Meeting Clipboard: 10/21/21

Members Attending (14): Debbie Rodriguez, Bill Dowd, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Pat Bailey, Kevin Leyhane, Phil Kellerman, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Tony Morris, Andy Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Becky Raymond.

Guests: None.

President Debbie Rodriguez presided, noting the presence of a quorum via Zoom with no proxies filed.

Health update: Murray Forth is home and recuperating from knee surgery, but will not be physically active in the club for a month or two. … Doris Calamaras remains hospitalized, and a card has been sent to her on behalf of the club.

Donations: Checks have been mailed to the USS Slater floating museum in Albany in memory of Bill Wyld ($150) and to the District in lieu of a gift basket for the upcoming Foundation Dinner ($100). The club agreed to send a $150 check to the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center in memory of Dr. Martha Lepow (see story here).

Shirt Orders: An order has been submitted to the District in support of a Foundation fundraising effort. The order form and details still can be found on our website for anyone else who wishes to give orders via Debbie Rodriguez.

Financial Activities: Phil Kellerman reported that the Internal Revenue Service Form 990 report card has been submitted on behalf of the club. He will contact the District to be sure any other required information has been submitted. … Our Foundation Committee will begin regularly meeting to discuss relative matters.

Holiday Party: The consensus of those in attendance was to hold our annual Holiday Party & Gift Basket Raffle on Thursday, December 16, at Moscatiello’s. Details to come.

Zoom Account: Bill Dowd will upgrade our club’s Zoom account from the limited-time free version to the Pro Level, using a discount offer. A number of members pledged $25 each to cover the first year’s upgrade which will eliminate the 40-minute limit on individual meetings.

Next meeting: Dinner meeting at Moscatiello’s, 6:15 p.m. Thursday, October 28, which will start at 6:15 p.m. after a social period. Dinner choices will be chicken Caesar salad, chicken Marsala, or baked ziti. No reservations are necessary, price is $25 (please bring exact amount). Note: Anyone who will not be attending the session is asked to email President Debbie a proxy that can be counted toward a quorum.

Meeting Clipboard: 10/14/21

Peter and Debbie Brown share their adventures in France. (photo by Bill Dowd)

Members Attending (13): Debbie Rodriguez, Kevin Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Pat Bailey, Andy Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Becky Raymond,Tony Morris, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown.

Guests (1): Debbie Morris.

President Debbie Rodriguez presided over the session, held at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant. She noted the presence of a quorum.

Meeting Notes:

• Two donations were re-proposed and approved, a carryover business item from last week when we did not have a quorum: $150 to the USS Slater, the destroyer escort floating museum docked in Albany, in memory of our late member Bill Wyld, who was a longtime member of the U.S. Navy and volunteer for veterans’ activities; $100 to the District in lieu of a gift basket for the upcoming Rotary Foundation Dinner.

• Debbie issued a reminder that Rotary shirts and sweatshirts are being sold as a Foundation fundraiser. Payment is not required until the items are delivered. Anyone wishing to order should contact her and use the order form that has been posted for some time on the club website.

• The matter of the size of a meeting quorum was discussed. Currently, 12 members are required to be present to achieve that status which is necessary to vote on any business coming before the club. With sporadic Zoom and in-person attendance in recent weeks, it has been suggested we consider lowering the number. Bill Dowd spoke against such a move, saying “I don’t want our club to be like the Postal Service which recently announced it is lowering its service standards so it could meet them. If we dropped to, say 9, as has been suggested, we might as well pack it in. I’d rather we made a stronger effort to improve attendance instead of tinkering with our Bylaws.” He pointed out that the Bylaws already allow members to be present by proxy, and proxies count toward a quorum. As he noted, any proxy must be specific that it is a “yea” or “nay” vote, and should be sent in advance to the President. In addition, Kevin Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, and Jim Leyhane are working on the details of streaming our in-person meetings via Zoom, which would give members a third way to attend and obviate any perceived necessity to lower our quorum. After more discussion, those present agreed by consensus with that stance.

