241 episodes

Often, truth isn’t handed down from public officials but comes from listening to other voices. Once a week, you can hear a wide variety of views from people who shape our corner of the world in New York’s Capital Region. The Altamont Enterprise is the weekly newspaper of record for Albany County, New York.
We’ve talked with a Buddhist who provided therapy for Gilda Radner and then helped set up Gilda’s Club after she died; with a Muslim woman who is trying to educate people about her religion as she feels increased hatred; with an African-American man who, as a teenager, helped ferry people north from a town in Mississippi haunted by lynchings.

Other Voices The Altamont Enterprise & Albany County Post

    • News

Often, truth isn’t handed down from public officials but comes from listening to other voices. Once a week, you can hear a wide variety of views from people who shape our corner of the world in New York’s Capital Region. The Altamont Enterprise is the weekly newspaper of record for Albany County, New York.
We’ve talked with a Buddhist who provided therapy for Gilda Radner and then helped set up Gilda’s Club after she died; with a Muslim woman who is trying to educate people about her religion as she feels increased hatred; with an African-American man who, as a teenager, helped ferry people north from a town in Mississippi haunted by lynchings.

    Mary Jo Batters, caring for an elderly parent and people in need

    Mary Jo Batters, caring for an elderly parent and people in need

    Mary Jo Batters was, as she puts it, “cloistered” for six years, caring for her mother who had dementia. She learned some important life lessons in those years, such as the way the core of a person remains. Her mother, who was a nurse, cared about people up until the very end. Batters also learned how to reassess her mother’s needs and her own challenges every day so that she could get through each day, one at a time. She learned to think, “Thank you for this day and anything in it.” When she emerged from “the missing years,” Batters says, “My sense of self was distorted.” To re-enter the world at large, she plunged into doing volunteer work for the Community Caregivers, a not-for-profit group that provides non-medical care for people, often the elderly, so that they can stay in their homes. Batters is still volunteering, taking clients to doctors’ appointments or grocery shopping, and becoming a friend to many. In this week’s podcast, she describes the process of becoming a volunteer caregiver and the satisfaction she derives from her work. “Give yourself permission to try,” she urges. Batters also turns the cliché upside down, saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.” By this, she means, you don’t have to be a pro to take on a new task; you can learn as you go.

    • 29 min
    Sue McDonough, a trooper and animal cruelty expert

    Sue McDonough, a trooper and animal cruelty expert

    Sue McDonough began her career as a New York State Trooper in 1978, specializing in animal cruelty cases. McDonough worked as a wildlife rehabilitator for 15 years and believes wild animals are better protected — in a program where rehabilitators are licensed and their facilities inspected — than domestic animals. She is now associated with the New York State Humane Association. Since the state’s laws protecting domestic animals like cats and dogs are not part of the penal code, but rather come under Agriculture and Market Law, McDonough believes many police officers are not well versed in enforcing the law. She has worked with district attorneys, veterinarians, and police officers throughout the state to put together a training manual for police, which can be downloaded from the NYS Humane Association website. In this week’s podcast, at AltamontEnterprise.com/podcasts, she talks about the links between animal abuse and human violence and describes some of the crimes she has encountered. “We have an obligation to see that animals don’t suffer,” McDonough says. “We can’t save every animal.” She also says, “We all need to work together.”

    • 39 min
    2019 in review: Reporters talk about the year's remarkable stories

    2019 in review: Reporters talk about the year's remarkable stories

    The Enterprise experts in local news looked back at some of their most important stories for 2019.Noah Zweifel, who reports on the Helderberg Hilltowns, focuses on the Multi-Use Residential District proposed by Knox Supervisor Vasilios Lefkaditis to encourage business in the rural town. The two Democrats on the town board voted against the MRD because many of the people in the proposed district didn’t want it and because of environmental and safety concerns. A supermajority vote was needed because the Albany County Planning Board had recommended against it. Lefkaditis’s slate was elected in November so it looks like Knox will eventually have the new MRD. Zweifel also talks about highway safety issues raised by a Berne councilman who, come Jan. 1, will be the sole Democrat on a town board where all of the members have been backed by the GOP chairman, who is also the highway superintendent.Sean Mulkerrin, who covers the town of New Scotland and the villages of Altamont and Voorheesville, discusses two long-running legal challenges that had an effect on the ballot box. The Voorheesville School Board president was ousted in the spring after a popular girls’ basketball coach claimed in court papers that he was fraudulently forced to resign from his coaching post. He sued to get his job back. In Altamont, a group of citizens challenged the village board’s rezoning of property from residential to commercial to allow the Altamont Stewart’s to expand. In the March village elections, two incumbent trustees who had voted in favor of the rezone narrowly kept their seats. The village board then voted again in favor of the rezone. Elizabeth Floyd Mair, the Enterprise Guilderland reporter, talks about the evolution of a story on a Lynnwood teacher, Tod Mell, accused of inappropriately touching one of his students. Floyd Mair changed the narrative when, after quoting from glowing letters in a story on Mell’s sentencing, the victim came forward and told her side of the story to Floyd Mair. In the podcast, Floyd Mair also talks about how a sad story on the closing of Christ Lutheran Church in Guilderland led to a happy story about the Micronesians who joyously worship at the church.

