NY's doctor watch list, synthetic track at Saratoga?, lots of repaving projects, graduation ceremony headliners

More than two percent of practicing doctors in New York State were on a watch list last year because of problems such as drug use or professional misconduct. New York's rate is twice the national average and ranks it seventh highest. Some -- including the state health commissioner -- say the high number is evidence the state is actually doing something about the problems, but watchdogs say public still isn't getting info about their docs. [NYT]

NYRA will be holding a forum this summer about whether the state's horse tracks -- including Saratoga -- should switch over to synthetic surfaces. A NYRA spokesman says it's "seriously interested" (the Gazette's phrase) in making the switch. Synthetic tracks have been touted as a way to reduce horse injuries, but a lot of horse people and bettors don't like them. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

A "throng" of south side Saratoga Springs residents are exercised over a plan to convert play fields on Vanderbilt Avenue into an indoor rec center. Mayor Scott Johnson is pushing for the site, saying the Vanderbilt location will make it easier for kids in downtown to use the center -- and he says the fields are currenlty only used for "random unstructured play." [Daily Gazette]

It seems like half of Albany's roads are getting repaved this year. [TU]

David Paterson, David Gergen and, um, Jeanine Pirro -- yep, that Jeanine Pirro -- headline (so to speak) the list of Capital Region graduation speakers this year. [TU]

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I know some people get excited when they hear that some chain from outside the area is coming to the Capital Region, but I'm not one of them. Local businesses mean local dollars; the money stays here rather than going to a corporate headquarters far, far away. If Price Chopper is sold to an outside company - especially a company that answers to its stockholders more than its customers - that could have a huge impact.

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