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Lake George seniors want town-subsidized gambling trips restored

Lake George Senior Citizens Club President John Herzog gives some instruction on handling an accordion to Lake George High School 12th grader Cole Gailor in an event the club held in April.  On Monday Dec. 10, Herzog asked the Lake  George Town Board to commit more support to the town’s seniors as well as requesting that the town-sponsored jaunts to the Saratoga Racino, discontinued early this year, be reinstated.

Lake George Senior Citizens Club President John Herzog gives some instruction on handling an accordion to Lake George High School 12th grader Cole Gailor in an event the club held in April. On Monday Dec. 10, Herzog asked the Lake George Town Board to commit more support to the town’s seniors as well as requesting that the town-sponsored jaunts to the Saratoga Racino, discontinued early this year, be reinstated.

— Lena Chase, 95, said she could drive a 42-passenger school bus. She also said the Racino trips didn’t really involve gambling, because the facility staked each senior with $25 to start off with.

Heinrich replied that the seniors could hold bake sales to hire a licensed driver to pilot the town 15-passenger bus. That vehicle was recently acquired to replace the trolley, Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson explained, because the trolley wasn’t built for prevailing speed on the I-87 Northway — the only practical route to the Racino and other out-of-town destinations.

The trolley was also aging and prone to breaking down. Dickinson said, noting that he didn’t want to see the seniors stranded.

The trolley has since been limited to leisurely in-town trips, he noted.

Kitty Bernardo, a member of the club, said the 15-passenger shuttle bus the town was now providing for the seniors was unsafe, as it had bench seats that were longitudinal like commuter trains, rather than standard bus seating.”That bus has no railings, no handholds — it is not safe,” she said. “Seniors could fly across from one side to another and go through a window.”

Lake George Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson replied that he would meet with the seniors at their next club meeting Jan. 3 to hear their concerns and help them meet their needs. He said later the own’s shuttle bus could easily be retrofitted with seats in a standard row arrangement.

“The town is invested in our youth and senior citizens,” he said. “We have your interests at heart.”

Progress on youth program

The board heard from town councilman Vinnie Crocitto that he was working with other town Youth Commission members to comply with the state Health Department requirements for the town summer recreation program for youth. State officials cited the town last year for not applying for a “Summer camp” permit, and for not having a Medical Director on staff, for not having an official safety plan, nor obtaining immunization and medical records on children attending, as well as keeping a medical log and providing for special medical and dietary needs — requirements that local officials have said are unwarranted.

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