Job anxiety at Capitol, Albany Med planning more development, cell phone prompts school evacuation, NYSTI fighting merger with Egg

The change in control of the state Senate is causing a lot of anxiety for staffers -- many of their jobs are up in the air as resources are being re-apportioned. The state Senate has 1,300 staffers. [NYT]

Albany Med is looking to build an office building, hotel and parking garage on land owned by the VA across New Scotland Ave. The plan would also reconfigure that part of New Scotland into a four-lane street. [TU]

A chunk of ice flew off the back of a tractor trailer yesterday and smashed through the windshield of a Ballston Spa woman's car. (The picture is remarkable.) She says she'd now like to see a state law to making it illegal to drive with ice on your car. [CBS6] [CBS6]

Local auto repair shops say business is booming as people look to hang on to their cars longer because of the economy. [TU]

Police say they're not sure what led to the death of a man found along the side of the road in North Greenbush on Sunday. [Troy Record]

Skidmore says it will probably be laying-off some temporary and part-time staff. [TU]

Niskayuna's police chief is suing the town -- he argues that it's shorting his pay. [Daily Gazette]

The bills for Colonie's one-time deficit reduction tax have started showing up in mailboxes. [CapNews9]

Ballson Spa High School was evacuated for a time yesterday because of noise emanating from a student's locker. The noise turned out to be a mobile phone. [Saratogian]

A trio of preschoolers and their van driver were stranded on the their way home in eastern Rensselaer County yesterday after their van got stuck in the snow in an area without mobile service. A snowmobiler found the van. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

The New York State Theater Institute, which is located in Troy, is fighting the David Paterson's plan to save money by merging it with The Egg. [Daily Gazette]

A plan by Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons to open an elementary school is meeting some resistance in Schenectady. People are apparently worried the new school could take students away from the city's only two remaining Catholic elementary schools. [Daily Gazette]

The regional law enforcement academy graduated 64 students yesterday. They'll be taking up positions at law enforcement agencies around the area. [TU]

An injured red-tailed hawk turned up in Troy yesterday. It appeared to have been hit by a bus. The bird was taken to the Berkshire Bird Paradise. [Troy Record]


See grass roots proposal below. By "Citizen's of NY" Note that this is not an effort to strickly put forth principles, other than conscience.

Thank You,
Citizen's of NY

[ Proposal Letter Reshaping NY State's Subsidy for AMD Chip Fab Plant ]

Albert P. Carey, President and CEO
Frito-Lay North America
7701 Legacy Drive
Plano, Texas 75024

Dear Mr. Carey,

I would like to make a proposal for Frito Lay to consider. Please bear with me as I 'Lays' the ground work.

If your not aware, New York State is offering upwards of a 1.2 Billion dollar subsidy for a chip fabrication plant to be located in Saratoga New York. We the citizens of New York, are led to believe this is an effort to bring new jobs to the State –roughly 1,400 jobs. The State has been in lengthy discussions with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) about a prospective chip plant. AMD has for a long time waffled despite the fact that the subsidy would be worth, by some estimates, $1 M illion per new job. There is concern that the useful life of the chip plant is ten years typically and the subsidy would amount to $100,000 per year, per AMD job.

Many taxpayers, rightly so, are trouble by the fact that AMD has shed over 25% of it’s work force in 2008 and AMD stock has lost roughly 70% of it’s value in the last 12 mon ths. Not to mention the fact that the majorit y ownership in AMD is now held in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi. And, the the incentives have now been transfered to the AMD spinoff: "The Foundry Co. backed by the Advanced Technology Investment Co. of Abu Dhabi and Mubadala Investment, an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government."

While business continues to leave the state and organic growth is treated with the herbicides of taxation and regulation -the citizen is left to wonder what the next niche industry might cost?

Frankly, if this deal goes through, it looks as if the New York State tax payer is 'Toastitos'.

First, let me say, as we all know: “Frito-Lay is the undisputed chip champ of North America.” Further, the products of Frito Lay and that of your parent company Pepsico Inc. are American icons.

Having stated that above, my proposal is simple. I’d like to call it the Frito Rule, but we can cal l it something else if you insist. A nyway, the classic Frito chip is unique in that it has four sides…think Frito Factor equal to 4; and, Frito Ratio equal to one fourth.

Here goes. We suggest Frito Lay seek to construct a chip fabrication plant in Saratoga New York. Fr ito Lay would receive one fourth of the AMD subsidy, or roughly 300 million dollars, furnished by the State of New York. In exchange, Frito Lay must create four times the jobs that AMD is proposing. And, one fourth of those jobs must be in food science, product testing, or otherwise technically skilled –surely this is part of the work force at your current snack chip plants.

Note the benefits are not only in the form of incentives, this is also a green initiative. Note that Railex USA operates what is commonly referred to as “the produce train” between Wallula, Washington and Rotterdam, New York. Rotterdam is approximately 20 miles from the proposed site in Luther Forest and a railroad spur to the site may be feasible. Or, the chip plant might be located in Rotterdam as the surrounding area actually needs economic development, better yet.

Back to the railroad, there are actually two trains per week crossing the country in five days carrying produce from the West to the East. It is likely the backhaul (the return trip) capacity is under utilized. This backhaul might serve as a backbone of distribution supplying the entire western United States with Frito Lay p roducts. As the recent advertising would suggest, the railroad could move one ton of ‘Sun Chips’ 436 miles on one gallon of diesel fuel. Considering the packaging requirements, you can ship Frito Lay chips at much high density than AMD chips.

Now you may have a very re al concern about corruption and graft given the reputation of New York politicians. Indeed, we’re tempted to call them 'Cheatos'. For that reason we strong suggest this proposal be presented to the public directly, thereby avoiding the circumstances that facilitate moral hazard.

Ultimately, it appears the State is set on subsidizing a new employer at the site. In the spirit of foregone conclusions, as opposed principle, we must endeavor to reshape this subsidy. As you know, a majority of New Yorkers enjoy (value) Frito Lay products often, if not on occasion. The suggestion that a value judgment between AMD chips and Frito Lay chips by the few legislators is appropriate, represents exactly the type of central planning that has saddled the citizens of New York with the current deal.

Please note I am seeking nothing for myself. I am, however, available for product testing on a work at home basis. I’d like to specialize in the 'Cool Ranch Dorito', with which I have some experience already. Hey..we can talk.

Thank You for your consideration,

PS: Would Frito Lay consider adding a chip branded as “the Bruno” if it would close the20deal? Give it some thought, and I ll explain later.

cc: Ms. Indra K. Nooyi, Chairman/CEO - Pepsico, Inc.

The City of Albany has silently figured out a way to bailout the struggling auto industry. Commuting into downtown Albany every day has rendered my relatively new car out of alignment, dented, shocks shot and every bolt rattled loose. Guess I'll have to think about getting another. Maybe city leaders should hit the car dealers up for donations to continue the "pot hole plan."

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Washington Avenue definitely needs more than one lane in each direction, but that doesn't mean it can't be redesigned. They can reduce the size of the lanes, add a median, and add a protected bike lane where the shoulder of the road now lies. I agree, however, that the entire Harriman loop would have to be redesigned and that includes those over-passes, so this would be an extremely expensive undertaking if they want to do it right. But there could be significant development on the land that is now wasted by asphalt that could offset that cost and bulk up the tax base for the city.

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