March - On the Hill

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March - On the Hill ...


    March 2010 Vol. 134 No. 3


     by Cliff Hayes

    Pollard Excavating setting the manhole on February 8,

    2010 at Cliff Hayes' property for a flow meter to

    measure sewage flow from the Town of Clifton Park.

    (It's only three weeks away)

    What's inside Alplaus web address: On the Hill……..………….…………….….....2 Web input address: Don Diel…………………………………….…...2 AFD News….……………………….………......3 HTN Editor/Publisher: Art Harris Alplaus Ladies Auxiliary……….....……………4 PO Box 57 Alplaus Bird Line………………………………..4 Alplaus, NY 12008 Alplaus Residents Association News……...5

    Notes from the Alplaus Church……….……....6 E-mail address: Just for Fun.....................................................7


The Alplaus community lost a 65 year resident this past month as Don Diel passed away on February 11th. He

    was an active village volunteer. Making, with his wife Lualene, a large contribution to the friendly

    atomosphere we treasure about our neighborhood.

     Winter has returned with miserable rains and wet snow. Thankfully the weather patterns have spared us the

    heavy snows that dropped elsewhere in the northeast. Hunter Mountain Ski center in the Catskills reported 84

    inches of snow cover the other day. Thank Goodness for small favors; that snow fell on those who wanted it.

     Please note on your calendars Thursday, March 18th - the date of the annual meeting of the Alplaus

    Residents Association. This is close to a classic New England town meeting. Town council men and officials

    will be there to report on town business and answer questions you may have. See page 5 for more details.

     Stay warm and read those seed catalogs; they'll make you think of warmer Spring and Summer days


__________________________________________________________________________ ____

    representing their community on two

    separate occasions as Grand Marshals of the

    annual Alplaus Fourth of July Parade. Donald Kenneth Diel,

     Most of Don’s career was spent in various 92, died Thursday

    supervisory positions for the American February 11th, 2010 at

    Locomotive Co. (ALCO) and Schenectady Ellis Hospital after a

    International. Don retired from Schenectady short illness.

    International in 1974. The son of the late

    William and Mary Don is survived by his wife Lualene, his

    Diel, Donald was born sons Bryon (Karen) of Gansevoort, NY, and

    in Wappinger Falls, Donald of Pittsburgh, PA; his grandchildren:

    NY. He married Kelly Wolford, Michelle Edwards, Laura Lualene Werner in 1942, and they have Jordan, Ken and Todd Diel, and Erin Auzi; resided in Alplaus, NY since 1945. Don his great-grandchildren: Christine, Thomas loved sports: he was an avid golfer and an and Shawn Wolford, Emma and Will enthusiastic fan of the NY Yankees, the Edwards, Finn Jordan, Kamryn, Karly and Syracuse Orangemen, and the NY Giants. Kyle Diel, Robert and Daniel Diel, and

    Abigail Diel. Don was a Life Member of the Alplaus

    Volunteer Fire Department and served on Memorial contributions in Don’s name the Fire District Board of may be made to: Commissioners. He was actively involved Alplaus United Methodist Church in the community as well as the Boy Scouts 3 Brookside Avenue and the Alplaus United Methodist Alplaus, NY 12008 Church. Don and Lualene had the honor of


    Alplaus Fire Department News

     by Mike Sheppeck, AFD Historian

The Annual Installation and Awards Banquet was held at the Edison Club, a change from our

    traditional venue of the Woodlin Club, which was unavailable this year. The room was cozy but well

    appointed, and the fare more than adequate. Congratulations and a well deserved pat on the back to;

    Christopher Breslin, awarded Firematic Firefighter of the Year, and Kathleen Sheppeck, awarded

    Social Firefighter of the Year, as well as to all the lesser award winners. Plans are to return to the

    Edison Club next year.

     New legislation now in effect requires the installation of Carbon Monoxide [CO] detectors in

    every residence. Carbon monoxide is a product of combustion and is odorless and potentially lethal.

    Be sure to follow installation instructions carefully to avoid false readings and keep your family safe.

     Although once unusual, these days almost every emergency response encounters drivers who

    fail to comply with New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law. There are no winners should you

    unexpectedly meet a 36,000 pound fire engine at an intersection, not to mention the inability of the

    fire department to immediately resolve the original emergency. The law requires you to yield the

    right of way, pull over to the right and parallel to the roadway, and STOP, until the emergency

    vehicle has passed. Be careful that the inattentive motorist behind you does not park in your trunk.

    Be aware that most emergencies entail multiple responding emergency vehicles, so the fact that one

    engine has passed does not necessarily mean that it is now safe to proceed.

     AFD is always on the lookout for new members, what better way to give back to the

    community than to become a volunteer. We need you.





    WILLS, TRUSTS & ESTATES 371-6125

    CORPORATE LAW 1745 RT. 9

    PERSONAL INJURY Clifton Park, N.Y.


    Alplaus Ladies Auxiliary

     by Jill Batson

    The Ladies Auxiliary met February Any of you community minded ladies 22nd for our first meeting of 2010. who would like to help out with our Plans have begun for a busy year in events; please contact Margaret the hamlet. The Annual Town-wide Rockwell at 399-7682 to find out how, Flea Market and Garage Sale is or simply attend one of our meetings scheduled for June 5th, Old Timers that fall on the fourth Monday of dinner will be June 7th and the each month, March through May and Paddling for a Cure event is slated for September through November. Small July 18th as well as some additional commitment, HUGE rewards. events coming up.


