Paterson introduces same-sex marriage bill, two shooting deaths in Schenectady, high-speed rail gets Presidential attention, Troy might bring in The Pothole Killer

David Paterson officially introduced a bill yesterday that would make same-sex marriage legal in New York State. Paterson framed the measure as a civil rights issue: "We have a duty to make sure equality exists for everyone." This same bill passed the Assembly in 2007, but failed in the state Senate. Majority leader Malcolm Smith wasn't at yesterday's announcement, though he says he's "fully committed to the process of securing the votes" necessary to pass the bill. State Senator Ruben Diaz -- a Democrat who's against the measure -- called the bill "a challenge the governor is sending to every religious person in New York." [NYT] [AP/TU] [Daily Politics] [NYP]

The state Department of Labor reported that the Capital Region's unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in March -- that's down from 7.6 percent in February, but up from 5 percent a year ago. A labor department analyst says the numbers may indicate that unemployment has hit a bottom -- maybe. [NYS DoL] [TU]

Authorities say two shooting deaths in Schenectady last night may have been a murder-suicide -- though the Schenectady County DA says "there's still a lot of legwork to be done." The first shooting was on Union St, about a block from the Union College campus (map). The Schenectady PD reported the incident on Twitter. [Daily Gazette] [TU] (Earlier on AOA: Schenectady mugshots on Twitter)

Absentee ballot counting in the NY20 special election has slowed over the way disputed ballots are to be counted. It also probably didn't help that some elections officials in Dutchess County decided to go to the Yankees game yesterday. The unofficial count at the end of yesterday from the New York State Board of Elections has Scott Murphy up 178 votes on Jim Tedisco. [TU] [PolitickerNY] [NYS BoE]

President Obama highlighted his administration's support of high speed rail yesterday -- and it looks like New York's Empire Corridor is on the list of high-priority projects. [NYT] [TU]

Rotterdam police say a human skeleton was found just off the bike path that runs near the Mohawk River. State police are investigating. [Daily Gazette]

A Guilderland High School senior says he's running for a spot on the school board. [TU]

The Albany County Sheriff's department is investigating accusations that a telemarketing company hired to raise money for the local corrections officers' union has been harassing people. [Troy Record]

Disputed property tax assessments on what some of Saratoga Springs' biggest and most expensive houses are holding up city business. By the way: the annual taxes on a $20 million house are $436,000. [TU]

The president of the Saratoga City Center authority says his org is going to "follow up with" some of the public suggestions about the much-criticized design of the convention center's expansion. [Saratogian]

The Oklahoma training track has opened in Saratoga. [Sararogian]

RPI is pulling itself out of a statewide program that helps out minority students because of concerns about cost. [TU]

The City of Troy is looking at making use of "The Pothole Killer."

The state tree nursery in Saratoga may be closing. [Saratogian]

Saturday is neighborhood cleanup day in Albany. [TU]


Memo to Ruben Diaz: I am religious and I believe in marriage equality. If he's issuing a challenge it's for all those that believe to stand up and make their voices heard. Represent the people of NY like you were hired to do. Did we forget about the separation of church and state? All men are created equal? I'm just irritated. Gay marriage shouldn't be a's about equality. We are all equal under the law...or at least we should be. I hate seeing my friends that are gay or lesbian be discriminated against. And to say it's a call to all religious only thoughts are nasty words that I won't type here but just because your religious does not mean you don't believe in equal rights/gay marriage. I could go on but I'll spare you all and step down off my soapbox.

Also, The Register Star is reporting that Tedisco submitted a petition to the Dutchess County Supreme Court Thursday asking to be declared the winner. Full article here:

I've been hearing for years that you should never, EVER give money to an organization claiming to be a representative of the police over the phone. At a previous job, every day for about a week straight we received rude and annoying calls from one of these people. When we finally got angry with them and told them basically to bugger off, the guy on the phone had the audacity to get angry back. Grrr.

Follow-up to Summer:

2 years ago, my mother-in-law received a call from people identifying themselves as researchers at the University at Albany. They said they were doing a survey on Albany residents & their opinion of the police department. They asked questions like "do you feel as though the police do an adequate job patrolling your street", "What time of day do you see the biggest police presence", etc. Three days later her home & a few other homes on the street were broken into and they were all robbed. As you might have guessed, the survey was a scam. It was the criminals essentially interviewing their victims.

We're not taking the bait, Ruben Diaz, and neither is any other rational person out there. Your reconciliation of the Christian principle of reciprocity ("Do unto others...") with Bush Era polarization of social justice issues only reveals that your logic is as faulty as your morals.

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