Monday, October 7, 2013

Faces at TRIP: Ben Dooley

Meet Ben Dooley, Maintenance Mechanic at TRIP

Ben started working at TRIP two years ago and is glad he did!  He enjoys the camaraderie among all the staff and particularly among the maintenance crew.   He also finds it satisfying to be able to correct any issues that might come up with our tenants’ apartments.   Ben was a big help at TRIP & RCHR’s recent Green Fair and Recycling Day, where he collected metal products for recycling. 

With TRIP’s recent purchase of Jacob Square, a twenty-two apartment building on 11th Street, Ben is looking forward to making the needed repairs and correcting any and all issues with the property.

When Ben isn’t working at TRIP, you’ll find him keeping active by playing sports.  His favorites are football, softball and golf. 

And what a team-player he is – Ben is always willing to lend a hand to anyone or anything that needs help.  Ben, we’re so happy you’re part of TRIP’s team!  

Looking for information about the Affordable Health Care Act?

According to the site, individuals and families have many new low cost, quality health insurance options available through the Individual Marketplace (NY’s “health care exchange”). People can quickly compare health plan options to find the one that brst meets their health needs and budgets. People can also apply for assistance that could lower the cost of their health coverage, such as new tax credits , to help pay for monthly health insurance premiums. Individuals earning up to $45,900 a year or a family of four earning up to $94,200 a year qualify for tax credits. You may also be eligible for assistance to help pay for copays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs or for free or low-cost coverage from Medicaid or Child Health Plus. 

Empoloyers, small business owners, sole proprietors and others can also find helpful information at

Help is Available 

The site also lists the agencies serving as In-Person Assistors (IPAs)/Navigators, which provide in-person enrollment assistance to individuals, families, small businesses and their employees who apply for health insurance through the Marketplace. There are 6 agencies in Rensselaer County, including the County Health Department, CEO, Troy Area United Ministries, Seton Health, Whitney Young Health Center, and the Capital District Black Chamber of Commerce. The website lists the agency’s location and site schedule. 

People were able to sign up as of October 1, 2013 for coverage that begins January 1, 2014.

Defending Threatened Sacred Sites

TAP, Inc.and Historic Albany Foundation will continue to build on a 2009 project to safeguard urban sacred sites in the wake of dozens of church closings.

To this end, TAP and Historic Albany will conduct a one-day forum, “Everyone’s Architecture: A Call to Defend Sacred Sites,” to continue to raise public awareness of the magnitude of the problems that urban churches face and the possibilities of overcoming them. The forum will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at the historic, accessible Christ Church United Methodist, 35 State St., Troy.

We want to impress upon attendees the appropriate stewardship of these buildings, closed or not, in part by using their outstanding architecture as a rallying point for preservation.

This will spark a grassroots movement to involve the community in the preservation of existing religious buildings and in the appropriate disposition of closed sacred sites. This effort also is meant to encourage people to invest, financially and civically, in the welfare of all houses of worship, which contribute to a sense of place for everyone’s enjoyment and education. Regardless of our backgrounds, this supreme architecture is everyone's cultural heritage.

Button Up That Overcoat

drafty house
As we head into winter, many of us are budgeting for the increased utility costs that come with the cold weather, but National Grid has some good news for you: the price of natural gas is estimated to go down by 9% this year due to lower negotiated delivery costs, "barring an unseasonably cold winter season," according to a recent article in the Times Union.

While 9% is nothing to shrug at, and could lower a typical family's costs by $50 to $100 over the course of the winter, National Grid continues to emphasize the importance of efficiency, which can save much more. According to the Department of Energy, their weatherization program is saving the average participating household $400 a year on their utility bills.

National Grid recently increased their rebate programs to offer $1,120 to households for upgrading to high efficiency boilers. The rebate on a seven-day programmable thermostat is being increased from $18 to $36. The deal is being offered through Dec. 31. The New York State Public Service Commission has put together a unified resource at to find other programs available to help you increase the efficiency of your home and reduce energy costs.

For Sale!! 3349 6th Avenue, Troy

A stunning brick building dating from late 1800s, completely gut and rehabbed by professional contractors.

