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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 6, 2008

Keeping women like Nana free of breast cancer
Rothbergs plan second fundraiser in Voorheesville park

By Philippa Stasiuk

VOORHEESVILLE — One boy’s coming-of-age good deed — fighting breast cancer in the name of his grandmother — will continue for another year.

Twelve-year-old Paul Rothberg plans to host “Paul’s Second Annual Breast Cancer Event” next October because this year’s event was such a success.

Judy Rothberg said she had pressed her son for ideas about what to do for his mitzvah and he came up with the breast cancer event on his own. In the Jewish faith, a mitzvah can be interpreted as a good deed done prior to a Jewish adolescent’s coming of age, which is usually celebrated as a bar mitzvah for boys and a bat mitzvah for girls.

Mrs. Rothberg’s mother, Ann, is a breast cancer survivor and Paul said he wanted his good deed to benefit breast cancer research. In a letter to the Voorheesville mayor in May, Paul wrote, “If I could be the reason one more woman like my Nana is breast cancer free, that would mean the world to me.”

The trouble was, by the time the board approved their request to use the park, Judy and Paul Rothberg had just two months to plan the day. 

“I went out of my mind and I totally want to do it again next year. I’m a glutton for punishment but it was very fulfilling,” Mrs. Rothberg said from her home on Spruce Court in Voorheesville.

 At the village board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 28, the board approved Mrs. Rothberg’s application to use Nichols Park for the first Saturday in October of 2009. 

Although the two months leading up to the Oct. 4 event this year were busy, Mrs. Rothberg described the day as a great success. Paul and his grandmother led a group of people on a walk from the Voorheesville Public Library to Nichols Park for a carnival-like afternoon filled with face painting, tug of war, basketball, and a bouncy-bounce. Judy Rothberg raffled off donations from numerous local businesses that she and Paul had solicited, and which included an autographed River Rats hockey stick from Brian Kovelman, the owner of Mild Wally’s on Quail St. in Albany.

Paul and Judy Rothberg raised over $800 for their efforts that day, and had the satisfaction of sending the check and a thank-you letter to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Other business

In other business at its October meeting, the village board:

— Heard from Trustee Richard Berger that the volunteer fire company would like to explore the possibility of increasing members from 59 to 70 and is currently looking into the cost of growth;

— Heard that, as of Nov. 15, vehicles can’t be parked on the street overnight. This regulation is in effect to keep the streets clear for snow removal and will last until April 15;

— Heard from Berger that Clerk-Treasurer Linda Pasquale has begun the village court internal audit. This annual audit is required by the state court system and the results will be presented at the next board meeting;

— Heard from Deputy Mayor William Hotaling that two appeals were heard at the September zoning board meeting. A three-foot side yard and a two-foot rear yard, both at169 Fairfield, were approved for se- back variances.

— Heard from Hotaling that the sidewalk near the Voorheesville Avenue train tracks, next to the Verizon utility building and opposite the diner, has been coated with black top and work is now completed. Trustee Jack Stevens said a white line would separate the walkway from the actual roadway. He is willing to donate time and equipment in order to create one. Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Karen Finnessey said the area needs better lighting. The board is looking into both of these issues;

—Heard condolences from Mayor Robert Conway to the family of Larry Frank. “Our prayers and thoughts are with his family,” he said; 

—Heard from Stevens that the board will send letters to the residents on South Acres who have requested access to the sewer system on Moss Road developed by Eric King. The board will approve their requests for access to the sewer system once the results of the sewer capacity study are finalized. Residents will then have one year in which to hook up to the sewer system at their own expense;  

—Heard from Village Attorney Anne Jo McTague that the village has requested additional money in King’s escrow account to cover the cost of the final topcoat of Moss Road. The additional money will reflect the increased cost of oil prices between now and when the development project was formed. Once the topcoat has been applied, the road can be dedicated to the village, which will then be responsible for the road’s upkeep, including snowplowing;

—Declared as surplus a 2000 Chevrolet one-ton dump truck with a sander and plow. A request for bids will be posted soon in The Enterprise with a minimum bid of $2,000;

—Heard from Finnessey that the court has purchased new chairs for the general assembly and the judge’s chair through a grant of about $6,900. The grant is part of the Justice Court Assistance Program, an annual grant to be used for court-related items;

—Heard from Conway that, in compliance with the Capital District Solid Waste plan, Voorheesville will be adopting a formal recycling program; and 

—Heard from Conway that, on Oct. 17, the Voorheesville Elementary school fourth-graders paid him an annual visit after touring the village. Conway said it was his third time visiting with the kids and admitted, “It doesn’t get any easier.” 

Some of the questions he fielded this time included being asked what is the worst thing that had ever happened in the building, to which he replied by asking them if they’d ever been to a budget workshop. Two girls asked him whether he preferred hamsters or guinea pigs. Conway replied that he prefers hamsters but said his answer seemed to be the wrong one as the girls who asked him were clearly disappointed.

“It’s always a lot of fun,” Conway said, “and we like having them in.” 

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