State worker unions talk trash about Paterson, special election absentee ballot count starts, big new contract for Siena basketball coach, Troy dog park become partisan issue

The heads of the two biggest state worker unions, CSEA and PEF, met with David Paterson yesterday about the planned layoffs and it appears not much happened -- except for some trash talking. CSEA president Danny Donohue said the governor "needs a good psychiatrist or at least he should share the drugs that he's on because he's not making any sense to any of our members." Paterson's people called Donohue's remarks "inappropriate" and said they "reflect a lack of respect for the taxpayers of New York." The two unions are also upset that Paterson tried to go over their heads by sending a letter directly to state workers. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23] [Biz Review]

The "long, tedious" count of the absentee ballots in the 20th Congressional District special election has started. Every ballot is being examined by an election worker and observers from both campaigns. An elections commissioner says the process could take as long as three weeks. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Post-Star]

State police and animal protection groups raided a horse farm in Coxsackie yesterday and found 177 malnourished horses. The animals belong to trainer Ernie Paragallo, whose horses have won more than $20 million in purse money over the last 12 years. The condition of Paragallo's horses has been a concern of animal groups since at least 2007. [TU] [NYT] [NYT]

David Paterson says he's planning to introduce legislation that would make same-sex marriages legal in New York. Previous bills have passed in the Assembly, but stalled in the state Senate. [Gannett/TU]

Siena and it's men's basketball coach, Fran McCaffery, have agreed a new eight-year contract that will pay McCaffery $500,000 a year -- the most Siena has ever paid a coach. Even with the new contract, there have been rumors that other bigger schools might be interested in McCaffery. [TU]

Albany police say they were able to nab the guy who allegedly knocked over the Key Bank at Washington and Lark this week after someone recognized the man's picture on the TU's web site. [TU]

The Schenectady Board of Education approved a budget that cuts 17 teacher jobs, five administrators and 41 staff jobs. The budget also increases 4.9 percent. [Daily Gazette]

The aunt of one of the Schenectady High students who committed suicide says the girl had said she was being bullied. [TU]

The new Rensselaer County jail will use PDAs for workers, wireless headsets for inmates and biometric scanners. The jail is expected to be ready by the end of the year. [TU] [Troy Record]

The man struck by a car while crossing Central Ave near the Albany/Colonie line Tuesday night has died. The man, who was from Ecuador, was here illegally. [TU]

The new state bottle bill -- which extends deposits to bottled water -- also includes a provision requiring bottles to have special New York-only bar codes in order to prevent people from shipping in bottles from other states. [TU]

Two more new hotels are being planned for Latham. [Biz Review]

The construction of dog park near RPI has somehow become a partisan issue in Troy.

And let there be no doubt: No Doubt is not coming to SPAC. [Post-Star]

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