State worker unions say they're trying to make Paterson unpopular, texting while driving ban passed, Saratoga Rec center moving forward, man accused of stuffing video games into stroller

The state worker unions say they're trying to use condemnation and negative ads to push David Paterson's approval numbers down so that he changes his mind about the layoffs. Note to the unions: Paterson's approval ratings are already about as low as they can go. [YouTube] [NYT] [Q Poll]

The Paterson administration is looking to extend the time people in the state can receive unemployment checks. The "first wave" of people seeing their unemployment benefits expire is scheduled to arrive next month. [TU] [Troy Record]

Scott Murphy is up 25 votes on Jim Tedisco in the 20th Congressional District special election, according to the latest unofficial numbers from the New York State Board of Elections. The Tedisco is campaign is asking the state to extend the deadline for military ballots another 15 days (the deadline was yesterday) -- 205 of the 998 military ballots mailed out have been returned so far. The special election saga took another turn yesterday when the state Supreme Court judge who will rule on disputed absentee ballots was out yesterday for medical reasons. [NYS BoE] [Planet Albany] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The Albany County legislature passed a ban on texting while driving by a vote of 31-1. The bill won't take effect until six months after it's signed by Albany County exec Mike Breslin. The fine for violating the ban is $150. [TU] [CBS6]

Astrid Glynn, the state transportation commissioner, is stepping down. She was the first woman to head up the state DOT. The acting commissioner will be Stanley Gee, who' has a civil engineering degree from RPI. [TU] [Biz Review]

Saratoga Springs mayor Scott Johnson says the city's worked out a deal with the state Labor Department that will allow construction of the South Side Recreation Center to start. The state had help up the project because the construction contract didn't allow for each subcontracting job to be bid out separately -- that will now happen. The Friends of South Side Park group says it's filed an appeal to stop the project. On Monday Johnson called the group's original lawsuit "frivolous." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Demolition has begun on the South Troy riverfront property known as the King Fuels site. The land is heavily polluted and remediation is expected to take years. [TU]

An Albany man is accused of trying to steal video games from a video store in East Greenbush by stuffing the games into the stroller in which his step-daughter was riding. He was later arrested in a Walmart after a video store clerk followed him there. [TU] [Troy Record]

Police say a bike delivery man for an Albany Chinese restaurant was hit in the head and then robbed has he rode down Myrtle Ave yesterday. [Troy Record]

The Albany Police Department is replacing more of its Ford Crown Victoria police cruisers with Dodge Chargers. [TU]

Park rangers are setting controlled fires in the Saratoga National Historic Park this week in an attempt to keep the landscape looking the same as it did in 1777. [Daily Gazette]


Can't we just get a state-wide ban on driving while stupid? Why do we need a book full of laws against talking on cell phones and putting on makeup and texting and .... Less is more; a properly phrased law against driving while impaired or distracted would cover all these acts.

I agree with Chris but I also think that drivers should be retested when renewing their license.

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