The story behind Larkasaurus Rex.

Teachout/Faso will vie for 19th, teen drowns in Poestenkill, gun show may be City Center's last

Teachout/Faso will contend for 19th
Zephyr Teachout will run against John Faso in the race to replace Chris Gibson in the 19th Congressional District. Teach out and Faso-- who have both previously run for governor, won their respective primaries on Tuesday. [Gazette][TU]

Teen drowns in Poestenkill
A 16-year old boy drowned on Tuesday, while swimming with friends in the Poestenkill Gorge. Teams had a difficult time pulling the teen's body from the gorge because of a lack of access the site. The spot, which Troy Fire Chief Tom Garrett called "beautiful but dangerous," has been the site of many fatalities over the years. [News 10][TU]

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A generational shift

new york state counties median age change 2010-2015

Just a handful of New York counties had lower median ages in 2015 (green) compared to 2010. Albany County was one of them.

Quick: Guess which 5-year age group has the most people of any age group in the Capital Region.

OK, got your answer? Hold onto it for a second.

The Census Bureau recently released new estimates for the populations of counties by age. And those numbers can help us get a sense of the age distribution of people here in the Capital Region -- and answer questions like which age group has the most people.

Plenty of graphs and maps are the jump.

But first, let's answer that question at the top...

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"Getting a nicely ripened pear is harder than winning the lottery"

Over at The Atlantic there's an interesting article about a horticulturist working to make pears more competitive with apples -- and it includes some interesting bits about how both fruits are grown. New York State is one of the few places in the country that grows pears, though the production here is just a small slice of the overall national production. [The Atlantic] [USDA]

Troy Mini Maker Faire at TVCOG

makerbotThe Troy Mini Maker Faire will be at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity August 27, and there's an open call for makers. Blurbage:

The Troy Mini Maker Faire is looking for artists, engineers, educators, and enthusiasts who are willing to show off their creations, skills, or works-in-progress to the public. The more interactive your exhibit, the better! We hope to have a nice mix of technology, life skills, art, educational activities, and entertainment...

The call includes a big list of the sort of projects they're looking for -- everything from fiber arts to 3D printing to robots to cooking. (The list is after the jump.) Here's the application.

Exhibits will be set up both inside the Center of Gravity space and outside along Broadway. That day is The Enchanted City festival in downtown Troy.

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West Fulton Puppet Festival 2016

West Fulton Puppet Festival Professor Tinkers

A scene from last year's festival.

This looks like something a bit different: The West Fulton Puppet Festival returns to Schoharie County July 8-9. Organizers say the schedule includes both national and regional puppetry artists in a series of family-friendly shows. And it's free.

Festival blurbage:

The Festival showcases a diverse range of puppet styles with dynamic and entertaining performances for the whole family. The program features two artists featured on the bill at last year's Festival; Peter Russo and Joanna Simmons' with their new show Professor Tinkers and the Improbable Journey Home, in which we re-join Professor Tinkers who, having found the location of the rare Red Elephant from a common House Fly, embarks upon a magical journey through space and discarded debris as she tries to find her way home to feed her cat, Percy; and Andy Gaukel with Treespective- an interactive puppet installation. Joining them are Crabgrass Puppet Theatre's The Pirate, The Princess and the Pea, a thrilling voyage chock full of sea monsters, sharks and side-splitting action; Ivy Vine Players Puppet Theater with Grian MacGregor's delightfully intimate A One Woman Show with a Cast of 75, and The Gottabees's Squirrel Stole My Underpants, the magical adventure Sylvie and a mischievous squirrel. Plus, a musical performance by storyteller and singer-songwriter Story Laurie featuring wondrous and witty tales.

Here's the festival schedule -- it includes performances that Friday evening, and then throughout the day on Saturday.

The festival is in a park in West Fulton, a hamlet in the town of Fulton -- the town is pretty much right in the center of Schoharie County.

screengrab: West Fulton Puppet Festival / Chris Haag

The story behind Larkasaurus Rex

dinosaur walking down Lark Street

As seen last week. (Thanks again, Heather!)

Last week we posted a pic sent along to us by Heather for a dinosaur -- T. Rex, it appeared -- walking down Lark Street.