• Bill and Debbie reminded members that our Clynk container recycling effort in support of ShelterBox continues. Bill asked anyone needing barcode stickers to affix to the collection bags contact him. The bags may be purchased at Hannaford supermarket customer service counters.

• Becky Raymond reported that she and Debbie R, have been involved in purchasing supplies for hygiene kits for a joint Rotaract/Graduate Student Organization project scheduled for October 28. Rotarians are invited to participate in assembling the kits in a session scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. at the UAlbany School of Public Health in Rensselaer. … Becky and Debbie will attend a Rotaract board meeting on Friday.

• In lieu of a speaker, Peter and Debbie Brown shared anecdotes of their recent 13-day trip to France in which they traveled across the Brittany peninsula and visited Paris.

• NEXT MEETING: 7 p.m. Thursday, October 21, via Zoom. Check the club website calendar page for the access link.

Meeting Clipboard: 9/30/21

President Debbie Rodriguez receives RI pennant from District Governor Bruce McConnelee. (photos by Roberto Martinez)

Members Attending (12): Debbie Rodriguez, Kevin Leyhane, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Dean Calamaras, Roberto Martinez, Phil Kellerman, Charlie Foote, Becky Raymond.

Guests (4): District Governor Bruce McConnelee, District Governor-elect Denise DiNoto, Mary Drumm, Lorraine McConnelee.

• President Debbie Rodriguez presided. Jim Leyhane requested a moment of silence in remembrance of former member Bill Wyld (see obituary).

• District Governor Bruce McConnelee presented the club with a 2021-22 Rotary pennant. He said this year’s motto is “Serve To Change Lives.” He also touched on a variety of topics such as the upcoming Foundation Dinner and its “Roaring Twenties” theme; Ballston Spa club is selling shirts as a Foundation fundraiser at prices ranging from $25-40 depending on style (see order form here); new clubs within Rotary include a Veterans Club in Glenville focused on military veterans and an international, online Heartbeat Club; the annual RI convention, scheduled for Houston in 2022 after two years of virtual events due to the pandemic; a Membership Diversity Team, headed by Ken Baxter, now has 10 members.

• Bruce distributed new Rotary pins to those in attendance. Anyone still in need of one can pick one up at the October 14 meeting.

• Club treasurer Murray Forth is hospitalized after having a knee replacement removed. He will undergo rehab and extended treatments.

• Dean Calamaras reported that 120 people participated in the Gift of Life Golf Tournament at Pine Haven Country Club in Guilderland. SRC had three foursomes. Final financial report is pending.

• Jim Leyhane revived discussion that we began in 2019 (see report here) on a potential school bus camera program. The aim is to help enforce the state prohibition on passing a stopped school bus, which problem that seems to be on the rise in recent years. The cost is about $1,000 per camera. Jim said he knows of two school districts that would be interested and said this could be a self-sustaining initiative if properly drawn up and implemented. The matter will be brought up for additional discussion.

• Next Meetings: We will meet virtually at 7 p.m. next Thursday, October 7, via Zoom. As always, members can access the meeting via the club website calendar page. The following Thursday, October 14, we will return to Moscatiello’s (5:30 social time, 6:15 dinner meeting).

Meeting clipboard: 9/23/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (8, no quorum): Kevin Leyhane, Bill Dowd, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Phil Kellerman, Dick Drumm.

GUESTS: None.

President-elect Kevin Leyhane presided in the absence of President Debbie Rodriguez.

Most of the Zoom session was devoted to sharing of members’ impressions of the initial dinner meeting at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant in North Greenbush. While largely positive, several members noted that the $25 per person charge was high, considering the menu prices for the two entrees available was much lower than that. Conversely, it was noted that Moscatiello’s was not charging an extra fee for the private room, and overall food prices have risen sharply in recent months as inflation continues to hit more parts of the economy.

For the foreseeable future, we will alternate in-person meetings at Moscatiello’s with virtual meetings via Zoom. As always, the schedule and access links will be available on the club website calendar page.

Next Thursday, September 30, we will be hosting District Governor Bruce McConnelee and District Governor-elect Denise DiNoto. The club is encouraging members to bring their spouses or significant others to the dinner to insure a strong turnout.

