Ambulance delay questioned, Paterson pessimistic about state finances, Rensselaer council doesn't show for no-show vote, Listerine blamed for failed sobriety test, surge of interest in home gardens

Albany mayor Jerry Jennings says he's putting together a task force to investigate why it took 25 minutes for an ambulance to show up at the scene of a fatal crash between a kid on a bike and a car. A spokesman for the ambulance company, Mohawk Ambulance, said "extraordinary circumstances" required the company to pull an ambulance from Troy to make the run. Firefighters who first responded to the scene reportedly called dispatch twice inquiring about the location of the ambulance. The boy -- who wasn't wearing a helmet -- later died at St. Peter's. The site of the crash was a little more than two miles from the hospital. [CapNews9] [TU] [Fox23] [Google Maps]

David Paterson is warning that $3 billion may have to be cut from this year's state budget -- though it seems that prediction isn't based on much more than his own hunch. Paterson's own budget office gently disputed the claim yesterday. [NYT] [NYDN]

Paterson made his comments about the budget at an appearance yesterday to sign a bill that uses federal stimulus money to extend a person's possible collection of unemployment benefits to 72 weeks. [TU]

State leaders are trying to work out a fix for the new bottle bill. It looks like a revised version will not include the New York-only barcode that bottlers said was going to be so much trouble. [TU]

Saratoga Springs police say they found a grenade and a bunch of guns during a domestic violence call yesterday. SSPD -- along with the ATF -- later arrested a man who lived at the residence. The bomb squad was called to remove the grenade. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

The Rensselaer Common Council didn't vote on a measure that would penalize council members for not attending meetings yesterday -- because not enough members were there to vote. [CapNews9]

The attorney for the man accused of leaving the scene after his best friend jumped out of a moving vehicle in North Greenbush in January -- and later died -- says his client was not intoxicated that day. Not helping his case: the man failed a blood alcohol test shortly after his arraignment yesterday. His attorney blamed Listerine. [Troy Record] [TU]

The administrations for the Schenectady and Troy school districts are trying to figure out how to proceed after their budgets were voted down this week. Schenectady's superintendent says the district's budget is already smaller than the contingency level. Troy's district will send another budget -- with a smaller tax increase -- up for vote in June. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

Saratoga Springs officials are considering a moratorium on demolishing historic buildings in the city. [Daily Gazette]

Scott Murphy's first piece of legislation in the House would provide help to military veterans looking to start new businesses. [TU]

Commercial traffic on the Thruway was down 12 percent in the first quarter compared to last the same period last year. [TU]

Another victim of state budget cuts: the At The Plaza concerts at the ESP. [TU]

The local agricultural extension reports a big increase in people looking to grow vegetables in their backyard this year. [TU]

The contract for the RPI professor chosen as "Person of the Year" by the school's newspaper is not being renewed. [TU]

A volunteer-built replica of a 17th century Dutch ship was launched on the Mohawk yesterday. [Daily Gazette]


-Another victim of state budget cuts: the At The Plaza concerts at the ESP.-

and no concerts in washington park? this is going to be a very different summer in albany. :-/

Man, it's so disappointing that the 'At The Plaza' concerts are being canceled, along with the Washington Park concerts. I moved downtown last winter so I could be in the middle of activity, and now all the fun stuff is getting canceled!

Speaaaking of activity - I don't know where else to post this: Does anyone know if Madison will be closed from 4-8 for the GHI Workforce Challenge? I know the park will be closed today during those hours, but I can't find any info on when they will shut down Madison.

The Rensselaer Common Council didn't vote on a measure that would penalize council members for not attending meetings yesterday -- because not enough members were there to vote. [CapNews9]

Awesome. You just can't make this stuff up.

@ Paul -- according to CDTA's service re-route info -- yes, Madison Avenue will be closed from Eagle to Swan to New Scotland (which to me translates to: from Eagle to New Scotland) -- also Washington Ave. will be closed for a stretch...

there's probably better information someplace else on the street closings...but i tend to go to the CDTA website for such info...

