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Future Opportunities for Pine Hills Residents

October 18, 2012

by Alyssa DeGilio

Pine Hills residents will have the opportunity to take courses or get help with taxes, and learn about forensic accounting fraud in the upcoming months.

Pine Hills Neighborhood Association logo


The State University at Albany plans to offer several graduate level courses that would require grad students at SUNY Albany to help Pine Hills residents.

Ingrid Fisher, a chair and associate professor from University at Albany’s Department of Accounting and Law spoke at the monthly Neighborhood Association meeting about several courses that would be coming to SUNY Albany within the next year. These courses require that students get involved in service learning in the Pine Hills neighborhood. The three courses would be free programs located in the Pine Hills area in order to help with services such as income tax assistance on weekends, forensic accounting fraud prevention workshops and financial literacy workshops.

Fisher explained that these courses for graduate students at SUNY Albany, are designed to help the community.

The income tax assistance class will begin in January of 2013, but the University is looking for an accessible facility with internet access as well as computers. A few suggestions had been thrown around by the members of the board such as SUNY Albany’s own Draper Hall, which would be easily accessible for the students, and possibly partnering with The College of Saint Rose in order to use one of the college’s computer labs.

Aside from these new courses, there are upcoming events in the neighborhood that were announced at the meeting that anybody could be a part of. On November 4th the community is hosting a Fall Clean Up of the Pine Hills Neighborhood, sign up is at 10:30 am and goes from 11am until 2pm.

The Neighborhood Association members not only spoke about community service opportunities, but also about worrisome things that arise in the area. Recently, several buildings have been found to have problems in their structure.

Representatives from the association spoke about a small building on the corner of Yates by Price Chopper. The small building was a garage, but after the previous owner died, the new owner has attempted to repair it and rent it out to another garage. Instead he has claimed financial hardships and has asked to file a variance to keep it as a garage. The members of the Association said that the reason the new owner has found it so difficult to find a renter for the garage is because the rent is so high.

By working out some of the more noticeable problems in the neighborhood that had come up, Anton Konev, a city representative for the neighborhood, explained that he was able to bring some of the information from the neighborhood meetings and bring them up at city wide meetings to bring awareness.

During the meeting, it was brought up that there would be three public hearings for the citywide re-apportionment. The committee has planned one for next Tuesday in the Albany High School for all community members to attend and voice their opinions. Most people, like Maryanne Schrank, secretary for the Neighborhood Association, found that to be an interesting and new topic. Shrank said that she would be interested to see what would happen with that because that could create a change in the boundaries the neighborhood. Whether or not the change will be a good one has yet to be seen, but she thinks that anybody who has an opinion about it should attend.

The Pine Hills Neighborhood Association is made up of residents who care greatly about their community and raise money in order to help create a better community for everybody to live in. The next meeting will be held November 15 at 7 p.m. at the LaSalle School. -30-



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