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How about some good stuff?

July 9, 2009 - John Stack
Worldview :I was at The Fallen Arch last week getting new running shoes (I’m running the 15K Boilermaker in Utica Sunday!). I was talking with the owner Gail. I saw a box for used running shoes. I had known about some charities that take used sneakers, and send them to Africa. But, the nearest ‘drop off’ area was not close. But, this box was put there by Keela Dates, who is the founder and director of Reason2smile Inc. This charity helps out the Kenyan Jambo Jipya school which was founded by Christine Mwende and is an incredible testament to what can be accomplished when one puts their mind to it. Check out their website, and donate if you are so inclined. Anyway, Keela is in Lake Placid thru December to do a bit of fund raising. You can drop off used sneakers at the Fallen Arch. There are also many outlets around that sell bracelets and such to support Jambo Jipya.

National View : In a little known move, Queens Democrat Joe Crowley (possibly believed to be Peter Crowley’s long lost uncle) was installed as chair of the New Democrat Coalition, a pro-business group that is trying to exert more influence as moderate democrats and away from the liberal dominated congress. Joe is extremely well liked by both sides of the aisle. This can only bode well for us as Americans, as much of our Democratic agenda COULD be passed without bipartisan support, but having someone like Rep Crowley working both sides of the aisle makes the medicine go down a little easier.

State View : Although the NYS senate is still a mess, at least one set of legislation has been passed that I think is important. It is the ‘consolidation bill’ which will make it easier to consolidate seemingly redundant services (villages, special districts, etc). Although when it comes to the biggest chunk of our local property tax, schools still take most of our money and they aren’t included in this. But, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Schools represent a very different set of problems and such than many of the local institutions do. It is a great starting spot. If we can remove some wasteful spending and do things better and more efficiently, I say we do it. We still have forever to work on the school funding/consolidation issue. Lets fix what we can first and go on.

Local view – I’m the assistant coach for the Saranac Lake Elks club 11-12 baseball team.(Phil Pelletiri is the coach) We haven’t had the best of seasons. Until last nite, we hadn’t won yet. Its tough playing in Saranac Lake. The season starts late because of snow and such. Throughout the season, we didn’t get in enough practice, so the kids learned while they played. We’ve had rainouts and rescheduled games rained out. We lose kids to hockey camp (Chris S). To Lacrosse (Killian) Vacation (Mike Z et al) Broken collar bones (Eli)and other travails (Kelsin). This week, we will have played 5 games in 4 days. Last nite we had a doubleheader – 2 four inning games. Zane started pitching, and had a rocky first inning. We were down 5-0. But, we came back and scored 10 runs in the bottom of the 1st! One of our only leads of the season, and about the total number of runs we had scored all season! Zane settled down in the 2nd, and only gave up 2 runs. He kept throwing strikes, so we left him in. We didn’t score in the 2nd. Then, Zane gave way to Jason (my son). Jay had a good inning, but we gave up 2 runs to narrow the lead to 10-9. We decided that we would bring in our top pitcher, Jack to hold down the one run lead. Luckily, we scored 2 in the bottom of the 3rd to go up 12-9. Jack got off to a rocky start giving up a hit and hitting a batter. He then gave up a run. 12-10. but, he bore down, our defense held, and we won 12-10. The team was really excited. Many kids scored their first runs or got their first hit. They played by far their best game of the season offensively and defensively. My hat is off to Zane, Jason, Mike F, Mike M, Jack, Mike Z, Mike D, Joe G, Joe B and Austin. It was a complete team effort and what makes you happy to be a part of a team. Unfortunately, in the second game, we didn’t fare so well. My son Mike started and last an inning and a half. Jack got hit by a pitch on the elbow in the 1st inning and was done for the day. Jay relieved Mike, blocked the plate and saved a run at the plate, but on the near exact play also got hurt protecting the plate and had to be pulled also. Tonite are the playoffs. Win or go home. (PS- when you write your own blog, you get to brag about whatever you want to)


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