Deal for state Senate control crumbling, ban on texting and driving, Lydia Kulbida being let go, Tutunjian says he'll go to jail over budget, reps speak out against cow fart tax

That deal Malcolm Smith reportedly struck with the "Gang of Three" to solidify control of the state Senate appears to be falling apart. It seems the trio is upset that Smith was trying to strip many of the powers away from the majority leader title (under the reported agreement, Smith would become Senate president pro tem and one of the trio would become Senate majority leader). The Gang of Three seems upset, with one member blaming, among others, "The gays." [NYT] [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics]

A Marist poll reports that New Yorkers favor either Andrew Cuomo or Caroline Kennedy for Hillary Clinton's seat. Well, either them, or "unsure." [Marist]

The Schenectady County Legislature passed a ban on texting while driving last night. It takes effect next March. Getting caught violating the ban will cost $150. [Daily Gazette]

WNYT has decided to not renew the contract of popular anchor Lydia Kulbida. Her contract runs through mid January, though the station's not sure if she'll be back on the air again. Seventeen other people at the station are also being let go. [TU]

Harry Tutunjian says he'd go to jail before certifying the budget passed by the Troy City Council. The mayor vetoed the budget this week after the council moved $500,000 into a contingency fund it controls. The council has until December 15 to override the veto. [Troy Record]

Schenectady police say a man walked into the Citizens Bank in the Price Chopper on Eastern Parkway yesterday and robbed it... with a note. Police say the man never displayed a weapon. [TU] [CapNews9]

Mark it down: New York's elected representative are against EPA's proposed cow fart tax. (Quick science lesson: cows produce a lot methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas.) Chuck Schumer referred to the idea as "absurd." [TU] [Saratogian]

The hotel tax that funds the Albany Convention Center Authority is about to expire -- and it doesn't look like it will be renewed right away. [TU]

RPI is looking for a company that would buy and redevelop the Proctors Theater and Chasan Building in downtown Troy. The school's request for proposals calls for the buildings to be sold together as a package. The theater has been vacant since 1978. [TU] [Troy Record]

The New York State Canal Corp will be blasting away the sides of the Erie Lock 6 (in Waterford) for the next two weeks. The walls are being rebuilt. [Daily Gazette]

A UAlbany student tried to raise the $310 needed to cover the mid-year tuition increase by emailing 5000 people and asking for five bucks. The school says the student violated school network use policy. [TU]

Comments

This is an astounding quote from Diaz, "The gays are calling my office. They're jamming my phones. They're going to see what we can do. They've going to see exactly what we can do. Ed Koch is going to see what we can do. They're just going to see. That is what I'm telling you."

He sure doesn't like it when a minority sector asks for equality. Seems to really irritate him. Who'd a thunk?

For someone who is from a minority group that has historically been discriminated against Diaz sure does a good amount of discriminating himself. I say the "straights" jam his phone too and let him know that its not just "the gays" that think he's out of line. His phone numbers and email are easily accessible if you Google him. Comments such as the ones he has made are inexcusable and he should be called out for it.

I hope that the plans to "redevelop" Proctors in Troy include the renovation of the main theater. Although I've never been inside, I've heard that the Troy theater makes Proctors in Schenectady look like a room with four lawn chairs and a 13" black-and-white television.

But with the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and EMPAC each less than a mile away, I suspect that I won't get my wish.

Re: WNYT

What a completely horrible sign of the times. I too have to give some heartbreaking news to my personal staff of male models. I have to let one of them go because of budgetary restrictions. But, I'm going to be tactful and let them finish out their daily scheduled household chores before delivering the bad news. Because it's not just about a job. It's about the dignity of work.

While I was in grad school at UAlbany, they did a retroactive tuition hike-- so about a month into session, everyone had to pay extra for the classes they were already taking. Kind of strikes me as interesting SUNY would cry foul for people trying to find ways to pay off their own demands.

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