A lot of people seemed to get a good laugh out of the pic. So we followed up to ask the very important question: "What the (heck) was that about?!"

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It's federal primary day, Hoosick Falls residents testify, New York Brexit ripples, legal sales of sparklers spread

NY-19 primary
It's federal primary day in New York, and there are both Democratic and Republican primaries in New York's 19th Congressional District as candidates compete to replace Chris Gibson. (The NY-19 wraps around the southern end of the Capital Region, from Rensselaer County south to Columbia County and Greene County and out into Schoharie County and other counties to the west.) Polls are open from noon to 9 pm. Don't know where to vote? Check with the state Board of Elections website. [TU]

Hoosick Falls
A Hoosick Falls resident at a state Department of Environmental Conservation hearing about PFOA Monday: "You can't get away from thinking about the water. Every time you turn on the water, every day it is a constant reminder of how terrible this situation is." Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Chris Gibson are pushing for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to assist people affected by the situation in Hoosick Falls. [WNYT] [TU x2]

Burned trucks and possible gunshots
Two trucks caught fire overnight in Mariaville, and there were reports of what sounded like gunfire. State Police are investigating. [News10] [TWCN] [Daily Gazette]

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Red, white & blue

lunchboxbrain red white and blue tshirt

Check out this handsome, seasonally-appropriate t-shirt created by local designer Andrew Gregory: It's called "Red, White & Blue." (You know, because the ampersand is red, white, and blue...)

The shirt is currently available from Cotton Bureau, in men's and women's sizes, through this Friday. It's $28.

Andrew Gregory? You might know his work under the name Lunchboxbrain.

Every house and every neighborhood a grid

New York State is an investor of sorts in Solar City in the form of the $750 million pledged by the state to the company's planned solar panel plant in Buffalo via the Buffalo Billion. So the state has a big stake in Elon Musk's proposed plan for Tesla (the electric car company) to buy Solar City. The initial reaction from market analysts has been skeptical. But over at Vox, Dave Roberts argues the deal could make sense in the longterm, in part because of predicted changes in how we all get electricity, changes for which New York is at the forefront. [Buffalo News] [Bloomberg] [Vox]

Design help for organizing a house?

cluttered closetMelissa emails:

We've lived in our house 10 years, and are in need of some help. We are a family now, with all the 'stuff' that comes with that, and just cannot figure out how to make a more grown up house that uses space well and files away all the paperwork of elementary school. Are there local decorators/organizers folks can recommend? Is that a real thing?!

We're always amazed by how people who have eye for design can rearrange a space to make it work better or just feel better.

Got a suggestion for Melissa? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're recommending a person or service or idea is always helpful.

You should stop and smell the roses

Schenectady Central Park Rose Garden

Or, at least, stop and see them.

We stopped by Central Park Rose Garden in Schenectady Friday evening. Walking along the rows of blooms -- the roses are either at their peak or close to it -- the scene felt a bit unreal, almost magical.

There are a few pics after the jump (they don't really capture it). But if you have a chance during the next week, you should stop by and see the garden in person.

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Overcoming hurdles

Two remarkable graduation stories from Bethany Bump over at the Times Union: The Schenectady teen who overcame poverty and its many challenges, as well as mental illness, to become the first person in her family to graduate from high school. And in Albany, a Karen refugee who came here at age 9 and had to learn English -- and graduated from Albany High School this past weekend as an International Baccalaureate candidate. [TU x2]

Saratoga Wine & Food Festival 2016

Saratoga Food Wine Festival 2016 headliners

Left to right: Anne Burrell, Marc Murphy, Josh Capon, Joshua Weston.

The annual Saratoga Wine & Food Festival returns to SPAC September 9-11 this year. Tickets for the various events connected to the festival are now on sale.

The headlining food personalities are Food Network chefs Anne Burrell and Marc Murphy, chef and TV personality Josh Capon, and wine expert Joshua Wesson.

The event schedule is after the jump.