    Alplaus Bird Line

     by Shawna Thompson

Despite the new foot of wet, heavy snow, spring really is just around the corner! Just look at the

    Goldfinches, who are getting their yellow color back, and listen to the birdsong. There is a lot of

    twittering going on, the sound that birds make when they are starting to get the attention of

    prospective mates.

     This is also a time of year when migrating birds can be seen that we don’t usually have in this area.

    Many kinds of birds are returning to their northern breeding grounds and passing through Alplaus

    on the way.

     Plumage changes in the spring can make bird identification more difficult. Drab winter colors will

    soon molt out and the bright breeding plumage will grow to replace it. Young birds are losing their

    juvenile feathers which are often very different from adult plumage, but they don’t quite have full

    adult plumage either. Some bird guides (like Silbey’s) are very good at showing these changes to

    make identification easier, but sometimes you have to accept that you may never really know what

    that bird is out there!

     My friend Karen Kast recently spotted several ducks on the river.

    They were in the only open water around. She is pretty sure they

    were Barrow’s Goldeneyes. But then again, they could be Common

    Goldeneyes. They looked more like the Barrow’s, but it would be

    more likely that they were Commons because of the season and

    location. As I said before, sometimes you have to accept that you

    may never really know what bird is out there.

     If you’ve seen a bird, whether positively or possibly identified,

    call the Alplaus Bird Line at 399-0490 or e-mail me at


    ARA Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2010, starting at 7 PM. The ARA Board has heard from several Town of Glenville Board Members, Commissioner of

    Public Works, Highway Superintendent Tom Cappola, and Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle who

    have all accepted our invitation to come to the Annual Meeting and give an update on Town of

    Glenville matters. They will also be available to answer questions that we may have for them.

    Please plan on attending and bring your questions for them. We typically have 15 20 minutes for

    questions and answers.

     The ARA Board will also announce the “Alplaus Citizen of the Alplaus Citizen of the Year.

    Year” at the meeting. Further, the ARA will be electing the officers of the ARA Board for the year.

    Also, the ARA Board will review the past year and the events that make our little hamlet so special.

    Finally, the ARA Board will outline 2010 events and look for help from the community.

    ARA Dues. Please look for flyers announcing the Annual Meeting at the Alplaus Post Office and

    around town. The ARA will be collecting dues to help us support activities throughout the year. The dues are $3 per person or $5 per family.

    ARA Volunteer Opportunities. The ARA Board is always looking for individuals willing to help

    with ARA business. If you would like to volunteer for specific activities, events, or to help as a

    member of the Board, please contact me at It is a great way to help with the

    community and the time commitment is low.

     Thank you everyone and if you have anything that you think would be important for the ARA

    Board to deal with please e-mail me.

     Andy Gilpin



    Notes from the Only Church in Alplaus

    I’ve just spent

    the past 2? hours

    helping my old

    snowblower fight its

    way through very

    heavy snow,

    especially the plow

    bank across the end of

    the driveway. My

    muscles and tendons

    and joints all ache!

    Just days ago I was

    looking forward to

    spring and playing

    golf again. We were

    watching flocks of

    robins and starlings

    scrounging for food in

    the patch of bare grass in the backyard. We were talking about planting a small garden by the end

    of the house. At church there was talk of vacation bible school and summer camp scholarships.

    This, of course, reminded me of the Lenten season (what else did you expect from a minister?).

    While we are in the midst of this time of introspection, of practicing spiritual disciplines to improve

    our relationship with God, of (figuratively) wearing the ashes, we are already looking ahead to the

    joy of Palm Sunday at the end of the month, the joy of Easter the next week. Sometimes we spend

    so much time looking ahead that we forget to enjoy and live with the season we’re in. There is as

    much beauty in branches covered in fresh clean snow as there is in new blades of green grass. And

    there is as much work in mowing the lush growth of spring as there is in removing the new-fallen

    snow. It’s OK to anticipate tomorrow, but it’s not necessary to discard today.

    For the church, life goes on apace. The Scouts, the knitting group, and the bridge club still

    meet every week. Sunday worship still goes on. The Community Luncheon will still be held on the

    second Tuesday. All seems calm and orderly. We are living in the present, and yet planning for

    tomorrow. We will observe Good Friday (April 2) together with the Burnt Hills United Methodist

    Church centered around dramatic readings of “Letters From a Good Friday World.”

    On Saturday, March 27, 11 am 1 pm we will hold our traditional Easter Egg Hunt. Children

    of all ages are welcome to join us. The church has been doing this for many years, usually headed

    by Ginny Smith. This year the Bechand family is carrying on the tradition. Please join us. You

    could even bring the kids and grandkids!

    A final note: we were saddened to lose Don Diel this month. Don and Lu have been members

    of the church since December 19, 1948, and in his younger days Don held many different positions

    here. But we are glad that their granddaughter Erin continues to bring Lu to worship each week.

    It’s so nice to watch Lu’s face light up as I greet her each week.


Why We Love Our Kids

    My son Zachary, 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he'd dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment, then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, "We better throw this one out too then, 'cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago'."

    On the first day of school, a first grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."

    A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, "What's the matter haven't you ever seen a little boy before?"


    While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about six years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, "Are you a cop?" "Yes," I answered and continued writing the report. "My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?" "Yes, that's right," I told her. "Well, then," she said as she extended her foot toward me, "would you please tie my shoe?"


    While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his five-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that a proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: "Glory be unto the Faaaatherand unto the Sonnn..... and into the

    hole he gooooes."


    A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write and they won't let me talk!"


    A little boy opened the big family bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found", the boy called out. "What have you got there, dear"? With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear."

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