Paterson says stimulus money will prevent soda and iTunes tax, salt water may have caused manhole explosions, police say guy had pot farm in attic, Troy corned beef factory closes

David Paterson says federal stimulus money will cover the budget hole that was to be filled by new taxes on items such as soda and digital downloads. Of course, now that money won't be able to cover other holes -- and it appears chances are now greater that there will be new taxes on households making at least $250,000. [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette]

The Schenectady School District superintendent says district officials never knew about a letter Steven Raucci, the district employee charged with arson and terrorism, allegedly sent to an employee urging her to be "attractive, sensitive and classy with a touch of sexiness." A lawsuit by a former district employee alleges that Raucci was a friend of the district's HR director. The city's board of education will meet tonight to talk about Raucci's future with the district. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

National Grid says salt water runoff may have corroded the underground transmission lines that caught fire this week in Albany. [TU]

According to the NYCLU, three Albany neighborhoods with six percent of the city's population accounted for 25 percent of the adults sent to prison in 2005 -- and almost half of those people were convicted on drug crimes. The org was publicizing the data to protest the Rockefeller Drug Laws. [TU] [TU] [NYCLU]

The Troy Police Department says it's new ShotSpotter system has already picked up 45 gunshots in its 10 weeks of operation. [TU]

The Saratoga Springs planning board voted to not recommend a proposed affordable housing development near Railroad Run. The board said it's concerned about noise and congestion, but the project's developer says it's a case of NIMBYism. [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

A state Supreme Court justice has tossed the lawsuit filed a Saratoga Springs firefighter who said he couldn't complete a paramedics course because he was afraid of needles. The court ruled the city was within its rights to dismiss the firefighter. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Highway workers found two dead dogs wrapped in plastic bags along roads in Bethlehem. A pathologist says at least one of the dogs appears to have been kicked to death. [TU] [Fox23]

Police say the busted a guy with as much as $136,000 in pot growing in his attic in Troy. [Troy Record]

The state has accused the owner of a bar on New Scotland Ave in Albany of not turning over more than $50k in sales tax money. [TU]

Wafaa Bilal, the artist whose "Virtual Jihadi" installation was booted from RPI, reportedly says in a book that his conversation about the work with school officials was "a chilling reminder of the times Saddam's men grilled me about my art at the University of Baghdad." [TU]

The Malta planning board has given GlobalFoundries the OK to start clearing land. GloFo says it hopes to start work at the end of this month. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

It looks like the community center run by Albany Common Councilman -- and mayoral candidate -- Corey Ellis may have its funding restored by the state. [TU]

With its pre-St. Patrick's Day rush finished, the Levonian Brothers corned beef factory in Troy is closing after 62 years. [TU]

Comments

The TU article about Troy’s ShotSpotter system was one of the most poorly written articles I have read in a while. I respect writers and deadlines however; whoever proofed that article should be ashamed.

Examples: “Kaiser said it's believe it was a shot fired from a moving vehicle.” And “Kaiser said he would to add cameras to the system so that video could be filmed in areas where gunshots are heard.”

I don’t know what kind of sick, malicious bastard it takes to kick a dog to death. I can’t even fathom what makes someone think it’s okay to do that, how it “feels good”, whatever. Assuming that these were unwanted pets, it certainly takes less time to call up a rescue group or drop them off at a shelter than to kick an animal to death. Whoever did this had his choice of an easy or tough solution, and they chose very poorly.

Personally, I’m also really bothered that it’s two beagles. My dog is part beagle, and in addition to being very loving and trusting, they can be an extremely energetic, headstrong breed. This may be a gross generalization, but I think a good number of dogs you see in abusive situations are breeds with those traits. If you want a cute dog, then great. But if it’s a discernable breed, do some research beforehand and find out what you’re getting yourself into. Or at the very least, expect both good and bad qualities.

I'm with Alice. I'm stunned and saddened. Animal abuse is one of my biggest crusades.
Please keep in mind that an early warning sign of dangerous behavior is senseless animal abuse. This is one of the reasons I believe penalties for animal abuse should be even worse (aside from the fact that I happen to be a big animal person). I'm really bummed.

I didn't get worked up about the soda tax in the first place because I knew it was all empty- empty calories and empty threats. It doesn't hurt that I don't drink soda. But I sure do buy a ton of downloads!

Re: Dead Dogs

Must fill brain with trivial fluff in order to cope with the unspeakable acts of violence that have been in the news over the past few days. OMG did u hear Jorge got kicked off Idol? He wuz so dreamy :-( ! Doesnt Britney look amayzing in her new concert pix? All u h8rs r feeling dumb i bet. HAHA my cat is chasing her tail right now cuz she's the silliest! u no what? bagels are yummy and i want 1.

LOL @ Pants.
Thanks, needed the yucks.

I've actually been talking about the dog thing a lot today with my contemporaries, and the response is generally the same; disgusted. I also acknowledge the silliness of being so deeply affected by two dogs when there are far more human tragedies filling up the news day by day. I don't know. It just gets me.

On a different note, I can't believe how many "shots" the ShotSpotter picked up already. It's freaky to think of how many unnoticed bullets are flying around! If it serves its purpose well, which it seems it might, every city should invest in at least one.

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