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Big warehouse fire in Watervliet, Bharara says he believes there's corruption in NY exec branch, hopes for the Upstatexit

Watervliet warehouse fire
A large warehouse fire in Watervliet Saturday night took multiple departments and many hours to extinguish. Watervliet's fire chief says the cause of the fire is under investigation. The building has been demolished. [Troy Record] [News10] [TU] [News10]

Bernie Sanders in Albany
Bernie Sanders to the crowd at his appearance at The Egg on Friday: "Our ideas of economic and environmental and racial justice are the future, if we keep at it." Sanders also said his campaign is talking with Hillary Clinton's campaign about "whether or not they can come up with some very serious proposals which will help us transform America." Of the 162 people the Times Union talked to at the event, about half said they would not vote for Clinton or Donald Trump. [Daily Gazette] [Politico NY] [TU]

Preet probes
Preet Bharara to ABC News: "We have found that corruption is rife in a lot of institutions in New York and throughout New York. That's true in the legislature ... It's also the case that there's corruption, we believe, in the executive branches as well. And we'll ferret it out wherever we find it." [ABC]

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The week ahead

So So Glos

The So So Glos are playing Rockin' on the River this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (classic), to swimming pools, to baseball, to WTF, to naked magic, to dance, to all sorts of music...

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A quick recap of the week

week review 2016-06-26

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:

+ Sandy looked at whether light rail is right for the Capital Region right now.

+ We gave away tickets to the Hidden City House and Garden Tour -- with a gift card to Yono's or dp -- by asking: What's something local that you're looking forward to eating this summer?

+ Sean asked about which school district people would recommend for his family -- there were thoughtful answers.

+ Deanna doesn't like cream pies -- but she tried the coconut cream pie at Restaurant Navona anyway, and is glad she did.

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: actions that reverberate across generations, not listening to naysayers, career tradeoffs, Daniel Manning, floods, the Dix Range, wildflowers, Huckleberry Point, memories of the Catskills, cheap eats, the happy place, a claim of burnt ends, and congratulations.

+ The schedule of authors for the NYS Writers Institute summer public readings is out.

+ It's swimming pool season! Here's a big list of public pools around the Capital Region.

+ Julie put together some ideas for a visit to the Finger Lakes region.

+ And here is a photo of a dinosaur on Lark Street.

Here's the whole week in one place.

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea this week!

Today's moment of summer

Euclid Ave picket fence sun

Euclid Ave in Albany.

Downtown Albany outdoor movie series survey

salt trailer 2 U-Haul

Parts of downtown Albany co-starred with Angelina Jolie in Salt. (The U-Haul building was a little insufferable for a while after this movie came out, always somehow wedging the topic into any conversation: "Speaking of work, you remember that time I worked with Angie in that movie...")

The Downtown Albany BID is setting up an outdoor movie series for later this summer and fall. And it's looking for input on which movies to show via an online survey.

The BID is asking for people to pick five movies from a slate of 20 films -- ranging from Indiana Jones to The Big Lebowski to Salt (partially filmed downtown, of course) to 10 Things I Hate About You. One person who completes the survey will win a four pack of season passes to the 2016-2017 movies series at the Palace.

The deadline for submitting a survey is July 1 at 11:59 pm.

The Downtown Albany BID advertises on AOA.

image: Sony Pictures

Another record year for New York State maple syrup production

mountain winds maple syrup amber

Sweet.

New York State set a new modern record for maple syrup production this year, the Cuomo admin announced Friday. The Empire State produced 707,000 gallons of syrup, according to numbers from the from the US Department of Agriculture.

That's up from 601,000 gallons last year. And it keeps New York at the #2 spot nationally, holding off a surging Maine with 675,000. Better luck next time, Pine (Not Maple) Tree State.

New York's increased production this year was in part a result of a longer season -- 36 days on average this year, compared to 26 last year. But the state continues to add taps, too. Its tap count was above 2,500 this year -- the Cuomo admin says that's the highest number since 1946 -- and the count has been rising by a couple of hundred each year for the past few years. (The state's yield per tap has also been rising.)

Of course, Vermont continues to dominate the field, where they're just playing a different game.

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On Lark Street, not extinct

dinosaur walking down Lark Street

T-Rex probably wears flip-flops because then there's no reaching down to tie laces. (And we all know arm length is a sensitive topic with Rex.)

Heather sent along this scene from Lark Street Thursday.

Just your typical summer evening.

(Thanks, Heather!)

Looking for more? Check out the last week's worth of posts or the archive.

And you can always try searching for it:

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