It is an exquisite two-family home (one 3 bedroom unit, one 2 bedroom unit) in which the homeowner must live in one unit and rent out the other.  While it has retained its historical fa├žade—those features that are characteristic of Troy’s architecture --  the inside is modern and contemporary to provide the conveniences desired by families today.  The building was gutted on the inside right down to the bricks.
Every square inch of the building is new construction –built to last another one hundred plus years.

Both units host lovely open floor plans where everything is new, spacious and beautiful!  High-efficiency windows, heating systems, extra insulation and more were added for long-term affordability and comfort.

It is available at an affordable price to an income-qualified first-time homebuyer.   Contact TRIP’s HomeOwnership Center at 690-001 x221 for more information.  

Green Fair: Success!

We want to thank everyone who participated in the recent second annual TRIP & RCHR Green Fair & Recycling Day.  Peter Kroneau from Century Solar Supply said “The idea of a green fair in Troy is excellent! I thought the vendor display was good, the coffee and goodies were terrific too.”  From Tyler Holloway of Empire Zero Waste, “It was a great event and I can’t wait until next year’s Green Fair which I know will be even bigger and better!”  

More than 116 carloads of recycling was dropped off resulting in over 650 pounds of clothes collected by St. Pauly Textile, which forwards it to groups that provide disaster relief around the world; the diversion from landfills of 9,331 pounds of old TVs and other electronics; the collection of hundreds of books for Grassroots Givers; and the collection of bikes for Troy Bike Rescue and Bikes for Humanity.  There was a great array of businesses and organizations that were exhibiting their green products or strategies or information.  

Check out the exhibitor photos at TRIP’s Facebook page and  The Record’s front page article at

TRIP thanks our Green Fair partners and sponsors, including City of Troy, Rensselaer County, Transition Troy, State Farm, NeighborWorks America, Century Solar Supply, Empire Zero Waste, County Waste & Recycling, Positive Energy NY LLC, and St. Pauly Textile.  Interesting displays and information was provided by exhibitors including Troy Compost, American Chemical & Equipment Co, Inc., Hudson Valley Biofuel, Shaklee Independent Distributors, NYSERDA, Lansingburgh Boy Scout Troop 611, League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County, Clean and Healthy New York, NYS Dept. of Public Service, Troy Bike Rescue, Frear Park Conservancy, Empire Solar Store, Losovo, Pfeil Hardware & Paint, Ecolibrium, and Hollitronics Energy Solutions.  We offer a special thanks to the band “Shadowland” which entertained us for hours with their great music.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Meet the Candidates Night


2013 TNAC Troy City Council Candidates Night
Tuesday, October 8th 
6:00 - 8:00pm

between Harrison St. and Tyler St./Bridge Ave. 
Parking lot on the south side of the school

Come to hear what the candidates have to say about 
the issues in Troy that are important to you.

There are 19 candidates this year running for 6 Troy City Council District seats and 3 At-Large seats.

Want to ask the candidates' what they think about the challenges and opportunities facing all Troy residents?  Please submit your questions to Marie Gavazzi at MLG01 [at] by October 7th at noon.

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer to help with this event, please contact Marie Gavazzi here. We hope to see you October 8th!

 1.   At-Large -- Lynn M Kopka
 2.   At-Large -- Erin A Sullivan-Teta
 3.   At-Large -- Rodney G Wiltshire, Jr. 
 4.   At-Large -- Carmella R Mantello 
 5.   At-Large -- John A Cubit 
 6.   At-Large -- Christian J Lambertsen 
 7.   At-Large -- Jessica Ashley
 8.   District 1 -- Suzanne L Scales 
 9.   District 1 -- James R Gordon 
10.  District 2 -- Anastasia Robertson 
11.  District 2 -- Kimberly A Mazor 
12.  District 3 -- Michele M DeLair 
13.  District 3 -- Dean L Bodnar 
14.  District 4 -- Debra A Lockrow 
15.  District 4 -- Robert J Doherty 
16.  District 5 -- Ken Zalewski 
17.  District 6 -- Emily M Rossier 
18.  District 6 -- Gary L Galuski 
19.  District 6 -- Emanuel B Ned