Gun buy back program, New Yorkers support tax cap, Schenectady cops say they're well trained but fat, how to improve Spa Park, pluck while you wait

A church in Albany is offering to ""buy back" guns from people in the community in exchange for a $150 mall gift certificate. The program was prompted by the "community gun" that allegedly was used to fire the shot that killed Kathina Thomas. [TU]

A Siena poll reports that 74 percent of New Yorkers support a 4 percent annual cap on school property taxes. David Paterson has said he supports the idea, but the other Two Men in the Room don't appear to be on board. [AP/Troy Record]

All complaints about the APD will now go to the Citizens' Police Review Board -- whether the person filing the complaint wants it to or not. The department has been accused of holding back complaints by persuading people to withold their grievances from the board. [TU]

A Schenectady city councilwoman has blasted the SPD's plan to use $41,000 to hire a wellness coach to help officers lose weight. Denise Brucker says the money should be used for training, for which it was originally budgeted. The police seem to think that's not necessary, though. "I think our department is one of the most well-trained," an assistant chief told the Gazette. [Daily Gazette]

Among the more popular ideas to come up at a public meeting about how to improve Spa State Park: a fenced-in dog park, and an extended season for the Victoria and Peerless pools. [Daily Gazette]

Wilton is the hot spot for new home construction in the Capital Region. [TU]

An archaelogical survey has started at the site of the proposed Albany Convention Center. The overall plan is still on hold because it needs an additional $190 million from the state. [Daily Gazette]

A Guyanese immigrant is hoping to open a live butcher shop in Schenectady by the end of the summer. When open, the shop would allow you to walk in, pick your chicken (as it still clucks), and have it butchered immediately. [Daily Gazette]

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My grandmother has Alzheimers and sometimes comes to stay with us in Troy. Last week the absolutely highlight of her day was seeing the hundreds of crows that came streaming by the window at our apartment. I watched her go from completely unresponsive to engaged... stringing questions together and returning to her old joyful self for the half hour she watched those birds was enough to endear crows to me forever.

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