    • 30 min
    Cathy Light, school bus driver with deep passions

    Cathy Light, school bus driver with deep passions

    Cathy Light is a rambler. In her six decades on this Earth, she has been an art teacher, a businesswoman, a marketer, a minister with a degree from Yale Divinity School, and is now a Guilderland school bus driver. She uses skills from all those professions in her new business, renting vintage campers. She has restored the campers — one plucked from a dump and named, after her mother, “Tin Can Annie” — with artistic flair. She delivers the campers in person, hearing the stories, both of joy and pain, of the people who are using them. Some have been used for country weddings or festivals, others for families who need a respite, and one — the S’Lumberjack, outfitted with an Adirondack theme — was rented by a woman for her nonagenarian mother to make new memories. Light’s love of the campers is rooted in her childhood in Ontario where her family, including her grandmother who had once lunched with the queen of England, went on adventures together. “I’m always looking for new experiences to learn,” said Light. Her philosophy on being a rambler through life, whether in relationships or jobs, each of which she pursues with passion, is: “Just because it doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean it wasn’t good.”

    • 44 min
    Charlotte Palmeri, Cancer caregiver

    Charlotte Palmeri, Cancer caregiver

    After Charlotte Palmeri was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, she thought, “I wonder how long until I can help someone.” Inspired by a verse in Ecclesiastes, about how farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant, Palmeri founded a support and prayer group for women with cancer in 2015. She named it In His Presence. The group this month moved from meeting at Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church, where Palmeri is the church organist and choir director, to the Lynnwood Reformed Church to be accessible to those who can’t manage stairs. The group has sent out over 700 cards, often handmade, each with heartfelt messages, to people suffering from cancer. In this week’s podcast at AltamontEnterprise.com/podcasts, Palmeri describes some of the many ways she has helped others. This includes helping those she is close to — being with a friend as she breathed her last breath — and helping those she doesn’t know; she plays music for a weekly luncheon at St. Peter’s Hospice and has organized faith retreats — the first featured a Christian magician and the second a Christian ventriloquist. “When you give, you get so much back,” says Palmeri. She also advises: “Take a bad experience and use it for good.”

    • 37 min
    Charles Gehring, On America's Dutch roots

    Charles Gehring, On America's Dutch roots

    Charles Gehring who lives in New Scotland goes each day to work at the New York State Library in Albany where he travels back in time several hundred years. His life’s work has been translating the records of New Netherland, which the English claimed at the fort in New Amsterdam when they took over from the Dutch in 1664. “The embryo of certain ideals we have as Americans,” says Gehring, including not only tolerance, which comes from the “Dutch freedom of conscience,” but also the idea of social mobility, where power and importance need not come from inherited wealth or position, are from New Netherland. In this week’s podcast at AltamontEnterprise.com, Gehring talks about his life and his work, which is unlocking the past. He is 80 now — about three-quarters of the way through the more than 12,000 pages of New Netherland records — and still pursuing his passion.

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

Jesse Sommer ,

The Voice of My Home

CHEERS MS. HALE-SPENCER!

I’ve just now—on a whim—stumbled upon this Podcast, and I’m using this review space to pen a heartfelt “thank you”. The Podcasts consist of summaries of the latest Editions of our vital hometown paper of record, and offers a succinct (and soothing!) summary roll-up of the goings on in Albany County. Narrated by the Editor-in-Chief, it’s a great resource for those who haven’t the time to read the paper cover to cover, or skim the articles online. I tuned in while gazing down on the sands of Southwest Asia from 1,500 feet while traveling by Blackhawk far away from home.

The Podcast also is a newsmaker in its own right, since the one I just listened to features interviews (Ms. Hale-Spencer in the audio journalist’s seat, is to speak).

I commend the Altamont Enterprise for exploring this new medium, and hope it expands its forays into the new media landscape even further!

BRAVO!

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