The menu entree choices: Chicken Limone (chicken breast sauteéd in white wine with garlic, lemon, capers, olives, mushrooms, served over spinach); spaghetti and meatballs, and penne a la vodka. No need for RSVPs, just tell our waitperson when you arrive which of the three entrees you prefer. A cash bar also is available.

Meeting Clipboard: 9/9/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (9): Debbie Rodriguez, Kevin Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Becky Raymond, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Charlie Foote, Roberto Martinez, Pat Bailey.

Guests: None.

President Debbie Rodriguez called the virtual meeting to order via Zoom. We did not have a quorum, so no official business could be conducted. However, a number of informational and scheduling topics were addressed, and Debbie thanked the various members who filled in for her during her absence to attend to a family emergency:

SCHOLARSHIPS — Roberto reported that District 7190 has informed the club it approved a grant of $1,000 toward our annual scholarship awards for graduating seniors at Columbia, Maple Hill, and Rensselaer high schools next June.

MEETING ARRANGEMENTS — A club committee scouted out potential in-person dinner meeting sites and decided to try Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant on a trial basis. We will meet there on September 16 and 30 (5:30 p.m. social period, 6:15 dinner and meeting). In between, we will meet via Zoom at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 23. The club needs to formalize the sort of schedule we will follow through the fall (all in-person, all-virtual, alternating the two). Details of the Moscatiello’s meetings (times, cost, etc.) will be emailed to all members and posted on the website as usual. Likewise, the link to access the Zoom meeting on September 23 will be on the website calendar page as always.

GOL FUNDRAISER — The club has put together three foursomes to participate in the annual 7190 Gift of Life Golf Tournament on September 20 at Pinehaven Country Club in Guilderland.

RLI SIGNUPS — Links to register for the virtual Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) sessions are available on the club website story on the topic. As always, the club will reimburse members for any registration fees incurred.

Presidential Changeover 2021

Incoming president Debbie Rodriguez and outgoing president Dick Drumm share a moment.

MEMBERS ATTENDING (14): Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Bill Dowd, Pat Bailey, Maggie Forth, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Kevin Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Ray Hannan.

GUESTS (Numerous): Mary Drumm, Stewart Wagner, Lois Hannan, Jeremy Forth, various Leyhanes and Drumms, etc.

The torch, figuratively, has been passed.

Charter member Dick Drumm closed out his presidential term by turning over the club reins to Debbie Rodriguez for her second go-round at the club presidency during the annual Presidential Changeover picnic at the Drumm residence Thursday evening.

Debbie officially takes office on July 1 for the 2021-22 Rotary Year. The remainder of the Board:

President-elect: Kevin Leyhane

Vice President: Terry Brewer

Immediate Past President: Dick Drumm

Treasurer: Murray Forth

Secretary: Pat Bailey

At-Large Directors: Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Dean Calamaras, Becky Raymond

Dick Drumm congratulates Bill Dowd as club “Rotarian of the Year.”

• ROTARIAN OF THE YEAR — During the business portion of the event, Dick provided a brief synopsis of his year, thanking everyone for their support during a particularly difficult period. He also cited Bill Dowd as the club’s “Rotarian of the Year,” selected for his ongoing work as the club’s webmaster and social media coordinator, his efforts to maintain club continuity through a program of Zoom sessions, acting as our ShelterBox coordinator and fundraiser, Adopt-a-Family coordinator, and various other support efforts.

• FINANCIAL UPDATE — Treasurer Murray reported that the club has, through both club and individual members’ donations, given more than $18,000 this year to various charities and organizations. He also reported that our new donor advised fund (DAV), formally called The Dr. Richard Drumm Fund, has a $22,000 principal and total worth of $22,463.

• MEETING VENUE RESEARCH — Murray said our former meeting venue, Quigley’s Food & Drink, is close to finalizing a sale, according to owner John Walsh who has retired from the restaurant business. … We still are looking into possibilities with the East Greenbush Fire Department and the Crisp Cannoli restaurant or will discuss possibilities with QUigley’s purchaser. We also are considering alternating in-person and Zoom meeting beginning in September.

