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Know Your Neighbor

March 27, 2010

by Licelot Cruz-Altagracia

Albany NY- It’s a pleasure to meet a man who has grown up and lived in the same neighborhood since his youth. His roots have been fixed in the Pine Hills for more than 50 years. One neighbor described his work in the community as compassionate.

Most of his life he was raised near South Lake Avenue on the border of the Pine Hills. The grade school he attended was part of the St. Vincent schools which was later the music building at The College of Saint Rose, and he attended Vincentian High School, now a community center and senior citizen apartments at the corner of Madison Avenue and Ontario Street.

His name is Rene Molineaux and he works at a Siena College as a lead information technology specialist who helps instruct faculty and staff on new technology. He holds seminars at the college as well and for more than 10 years, he has worked part-time in the Bethlehem Library. He has a master’s degree in library sciences.

Molineaux has lived on Partridge Street near Morris Street since he and his wife moved there in 1983. Twenty-seven years of living in the same home has given him the opportunity to see the neighborhood evolve over the years. The biggest change he has seen in the neighborhood is the shrinking number of families that once lived in the Pine Hills. Many families have moved away and no longer feel they can raise a family or did raise their families and have moved on with their lives. Some homes are now owned by Saint Rose. He thinks the college has done a great job of maintaining the structures of these home, some of which are dormitories.

Molineaux “listens before he acts… in any challenging situation he keeps a calm nature,” said Julia Healy, association president, and an associate of Molineaux’s for about 10 years.

“The college brings stability to the neighborhood,” Healy said. And, “he keeps active communication with the college.”

Molineaux once owned a small art studio for silk screen equipment where local artists could use the equipment to create their artwork. He began that business with his father. He also has been involved in the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association for about 10 years.

He is an active board member of the association, which advocates for the community and serves as a voice for those living in the area. The association works actively to hold absentee landlords accountable for their properties.

His community, he said, “combines a rich history with present day convenience and culture on a human scale.”



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