle Joe "sometimes"

(Photo by AP Photographer Mike Groll)
As told from the viewpoint of longtime Record photographer Tom Killips:

"As Joe Bruno was walking surrounded by media from the Federal courthouse to Jack's for dinner, a passing motorist shouted 'we love you Joe' Joe Bruno extended his hand to shake mine and asked if I loved him too. Having known him and covered him for 30 years I responded 'sometimes,' which I thought was fair. He responded 'I love you sometimes,' while his son Ken laughed and said 'You couldn't just say yes?'

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stickball tournament raises over $8,000 for local food pantry

Organizers of Saturday's We Play For Food Stickball Tournament in Little Italy nearly doubled last year's donations to raise over $8,000 worth of food for the Roarke Center food pantry.

Organizer Rocco DeFazio said that he was very excited that they were able to collect so much non-perishable food.

"This will keep them going for four months," DeFazio said. He already has set a goal for next year of $10,000 worth of food raised. He said that the 12 teams and the community all came together to help out the food pantry, some of which know firsthand the good that the Roarke Center does.

DeFazio said that one man came to the event with two big Price Chopper bags of groceries. "You could tell he had been walking for a while," De Fazio said. The man came back again later that day, and the food collector asked him what organization he was with.

"The man said that a while back he lost his job, and that the Roarke Center had helped him out and his family," said DeFazio. "He had walked all the way to the Watervliet Price Chopper to buy food and bring it back twice."

DeFazio said the great thing about the tournament is that it doesn't require a lot of upfront cost.

"The beauty of this event is we don't leave a big footprint," he said. "We do it with just a rubber ball and a broom handle baseball bat."

DeFazio said that the winning team, Deep Six, was made up of "ringers" that play in the Little Italy Stickball League. DeFazio said that he hopes when people hear about the success of the tournament, it will encourage them to get involved next year.

The Roarke Center, located on 4th St., feeds over 500 people every month.

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