NEXT MEETING — We are off next week leading into the Fourth of July weekend. Our next get-together is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, July 8, a picnic hosted by Debbie and Peter Brown that kicks off our “Summer Casual” schedule for July and August. Please be sure to contact them ASAP if you are fully vaccinated and plan to attend.

Scenes from a picnic:

Outgoing President Dick displays his plaque and Rotary fleece gifts

Meeting Clipboard: 6/17/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (14): Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Charlie Foote, Tony Morris, Phil Kellerman, Ray Hannan, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras.

Guests (5): Hannah Grill, Meghan Bennett, Mike Bennett, Michael Harkin, Teresa Herbert.

Roberto welcomed and congratulated SRC Rotary Club Scholarship recipients and other guests.

Meghan Bennett

Teresa Herbert of Maple Hill High School introduced graduating senior Meghan Bennett, who will be attending Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, to study communications. She said Meghan, a member of the National Honor Society, does not seek the spotlight for her efforts. She is and someone who wants to make a difference in the world. Meghan’s focus has been on reducing the stigma of mental illness and spreading awareness. Megan said she has made volunteering a mission.  She has worked with St. Jude since 2016 and raised money for its Children’s Hospital. 

Hannah Grill

Mike Harkin introduced Hanna Grill, a graduating senior at Columbia High School. She is Student Council president, and someone who always wants to give back to the community without expecting praise. Hanna said she likes to focus on academic achievement and helping the community. She has enjoyed working with pep rallies and cheerleading, spending time working with regional food banks and Equinox. She plans to continue volunteering while attending Marist College in Poughkeepsie. She has not yet declared her major.

Both students thanked Rotary for the $1,000 scholarships, and the group in turn congratulated the students. Roberto passed along scholarship coordinator Terry Brewer’s congratulations since he was unable to attend. Administrators Mike Harkin and Mike Bennett both thanked the SRC Rotary for continuing the scholarship program, and Mike Bennett also expressed appreciation to SRC for supporting students in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program his students attended.

PRESIDENTIAL CHANGEOVER — Dick Drumm will pass the gavel to Debbie Rodriguez for the 2021-22 Rotary Year at a picnic he and Mary are hosting at 6 p.m. next Thursday at their farm, catered by O’Kenny’s Express of Valatie. Anyone who has not yet RSVP’d and would like to attend is asked to contact the Drumms by Saturday at the latest. Dick asked anyone who wishes to do so bring an appetizer or dessert. He is covering the cost of the caterer, but is asking attendees to donate what they would like, with all proceeds going to the club treasury. Suggested donation is $15 to $20 for adults, $5 for kids. All adult attendees should be fully vaccinated.

SOLD-OUT “SUMMER CASUAL” EVENTS — Reservations have been closed for two “Summer Casual” field trips — August 5 to New Lebanon for dinner at Mario’s Restaurant and a performance at The Theater Barn; August 19 for a picnic and ValleyCats baseball game at Bruno Stadium. Bill Dowd has asked that those people for whom he has purchased theater tickets send him checks for $33 per ticket at their convenience. Debbie Rodriguez plans to collect $30 per person for the ValleyCats outing at the Presidential Changeover picnic next week.

OTHER “SUMMER CASUAL” EVENTS — The first event of the summer season — and the first of the new Rotary Year — will be a picnic at the Browns’ residence on Thursday, July 8. Any fully vaccinated people who wishes to attend is asked to contact Debbie and/or Peter ASAP to help them with the planning. … We also have added an event to the calendar — Thursday, August 12, when Ray and Lois Hannan will host and pay for a dinner at the Schodack Diner, with all donations going to the club treasury. (See chart below for the full schedule; please note we have one open date that anyone who wishes can claim to host or arrange an event.)

MEETING VENUE SEARCH — Dick, Jim, and Roberto had lunch at the Crisp Canoli and spoke with the owner about the possibility of holding our weekly dinner meetings there. They are awaiting a proposal. … Jim also has been in contact with the East Greenbush Fire Department about meeting at the Phillips Road firehouse, which would cost the club $50 per session. Phil Kellerman and Dean Calamaras will help him check out the facility next week.

