Watchful Waiting

I have been writing and editing a post regarding the school budget for a while now but it seems whenever I feel close to pushing that Publish button, something changes.

So that being said, I feel it is best to wait for the appearance of the School Runs. What’s that, you say?

The school runs list out the amount of State aid doled out to each district according to the formula. Each district run is broken out so you can how the formula works. It isn’t pretty.

You can find last year’s here. The Legislature is currently debating and voting on the bill that will set the formula into motion. I think once the bill is voted on, the runs will be released. Once that happens, the district will have set funding to work with and will be able to present solid scenarios that won’t contain moving target numbers. Until then, I will wait to opine.

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Good News, Bad News

The bad news is that the school budget hole is nearly insurmountable this year. I seriously fear for the future of my child’s education in Averill Park, but more on that in another post.

The good news, in my opinion, is that the Sand Lake Day Camp will be operating and has restored the extended hours. Hallelujah!! And they kept the price flat. Double happiness.

Last year, due to school budget woes and the eventual enacted contingency budget, the camp’s future was in limbo thanks to limitations on using Sand Lake School. It did go on but with limited hours from 8-4:30…not exactly helpful for working parents.

BIG thanks to Sand Lake Youth for making it happen this year. It’s one less thing to worry about as we watch our District crumble under budget cuts.

Spring is in the Air

The calendar may say March 21, but it sure feels like summer this week.  Accordingly, I’ll bet I’m not the only AP resident looking around at our seasonal businesses and wondering when they’ll be opening up for the spring.

So here’s a roundup so far:

Kay’s Pizza – Everyone’s favorite lakeside roadhouse.  Looks like they will open on April 1st!  No foolin…

The Hollywood Drive-In – One of the last remaining drive-in movie theaters in the Capital District.  They are hoping for April 6, but it’s not set in stone yet.  So get that bug spray ready…

Jiffy Mart Ice Cream – Their ice cream sign was on when I drove by on March 17.  Lucky indeed!  I’ll be stopping in for a FlavorBurst cone very soon….

Rocket’s Drive In – Not seeing any signs of life yet.  They tend to open later than most.

Hoffay Farm – I drove by the other day and their placard said Opening March 24.  Not sure if that means their playground is opening or if this is just for the Harvest House.  Guess you’ll have to stop in and check it out for yourself.

That is about it for our local town haunts.  (Did I miss any??)  However, there are some goodies in our neighboring towns as well.

Wynantskill:

Jack’s Drive In – You can smell the burgers up and down Main Street.  They beat most to the punch and opened mid-March.  Be prepared for long lines as long as this summer weather holds.

The Big Dipper – A yummy ice cream/food stand also on Main Street.  Again, not seeing much sign of life yet.   Look like they are open!   Yay!

North and East Greenbush:

Gene’s Fish Fry – Gotta love their website.  One big fish with the words…Opening Day April 28th, 2011.

The Oasis – They opened for mini golf and ice cream on March 18.

Funplex and Lickety Split – Nothing on the website yet and haven’t driven by lately.

And now a moment of silence for the late Wholly Cow in Nassau.  Bummer.

Sand Lake Restaurant Week!

Let’s start with something really positive!  This week is Sand Lake Restaurant Week.  Oh yum!  And the weather gods have accomodated us with deck-worthy sunshine and warmth as well.  You can’t lose.

It looks like all of the biggies on Route 43 are participating, such as The Arlington House, Uncle Marty’s, The Lakeview and the Towne Tavern are all offering special $20.12 menus.  Additionally, off of the 43 path, Paolo Lombardis and Villa Valente are in the mix.

Links to the menus and to the restaurants are all available at the above link.  We really do have some fabulous food offerings in Sand Lake and it’s nice to see them getting showcased.

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I have never been to the Arlington House except for an after work drink.  The bartender was best, so I can give kudos there.  I plan on getting there soon, if not this week.

Everything Old is New Again…

Welcome to my new (old) blog.  It used to be a random, never updated, load of whatever was on my mind.  After many years of neglect, I’ve decided to resurrect it and give it some focus.  I may leave some old posts from its former life but I will probably delete everything prior.  It wasn’t that interesting to begin with! (Note:  I did leave most of the Red Sox posts.  I am a huge fan.  Deal with it…nicely of course)

As you can see, it is now called Life in the Park.  Or more specifically, life in Averill Park.  It’s probably not that interesting to anyone that doesn’t live in the town of Sand Lake, but perhaps some might be interested in my City Girl-turned-Country observations.  I’m a native of Schenectady and I moved here when I got married.  It’s a tight knit town with a core of lifers who come from generations of Sand Lake residents and it can be a tad intimidating to an “outsider” that is trying to lay down roots.  I’ve been here for more than 12 years now and I feel that I’ve earned my right to an opinion finally.

There is plenty to talk about.  The small town politics can be a hoot, or downright scary, the school district budget woes have spawned several opposing blogs and Facebook pages that could be the fodder of a black comedy sitcom and I hope to occasionally opine on the “silent majority” that may be too timid to step forward (I know I am!!).  I’m not going to link to certain active (and opposing) sites on the issues of the school budget because I do not want to be affiliated with either side.  I will call it as I see it as a homeowner and parent…or you can just call me Switzerland.

On the flip side, the town boasts of beautiful lakes, restaurants and unique offerings that I hope to highlight.  Sure we live “in the sticks”, but our sticks has many hidden gems worthy of the spotlight.  Give me Kays Pizza, smoked Towne Tavern wings or sticky cinnamon buns from Pie Squared any day.

So welcome to my blog observations of The Place of Picnics, Porches and Progress.  Comments are most welcome here but I expect nothing less than respect of others opinions.  Argumentative conversation and name-calling will not be tolerated here.