Little hope for on-time budget, pressure on Murphy over healthcare vote, soda tax flat, Capital Region spelling bee winner

Neither David Paterson nor the legislature seem to have any hope of getting a budget done by the April 1 deadline. Paterson said yesterday that he's "not optimistic at all about it." And Ron Canestrari says there's been a "shocking" lack of activity. [YNN] [NYDN] [TU] CapNews9 is now YNN

The US House of Representatives is expected to vote on the healthcare reform package Thursday -- and Scott Murphy says he's still not sure how he's going to vote (he voted "no" the first time around). He says he won't make a decision until he reads the final language of the bill. Murphy reportedly talked about the bill with President Obama last week. [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [Politico via Daily Politics]

Much of the testimony yesterday at the Steven Raucci trial came from Harold Gray -- a former employee of Raucci's who prosecutors allege was the target of multiple acts of vandalism. Raucci allegedly retaliated after he thought Gray's wife wrote a letter to union leadership challenging Raucci's position. Raucci's former secretary also testified that she saw with explosive devices. [TU] [Fox23] [Daily Gazette $]

Said North Greenbush's police chief of the teen party that allegedly trashed an unoccupied home: "If it could be damaged, they damaged it." Some of the damage, according to police: holes in walls, broken chandeliers and urine on the carpet. [WTEN] [Fox23]

It looks like the proposed soda tax is dead. [AP/BusinessWeek]

The Albany school district says it has notified 60 employees -- 49 of them teachers -- that they could be laid off because of a budget crunch. [Fox23] [YNN]

The EPA says the Hudson River PCB dredging project will go forward in 2011 -- with or without GE. [TU]

Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing for a law that would require more notification to consumers in the event of a food recall. [TU]

Troy police say a woman was found drunk and asleep with her car in gear on the street early Sunday morning. They say she then tried to escape from jail. [TU] [Troy Record]

Troy police say a woman stabbed a man in the neck during an argument Sunday. [Troy Record]

Some parents in Loudonville are worried about a mobile phone tower that's slated to go up near an elementary school. [TU]

The Stockade neighborhood in Schenectady may be getting a dock on the Mohawk -- whether it wants it or not. [Daily Gazette $]

The Ulysses S. Grant cottage in Wilton is in bad shape. [Post-Star]

Ashley LaMere, an 8th grader from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, won the Capital Region spelling bee last night. "Latency" was the winning word. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]


Break out your tinfoil hats, those newfangled "cellular telephones" are coming to town.

C'mon, the right thing and vote "yes" this time!

I think Patterson could have made the soda tax more....ahem...palatable by not turning it into a public service to fight obesity. We tax people's vices already: booze, cigarettes, gambling, etc. Soda serves no purpose and should be taxed just like other destructive habit, to offset the costs that we as a society incur by consuming it. He tried to make it all noble and in doing so got peoples' "nanny-state" feathers all a'ruffled.

I don't see how a party like that went unreported until the damage was found the next morning. It's obvious the neighbors should have heard something, noticed the dozens of punks, and called the police. See how easy it is to notice activity at the google streetview (the link with my post).

Wow! An elected official who isn't bullied into just voting along party lines and is willing to READ a bill and vote accordingly! Refreshing to hear.

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