Senate drama grinds on, land deal closed for chip fab, Tuffey back on the job, man tasered in burning house, winery planned near Saratoga

The state Senate stayed locked -- literally -- yesterday as the Republican led coalition tried to solidify its backing and Democrats tried to regain the upper hand (it looks like they'll be challenging the takeover in court). Pedro Espada, the possibly-new Senate president pro tem, said the chamber would open today -- and he proudly displayed the key to the locked room (though he wouldn't say how he obtained it). David Paterson scolded the Senate yesterday, urging its members to "to act like adults." [TU] [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette] [NYDN]

The senator-of-the-moment is Hiram Monserrate, the other Democratic switcher. It seems he might be playing both sides in a bid to get the best deal. Said one unidentified legislator: "Hiram is driving the train. God help us all." Monserrate seemed to indicate yesterday that he's sticking with the Republican-led coaltion. One apparent undercurrent to this drama is increasing friction between Latino and African American legislators (both Espada and Monserrate are Latino). [NYT] [Newsday] [Buffalo News] [Daily Politics] [NYT]

Part of yesterday's proceedings outside the Senate chamber: a clown -- who was apparently hired by the New York Post. [PolitickerNY]

GlobalFoundries closed on the land for the Luther Forest chip fab yesterday. GloFo bought 223 acres for $7.8 million. Land clearing is scheduled to start next week and construction in late July. The signed deal had Saratoga County officials celebrating what one person described as a "10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle". Others were a bit more in-your-face. Said the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce president: "To everyone who said it wouldn't happen: 'See you, suckers!'" [Daily Gazette] [Biz Review] [TU] [Post-Star] [Saratogian]

Albany police chief James Tuffey is back on the job -- in an administrative capacity only -- after the state declared that he was no longer a sworn police officer. Still at issue: whether Tuffey had been illegally carrying a gun -- and where his guns have been stored. [CapNews9] [TU]

Joe Bruno has publicly come out in favor of same-sex marriage. [CBS6 via Daily Politics]

The City of Troy will continue pay rent on the new, not-ready-yet city hall after the landlord threatened to sue if the city withheld payment. [Troy Record]

Police say a man had to be tasered after he wouldn't leave his burning house yesterday in Knox -- and they say the man set the fire. [TU]

Two reps from a Chicago anti-gun initiative will be in Albany tonight for a public forum about gun violence. [TU]

A Schenectady man served five months in jail after he was wrongly accused of a robbery last year. He's now out and his indictment dismissed. [TU]

The Schenectady Metroplex Authority is moving to take control of the historic -- and crumbling -- Foster Building on State Street (street view). [Daily Gazette]

Scientists are studying a population of rare turtles in Wilton. [Post-Star]

A married couple is planning to open a winery (called Saratoga Winery) in Milton. [Saratogian]


Re: Luther forest - this comment took me by surprise

"We’re looking at flexible displays, semiconductors and green technology," Relyea said.

Green tech really? A buzzword. Luther forest will bulldoze 200 acres of forest, build miles of new roads, give a shot in the arm to Saratoga County sprawl, and they're touting "Green tech." Someone school me, please - what was is about Albany that these guys couldn't stomach locating closer to? Was is the tax payer subsidies awarded per job? or was it "low taxes" on the facility? Was is political horsetrading? Ugh. How do you make a loser out of a winner? Location, location, location.

@DP I agree, and thats a great way to put it all in perspective. Couldnt they have just used this place?

I'm also happy Wally Tuffey is back to work. 1. we dont need a city without a Police Chief and 2. He's doing a fine job.

*waiting for Dan from PineHills*

They're talking about tenants, Daley. Solar panels made from nanoscale silicon are a major growth area.

If you'll recall, the original plan was to locate a Luther Forest-like project at the Rensselaer Tech Park. Unfortunately, the Town of North Greenbush said no. It would have been nice to see Albany County propose the railyard/steel site at the edge of Watervliet, but that initiative wasn't made. Instead it was Saratoga County that picked up the ball and ran with it. And at least they're reusing the former Cold War era rocket test site.

@ ed

Are they making solar panels or a product that can be used in solar panels?

Either way the point of WHAT they are making is irrelevant. The truth is we are building in areas that we shouldn't be. The reason the tech park is in Saratoga is the same reason the train station located in Rennslear - because the Senate majority leader wanted it in his district. I understand the need to satisfy the wants and needs of your constituants, but the truth is this complex is off the map. It will spur the construction of new homes that follow the pipeline, and it has already sunk cash into new collector roads that may need a new Northway exit.

The market for solar panels comes from the need to energy independance, and the need to ween ourselves from fossil fuels. Here's the plant, away from public transit, in the middle of now where, and PS we have to cut down a hundred acres of trees. This is a private firm getting a large amount of government and local subsidy. Heaven forbid the market forces a closure or layoffs - we have a 1,000 new homes and miles of roads to take care of - we can't even fund the roads we have, fill the vacancies in the urban areas.

Let's think regionally first.

@ jvg .#1 I don't think that building is suited for chip-fab. but if it is - great point. I was thinking the Harriman campus. We're started the improvement of route 67... and yet, here's 85 and a ring road already established....

Imagine the revitalizing effect this would have on the city of Albany....

@DP I dont think that building would be suited either, but I think you get the point and we're both on board the same "Bring the city back to Albany" bus.....or aquaduck thing.

I've always felt the logical location for the chip fab plant was on GE's property in Schenectady. GE has leveled many buildings over the past 20 years, it's proximity to railroad, highways, river etc.

Very adult comment, Joe Dalton. Nice role model for the kids. You win, kick sand in the face of the opposition (such that there was). Nice lesson.

Glad you're gloating for your role in increasing sprawl in an area poorly (if it even is) served by mass transit, while essentially giving the proverbial finger to your neighbors to the south and to everyone who doesn't fit your over-development world view. Enjoy your pollution and your soon-to-be over-burdened local services, and come back and see us in a decade or so when the tax breaks run out and your Big Business "friends" play you for a better deal elsewhere. Who's going to be the sucker then?

@ Beaver & Seaweed - well said. TU reported today that the intersection of 67 and 9 recieved upgades. "Too many accidents" they say. Wow.... did I call that.. uhm... yesterday? DOT will have to upgrade 67 to handle the traffic, the big boxes chasing communter's new drive to work, and of course get ready for more Northway delays! Some folks will call for another lane on the highway, or building bigger roads. That will lead to more traffic, that will lead to more junk. 10 years from now the chip plant will relocate to Texas, chasing tax breaks, and we'll be left with Rome, NY. It's a race to the bottom, folks. See you at the finish.

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