State worker unions confront Paterson at Gideon Putnam, Murphy lead over Tedisco widens, why the Dalai Lama reconsidered, bank knocked over with electric drill, Saratoga grid could get smart, Dr. Wow

The state worker unions protested the planned job cuts outside the state Democratic Rural Conference Friday evening at the Gideon Putnam. David Paterson stopped outside the meetings to talk with the protesters -- though one union rep called the impromptu session "absolutely unproductive." Paterson later told a news conference that the unions haven't been willing to "any sort of effort that would help us balance our budget." The unions say the state save money by cutting the use of outside contractors. [Post-Star] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Police say the gunman in the Union St. shooting last week was the boyfriend of the murdered man's estranged wife. Police say the shooter shot himself in Niskayuna after he saw police at his apartment. They say they're not sure what motivated the incident. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The unofficial count from the New York State Board of Elections has Scott Murphy up 273 votes on Jim Tedisco in the NY20 special election. [NYS BoE]

A rep for the Dalai Lama says the Buddhist spiritual leader has decided to come to Albany because he "feels committed to supporting the expression of worthy ideals." The Dalai Lama had cancelled an earlier appearance because of the negative publicity associated with the Ethical Humanitarian Foundation, the sponsoring organization. EHF is connected to a Clifton Park executive leadership program that's been accused of cult-like tactics. [TU] [Forbes]

A plant that processes hazardous waste in Cohoes was grossly under reporting its emissions for years, according to an analysis of EPA numbers by the TU. [TU]

Police say the human skeleton found in Rotterdam near the Mohawk last week belonged to a man who was reported missing in 2005. They say they're not sure what caused the man's death. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

State police say the guy who robbed the Key Bank on Hoosick St in Troy on Friday might have used to an electric drill for the stick-up.

New York State's unemployment benefits are not indexed to inflation -- and have not been raised by the state legislature for more than a decade. [NYT]

An Albany police commander says a small group of young people are responsible for about 75 percent of gun violence in the city. [TU]

State police will be searching the Hudson again this morning for a man who jumped in while fishing on Saturday. Police say the search is now a recovery, not a rescue. A family member says the man had been drinking before he jumped in the river. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23]

An Iranian appeals court has rejected the appeal of UAlbany public health grad student Dr. Kamiar Alaei. Alaei and his brother have been in an Iranian prison since last summer when they were convicted during a secret trial of plotting to overthrow the government. [TU]

The developer of a new high-end apartment complex in Saratoga Springs says he's having no trouble renting units because of the Global Foundries chip fab. Also: recruits to the Sematech research center in Albany are moving to Saratoga -- not Albany -- according to the developer. [Saratogian]

National Grid is looking to test "smart grid" technology in Saratoga County. The company says the 42,000 customers involved in the project could save 5 percent on their electric bills. The technology would aim to reduce energy use during peak hours. [TU] [Post-Star] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Local libraries say usage is way up, even as funding is being cut. [Daily Gazette]

The Regional Food Bank says it's really hurting for volunteers to help it sort food. [Daily Gazette]

Schenectady County's ban on texting while driving, which is now more than a month old, has yet to lead to a ticket for anyone. [TU]

A humane society official says the horse trainer accused of not providing adequate care to more than 100 horses on a farm in Coxsackie should never be allowed to own animals again. [Saratogian]

People with master's degrees are apparently now competing for local supermarket cashier jobs. [Daily Gazette]

The building at 219 Lark St. in Albany is being redeveloped into retail space and 10 apartments (map). [TU]

A handful of large properties near Saratoga Springs have gone on the market after their owner's hedge fund lost $7 billion in the Madoff scam. The three properties are being listed for a combined $18 million. [Post-Star]

Employees at St. Peter's apparently call the hospital's new electronic health records system "Dr. Wow." [TU]

The City of Albany is getting a hybrid garbage truck. [TU]

A 93-year-old woman who lives in Clifton Park was a British code breaker during WWII at the famed Bletchley Park. [Daily Gazette] [Wikipedia]


New York State's unemployment benefits are not indexed to inflation -- and have not been raised by the state legislature for more than a decade. [NYT]

Coincidentally, real wages in the United States have been headed downward since 1972. So at least we don't realize we're being screwed.

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