State facing even bigger budget gap, politicians fight over printer, food bank demand up, garbage workers told to take it easy,

A budget analysis from the state Assembly projects that the state's budget gap for the next fiscal year is actually a billion dollars bigger than originally thought. Sheldon Silver says the growing gap increases the need for higher taxes on high-earning households. David Paterson says he's still resistant to the idea. [Biz Review] [NYDN] [TU]

Jonathan Lippman was confirmed yesterday as the new chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. Lippman says getting state judges a pay raise will be among his first priorities. Also: he apparently looks a little like Bernie Madoff to some people. [TU] [CapNews9]

A city attorney has told the Albany Common Council that its subpoena powers probably do not allow it to question the head of the police officers' union about the ghost ticket scandal. Councilman Corey Ellis has been pushing for the council to directly investigate the matter. [TU]

The woman police say hit a pedestrian along Western Ave near St. Rose and then drove off was charged yesterday with leaving the scene of an accident. The family of Stanley Brown, the man hit and killed in the accident, says he loved to walk. [Troy Record] [TU]

Even after the delayed shareholder vote on the chip fab spin-off company, AMD officials say their plans to start clearing land at the Luther Forest site in March are still on track. The company also unveiled a new design for the chip fab building -- it's a bit more compact and not as flashy. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Democrats in the Rensselaer County legislature are upset that Republicans took one of their printers without asking. [Troy Record]

Charlie Mueller, the pastor who runs the Albany gun buyback, says he plans to distribute a color-coded map of Albany crime to UAlbany students. He says the map was prompted by the murder of UAlbany student Richard Bailey. [TU]

Another developer has plans to build residential space in downtown Albany. The project includes 20 condo units at 17 Chapel St.

Many local restaurants and shops say their Valentine's Day business is up this year despite the economic downturn. (On the other hand -- headline from yesterday's Gazette: "Economy tops love this year.") [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York says demand is up 20 percent over the last year. [Daily Gazette]

Schenectady garbage workers have been told to stop empty extra-large trash cans. The over-limit cans were apparently contributing to an unusually high injury rate for the city's workers. [Daily Gazette]

Hannaford is stopping its 5 cent discount for the use of reusable bags because the discount didn't seem to be enticing new people. Price Chopper says it's continuing its 3 cent rebate. [TU]

Tay Fisher -- former 3-point shooting star for Siena -- is now a substitute teacher in Troy and says he wishes he could still play. [Troy Record]

A music producer in Saratoga won a Grammy this week for producing the cast album for the Broadway show "In the Heights." Joel Moss has now won 7 Grammys, including one for a Ray Charles album. [Saratogian]


I commend Pastor Charlie for his efforts, Victory Christian Church has really been busting its hump this year to try to help disadvantaged kids and to make our streets safer. Bravo.

Wait a second-- is Hannaford stopping a program because they weren't "losing money" on it? I'm not sure I understand this-- particularly given that they admit in the article that most people don't know about the discount. Say what you will about five cents, but it adds up over time (not to mention any incentive to cut down on plastic is beneficial).

In contrast, where I now live, you you get the DIRTIEST looks if you don't bring your own bags. I'm fairly certain they'd fine you five cents per bag and blacklist you at grocery stores around town for using plastic if they could.

The man who was killed was my boyfriend's next-door neighbor. Kind of a strange guy who lived with his two sisters, who are really nice, spunky women.

I'm so annoyed by Hannaford right now. They don't advertise that they give a 5-cent credit for reusable bags but worse than that, they don't give you the credit when you do bring your own bags. I've never once gotten the credit and I always bring my bags with me. Without knowing the program existed, I didn't know to ask for it. I shouldn't have to ask for it. Yep, they just moved down on my list of stores for grocery shopping.

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