Paterson says he's narrowed the field for Clinton's seat, storms straining snow removal budgets, shootout in Schenectady, dry cleaner closing stores

David Paterson says he's narrowed the field of candidates to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, but says he still hasn't made up his mind -- though he expects to do so by the end of this week. Paterson says he hasn't yet gone through all the questionnaires submitted by the hopefuls. [TU] [NYT]

One way you might have scored an inauguration ticket from Kirsten Gillibrand: promise to "love you so much" in a handwritten letter. It probably helps to be 10-years-old, too. [TU]

A rapid exchange of gunfire yesterday afternoon in Schenectady left bullet holes in cars and sent neighborhood residents diving for the floor. The shooters got away before police arrived. [TU] [Fox23]

Increased prices for salt -- and a series of weekend snow storms -- are straining the snow removal budgets of local municipalities. [Daily Gazette]

A Troy man says he woke Saturday morning to find an intruder pointing a rifle at him. The gunman and an accomplice made off with money, a cell phone and an iPod. [Troy Record]

An RPI student told Troy police he was mugged by a trio of men earlier Sunday morning. After kicking him while he was on the ground, they took some cash and a cell phone. [Troy Record]

Municipalities say the prices paid for recyclable material have dropped through the floor -- to the point that recycling programs now have to pay companies to pick up some of the materials. [Daily Gazette]

The union that represents Albany firefighters has ordered its members to stop volunteering with departments in other communities. The union says it's a matter of serving the city better, but the order may be part of a long-running divide between professional and volunteer departments. [TU]

Trans World Entertainment says it's cutting 25 jobs from its Albany headquarters. Trans World owns f.y.e. and a few other entertainment media chains (they sell music, movies and video games). It's currently in the process of shutting down 70 of f.y.e stores. [TU] [Biz Review]

Greener Cleaners -- the former Kem Cleaners -- says it's closing three of its stores. About 20 people will lose their jobs. Greener is currently going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. [TU]

The parent company of Citizen's Bank -- which has 44 local branches -- says it may post a loss of almost $42 billion for last year. [Biz Review]

Albany Memorial hospital has opened a new, larger emergency department. It's old department had been handling almost twice as many patients as it had been designed for. [TU]

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I'd be in favor of a "Tree Fee" via special assessment on all properties - including all the tax exempt - in the City, which would give the department the funds they need to adequately care for our street trees. A dollar amount per foot of street frontage would make it fair. It also would not have to be much as it would include much more property than our regular property taxes here. And yes, I am a homeowner who pays the high taxes here. But an extra $40 a year is not going to break me, and would provide immense benefit to the city at large. ...

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