@Paul I know the race doesn't start till a little before 6:30pm and I don't think they'll be closing off Madison much before that but that's just a guess.

I'm running in this - the course starts at the museum and goes all the way up to South Lake on Madison, so I assume that it will be closed.

If not, that will make for an interesting road race.

At least the state isn't canceling ALL of the ESP events, but I gotta tell ya; aside from food fest and the 4th, I couldn't care less about anything on the schedule.

> The boy -- who wasn't wearing a helmet -- later died at St. Peter's.

Very sad. He allegedly ran a stop sign. Let's wear a helmet *and* obey traffic laws. You too, Kim D.

So I used to live in an apartment building where a relative of someone who worked for Mohawk Ambulance was also a tenant. Every day around the same time, an ambulance would pull up and idle outside for twenty or thirty minutes while they chatted. Now, I'm not saying something like this happened, but "extraordinary circumstances" isn't really very specific.

> Let's wear a helmet *and* obey traffic laws. You too, Kim D.

alright fine. i know you're right.

if you see a girl (or boy, you can't quite tell with the head gear) wearing a very large helmet bobbing around on his/her head in downtown albany, it's probably me.

@B: actually the article(s) elaborate on the "extraordinary circumstances", i.e. that (if I recall) they had received 3 emergency calls within a few minutes already and that 2 ambulances were already convoying patients (out of the 5 they use). A sixth ambulance had been dispatched from Troy *prior* to the kid's accident to handle these "extraordinary circumstances", and it took them 23 minutes. All of this I assume shouldn't be difficult to double-check, if somebody really like to play "point the finger"...

There are many sad facts contributing to the death of this little boy. Among them::

Had a neighboring ambulance/rescue squad been called for mutual aid, (an everyday arrangement in which neighboring ambulance districts support each other in times of 'extrordinary circumstances') there probably could have been an ambulance on scene in under 5 minutes. That particular location would have lent itself to help from at least 3 neighbors.

But the City of Albany (as with most cities) does not participate in such arrangements because, in my humble opinion, they are viewed as a threat to the paid firefighting/ambulance staff and companies.

A helmet almost certainly would have made for a significantly different outcome.

As EMS providers, we see this altogether too often.

All I really want to do is point the finger at the particular Mohawk driver who used to idle outside of my building, because if I left my windows open the kitchen would be covered in tiny black specks of exhaust, every day, all the time, and while two packets of ramen with pepperoni and mustard (desperate times call for desperate measures) isn't the tastiest meal ever, it's more tasty than two packets of ramen with pepperoni, mustard, and diesel soot.

Sad part is the calls that ems were busy responding too was probably a drunk passed out and people with toothaches or coughs. It happens alot.

The number of calls we get for the Big White Taxi is probably 15-20%. Even more in the more urban areas.

They may also have been doing inter-facility transports (aka a 'shuck') which takes valuable assets out of service. Plenty of those happening all the time. But for an ambulance company, they pay the bills.

The two big questions in my mind are:

a) Why did it take 23 minutes to go from already on 787 near Troy to just off Rt 85 when traveling priority one to a car vs child w head injury?

b) Why didn't someone call {Slingerlands, Bethlehem, Five Quad, Western Turnpike, Colonie} when it was obvious that a rig was 20+ minutes away.

Ok, maybe not Five Quad because they are home for the summer, but still, you get my point.

Sorry about your Ramen B. I miss the taste. Sometimes...

The ambulance story is of secondary significance in the tragic death of that young boy. The lack of a helmet was probably the deciding factor in his death. Parents--and neighbors--need to be all over these kids when they go out to ride their bikes. I live up the road from McCormack Rd. where the accident happened. I don't know whether kids and parents imagine they don't need helmets out here if they are riding in quiet developments, but this tragic accident shows that a youngster can pop out of nowhere (how many kids stop for stop signs?) and hit traffic. Parents need to have a "zero tolerance" policy on the wearing of helmets: no helmet, no bike.

After breaking two helmets with impact related accidents (one on a tree and one on a rock with said bike upside down at Whiteface), I very much agree!

You only have one skull and one brain. Use the exoskeleton some call a helmet!

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