Meeting Clipboard: 6/10/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (11, no quorum): Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Bill Dowd, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Pat Bailey, Phil Kellerman, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Charlie Foote.

GUESTS (2): Emma Endres, Brandy Cenci.

President Dick Drumm called the meeting to order and welcomed our guests — student Emma Endres and faculty member Brandy Cenci of Rensselaer High School. Emma is one of our SRC Rotary Scholarship recipients this year as part of the Class of 2021.

Emma, who is graduating second in her class, will attend SUNY Plattsburgh in the fall. She plans to major in early childhood education (K-6). In addition to her regular academic regimen, Emma was involved in the New Visions occupational-shadowing program for technical education. A multi-sport athlete (her softball team won its league championship and was undefeated until the final game of the season), she was instrumental in numerous major fundraising efforts to help fund her school’s athletic program which, due to financial cuts, had been reduced from $213,000 to $135,00.

Asked her advice to students planning their future, Emma said, “Follow what your heart wants and what makes you happy.”

BUSINESS NOTES:

DINNER & A SHOW — Bill Dowd reported that all 12 seats for the August 5 package in New Lebanon have been reserved. Dinner will be at Mario’s Restaurant, followed by a performance of the Cole Porter musical “Night & Day” at The Theater Barn. He noted that although the restaurant group size is capped, anyone else who wishes to reserve a theater seat on their own can do so online.

PICNIC & BASEBALL — Debbie Rodriguez reported that she has received reservations for 13 of the 20 available seats for a picnic and ValleyCats game at Bruno Stadium on August 19, and has a tentative group that will fill the remaining spots. Anyone still wishing to reserve should contact her ASAP to discuss the possibilities.

• TENTATIVE EVENT — Ray Hannan tentatively reserved August 12, one of our two open “Summer Casual” dates for an event he is working on. Details to come. That leaves August 26 as our last open date. Anyone wishing to host or arrange an event for that date should contact Debbie Rodriguez and/or Bill Dowd to hold the date.

SOAP SALES — Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez reported they have sold the last of 200 bars of handcrafted, scented soaps as a scholarship fundraiser. They accumulated $1,400+.

GIFT OF LIFE — Dean and Doris Calamaras announced that the District GOL is seeking candidates for board seats. In addition, organizers of the September 20 GOL Golf Tournament at Pinehaven Country Club in Guilderland are seeking sponsors via program ad purchases and outright donations. Contact Dean for details.

• MEETING VENUE SEARCH — Jim reported that he has been in contact with the East Greenbush Fire Department about making one of the firehouses available at no charge for our weekly dinner meetings. (We would need to find a caterer.) He said he should receive preliminary information on details after an EGFD next week. Roberto said he plans to contact the management of the Crisp Canoli to discuss possibilities.

SCHOLARSHIP VISITORS — Two more SRC Rotary Scholarship recipients are scheduled to join us via Zoom next Thursday, June 17: Meghan Bennett of Maple Hill High School and Hannah Grill of Columbia High School.

Meeting Clipboard: 5/27/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (12): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Debbie Rodriguez, Ray Hannan, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Phil Kellerman, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Pat Bailey.

GUESTS (1): Christian Maltunas.

MEETING NOTES:

• PAUL HARRIS FELLOWS — At least six members have donated $250 each to the Rotary Foundation to qualify for 750 PH points from District 7190, which means 1,000 dollars/points. That is enough to qualify them for a Paul Harris Fellow designation or a PH+ level. The deadline for anyone else wishing to do so needs to make their $250 donations by the end of the month AND email DG Rich Griesche that they have done so to assure the 750 points are recorded for them. Rich’s email address is richg851@aol.com. Details of the program are available by clicking here.

• SCHOLARSHIPS — Emma Endress, a graduating senior, and administrator Brandy Cenci of Rensselaer High School will be joining us via Zoom on June 10. Emma is one of three seniors who are being awarded $1,000 SRC Rotary Scholarships this year. We still are waiting for responses from recipients at Columbia and Maple Hill high schools.

