Former assistant says she balanced Bruno's checkbook and stole from him, special budget session stumbles, council approves demolition measure, ski resorts hoping to make snow

Joe Bruno Trial: Patricia Stackrow, Bruno's longtime executive assistant, testified yesterday the she "did a lot of his personal business" while working in his state Senate office -- including balancing his check books and shopping. Stackrow also admitted, under immunity from prosecution, that she stole money from Bruno, as she told a grand jury, in "retaliation for the way he treated me at times ... demeaning and very degrading." It is possible Bruno's use of Stackrow as a personal assistant may have violated state ethics laws. Bruno told reporters yesterday the he always wanted to stay a businessman -- "If [the Senate] was full-time, I never would have run in the first place." [NYT] [Fox23] [Troy Record] [TU] [TU] [WTEN]

Yesterday's special budget gap session of the legislature didn't accomplish much. David Paterson and key members of the state Senate continue to be at odds (Carl Kruger, specifically) -- and everyone else kind of seems to be in the dark. And wn what's quickly becoming a tradition, Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr is threatening to go home. Paterson said yesterday he'll continue to call the legislature into special session until there's a deficit reduction deal. [NYT] [TU] [NYDN] [Fox23] [Daily Politics] [AP/WNYT]

Rensselaer County health officials say a county resident has died from H1N1. The person was apparently not in a priority group, nor did she/he have underlying conditions. [TU] [Troy Record]

Troy animal control says a kitten was found last week shot by a BB gun, with a leg broken and left in a trash can. The cat has since died. It's the third case of cat abuse in Troy during the last 1.5 years. [WTEN] [Fox23] [TU]

David Paterson said yesterday that he disagrees with the Obama Administration's decision to try the five detainees linked to 9/11 in New York City. He also blamed the media for highlighting the difference in opinion. [NYT] [Daily Politics]

Despite a hiring freeze, the Paterson Administration has hired a CBS6 producer to become its "director of new media." Melanie Hartgraves is an HVCC and Saint Rose grad. [NYO] [LinkedIn]

The Albany Common Council approved a measure that makes it harder for the Fort Orange Club to knock down two buildings preservationists say have historical value. [TU]

Corey Ellis wants to limit the number of sex offenders who can live in a residence in Albany. [CapNews9]

SUNY reported a record increase in enrollment in the system this year -- but UAlbany's enrollment is down about one percent. [TU]

RPI's medical director told a state Senate committee yesterday that school rules allow it to suspend a student who has the flu if he/she doesn't agree to go home or go into isolation for a week. [TU]

The funeral for Amy Seyboth Tirador, the Colonie soldier who died recently in Iraq, is today. [TU]

A Saratoga food bank has gone mobile. [Saratogian]

Nearby ski resorts are hoping to crank up the snow machine soon. [Saratogian]

Comments

Says the Fort Orange Club about the buildings it wishes to demolish:

"The club contends they have little to no historic value, citing many changes to them over the years."

The Fort Orange Club building itself has been so often remodeled that the original appearance of the building is conjectural. The present facade is an uneasy mix of the original early 19th C. house, a Victorian remodeling, and a 20th Century rebuild that added Federal detailing which probably is not even close to the original appearance. It's a mongrel.

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I went to one last month. My friend took his oath of citizenship. It is a great ceremony. A local school choir sang. There was a moving speech from one of the new citizens who grew up a refugee and at the age of 21 was finally a citizen of a country for the first time in her life. The League of Women Voters give warm welcomes, flags and voter registration cards to all the new citizens. It gave me such warm fuzzies. Everyone should try to go to one of these if they get the chance.

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