Reaction to Paterson furlough proposal, powerful storm blows through, Ponzi scheme alleged, heated discussion about Saratoga bar closing time

Said David Paterson yesterday of the promise to include state worker furloughs in the next budget extender: "We're taking an extreme effort to make sure we reach a solution." And on the possibility of being sued over the furloughs: "I've been sued before." State Senate majority conference leader John Sampson says he thinks Paterson's proposal is illegal, but "I'm not going to shut government down" -- and his conference will vote for the extender. Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver wouldn't say whether he would support the measure. As expected, the two major state worker unions were irked. The head of CSEA accused Paterson of "creating more chaos and crisis" -- and PEF's president says the union has offered Paterson cost-saving suggestions but "he's decided to do is take it out on us." [AOA] [State of Politics] [YNN] [Daily Politics] [State of Politics] [NYT] [CSEA release] [Fox23]

The short, powerful storm that ripped through the area yesterday afternoon included gusts as strong as 60 mph, knocked out power thousands of households, uprooted trees, crushed a house in Lansingburgh (via a tree), and made kittens cry in Schenectady. (The Gazette had the best photo of the aftermath.) [Daily Gazette $] [Troy Record] [TU] [Fox23] [Fox23] [Daily Gazette $]

For a moment yesterday, it appeared the Troypocalypse was upon us. The huge snake had something to do with it. [Troy Record] [@esposj]

Jerry Jennings called the Albany Common Council's rejection of a bonding measure necessary to expand the Albany landfill "very irresponsible." [TU]

The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused a businessman with offices in downtown Troy of running a Ponzi scheme. The SEC complaint alleges the man raised more than $6.5 million as part of the scheme. The man's attorney says his client denies the allegations. [Troy Record] [SEC] [SEC] [TU]

The public meeting on the proposal to rollback the closing time for bars in Saratoga Springs drew a crowd. Bar and restaurant owners spoke out against it, some residents near downtown spoke in favor of it. [Saratogian] [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

It looks like the review panel for the Hudson River PCB dredging project has a lot to sift through. The EPA and GE are at odds over how to prevent PCBs from being re-suspended in the river water. They can't even agree on some of the numbers. GE says it wants to avoid "over-dredging." [TU][Daily Gazette $] [WNYT] [Post-Star]

George Pataki wrote a letter to urging the judge in the Joe Bruno case to take the former state senator's contributions "into account" when sentencing him. Bruno is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday afternoon. [TU CapCon]

It appears the state Republican Party is having trouble getting its act together. [NYT]

Neil Breslin is one of the co-sponsors of proposed legislation that supporters say would state strengthen ethics laws. [TU]

A group of Republican state senators have proposed legislation aimed at reducing bullying in schools. [TU]

Said a rep for GlobalFoundries yesterday at a meeting in Malta: "GlobalFoundries is not a silver bullet." [Saratogian]

State police say the arrested a pregnant woman for DWI on Route 20 in Rensselaer County. They say her blood alcohol level was 2.5 times the legal limit. [Troy Record] [WTEN]

It looks like the USS Saratoga will be scrapped. [Saratogian]

The 1950s diner that had been shipped from Illinois to Princetown -- and restored -- is now open. [Daily Gazette $]

The top women's finisher in this year's Boston Marathon will be running in the Freihofer's race here in June. [WTEN]

Comments

i am so sick of this budget drama. if the legislature cant do their job, THEY shouldn't get paid and their salaries should be used to close the budget gap. how about the governor pony up his salary or furlough himself? why isn't everyone in this state UP IN ARMS about this bullsh*t? the fact that we sit by complacently and allow this to happen year after year is unbelievable. all of these people need to be FIRED. they are incapable of doing what they were elected to do and they all need to go. any regular joe in a regular job who didn't do his job would be fired.

A regular Joe in this economy demanding a 4% raise and no reduced hours could also very well find himself without a job. I definitely feel for the state workers as the furlough goes, but it's easy to understand why the public working in the private sector isn't too outraged. The private sector isn't worried about raises and reduced hours, it's worried about employment at all, and it's worried that all the foot-stomping of state workers' unions will lead to further exorbitant taxation on the private sector's back.

You can't squeeze blood from a rock.

Sorry Saratogians, but changing last call won't stop people from passing out drunk or starting fights. They'll either drink faster or start earlier. I do sympathize with people living near bars around 4:15am, because ramining patrons spill into the street all at once, so here's an idea: get rid of last call laws altogether. This will keep the steady trickle of plastered folks that starts around 1:00am a steady trickle.

Hank, what you say makes sense, and more than a few public servants that I've talked to agree that the shared sacrifice concept of unionization should extended to things like the yearly raise. The issue is, and has been, mainly about reopening contracts; is anyone gullible enough to think that if CSEA and PEF renegotiated, only the sacrifices absolutely necessary would be forced on them? Come on, we live in New York.

Also, re: "in this economy". One of the benefits of public service is security. In a booming economy, public servants still only get that 4% while your Joe gets much, much more in salary raises and bonuses. They don't complain then, so why add injury to that insult? It's sort of like changing the story of the ant and the grasshopper, and at the end taking away the ant's food because the grasshopper is having a harsh winter too.

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