• SUMMER CASUAL — We are lining up social events for July and August. July is full, but dates remain available on August 5, 12, and 26. If you wish to host an event or plan an outing, please contact President-elect Debbie Rodriguez or webmaster Bill Dowd to reserve the date.

• IN-PERSON MEETING — Our first in-person meeting of the 2020-21 Rotary Year — a brief business session followed by a subs-and-beverages social session — will be held at 6 p.m. (note the earlier time) at the Martinez residence next Thursday, June 3. Open to members and guests as long as they have been fully vaccinated. The deadline for letting Roberto (rrmtz@aol.com) or co-host Jim Leyhane (leyhane@aol.com) know if you plan to attend is Tuesday to allow for a proper headcount.

Christian Maltunas

• SPEAKER — Christian Maltunas, who had been teaching math and science in schools in New York and Connecticut, returned to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his alma mater, to pursue a PhD. in nanotechnology. He just completed his second year of academic work and now is in fulltime research.

He provided an overview of the relatively rapid advancement in reducing the size and speed of computer components in recent times. He is working on the nano level to find ways to improve current technology. Several slides from his on-screen presentation show the rapid advancement so far in the field from the bulky machines we knew in the 1930s-’60s to the ever-shrinking devices of today.

Meeting Clipboard: 5/20/21

MEMBERS ATTENDING (17): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Debbie Rodriguez, Ray Hannan, Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Tony Morris, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Charlie Foote, Andy Leyhane.

GUESTS (1): David Harris.

PAUL HARRIS POINTS: The District has announced a program to help Rotarians achieve Paul Harris Fellow status (or adding PH levels +1, +2, etc.) by contributing $250 to the Rotary Foundation. The District then will add 750 District Donation Points to that payment to reach the 1,000 dollars/points needed for each PH level. All individuals need to do is make the $250 donation no later than May 30 (click here to download the Foundation donation form) then notify District Governor Rich Griesche (richg851.aol.com@clubrunner.email) that you have done so, and he will take it from there.

• SCHOLARSHIP VISITORS: Terry Brewer continues to work on lining up Zoom visits by our three SRC Rotary Scholarships recipients from Columbia, Maple Hill, and Rensselaer high schools. We probably will have their visits divided between the June 10 and 17 meetings.

• IN-PERSON MEETING: Members who are fully vaccinated and plan to attend our first in-person meeting of the 2020-21 Rotary Year — 6 p.m. (note the earlier meeting time) Thursday, June 3, at Roberto Martinez’s residence — are asked to email Roberto (rrmtz@aol.com) or co-host Jim Leyhane (leyhane@aol.com) NO LATER THAN TUESDAY, JUNE 1, so they have an accurate headcount for ordering food.

SPEAKER DAVID HARRIS: Our speaker was the Schodack Town Supervisor, now in his second and final term in office. He provided a rundown of how the town has been conducting business during the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by an update on commercial development in the town.

Much of new and proposed business expansion is concentrated on the Route 9 corridor which, he noted, “Is commercial, always has been commercial, and always will be commercial.” He listed such new businesses as several Stewart’s Shops locations, a new specialty butcher shop, the latest expansion of the Curtis Lumber venue, and the proposed expansion of Amazon’s presence which would add about 500 jobs to its current 1,100-person local workforce.

David pointed out that Amazon is helping pay for expansion and upgrades of water and sewer lines in the area, and noted that other companies and developers would be following suit. “Infrastructure is what draws businesses, and businesses are the main contributor to the town tax base,” he said, with builder-supported infrastructure making it possible to attract still more businesses.

Among other topics, he talked about

• Adding two police offers to the force, and posting an officer on the Empire State Trail, probably on weekends. Amazon contributed a police bike to that effort, which will be utilized by the force’s first female officer, hired several months ago by Chief John Horrigan.

• Improving water quality and availability in various parts of the town. In particular, the area around Nassau Lake will become a water district and the town is working with state and federal representatives to get General Electric to pay for a water system necessitated by continued drainage from the old, controversial Dewey Loeffel landfill.

• NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Christian Multunas, a doctoral candidate in nanotechnology at RPI, 7 p.m. via Zoom.