School budget vote results, Paterson says state will come up with money for Saratoga season, mistrial in Troy shooting case, breeder gets two years for starving horses

All but seven school district budgets were approved by voters yesterday. Full Capital Region results. [TU] [CBS6]

Among the budgets that did not pass: Schenectady, where record voter turn out also bounced the school board president. Troy's budget failed by 58 votes. And Cohoes' budget was voted down for the first time. [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [Troy Record] [Troy Record]

Steve Valente, the Averill Park school board member criticized for photos and comments on his Facebook profile, was voted out. [Troy Record]

The Albany school district's budget passed by a wide margin. An increase in the library tax levy also passed. [WTEN] [APL]

NYRA says it will run out of money before the season at Saratoga starts if it doesn't get help from the state. The racing org says it needs $20 million. David Paterson says the state will come up with the money. [Saratogian] [TU] [AP/Saratogian]

During yesterday's apparently fruitless state leaders meeting on the budget (the lowlights), David Paterson said he would call a special session next week to keep legislators at the Capitol all five days. That would keep Democrats from their party convention. [NYT City Room] [WTEN] [TU]

David Paterson essentially said yesterday that the state can't raise the cap on charter schools because it doesn't have the money to buy off legislators. [NYDN]

Eliot Spitzer on Joe Bruno: "His hand was in the till." [Daily Politics]

Weitz & Luxenberg, the law firm for which Sheldon Silver works, is apparently throwing its considerable weight behind Democratic state attorney general candidate Kathleen Rice. [NYT]

The trial of Ariel Myers, the Troy teen accused of shooting Robert Guynup, was declared a mistrial because of a potential conflict of interest involving a witness and his public defender. The Rensselaer County DA called the situation "shabby lawyering." [Troy Record] [TU]

Horse breeder Ernest Paragallo was sentenced to two years in jail and fined $33,000 for allowing horses on his farm near Coxsackie to starve. The judge said Paragallo's "moral compass is out of kilter." The state Racing and Wagering Board says it's moving to ban Paragallo returning to horse racing. [TU] [YNN] [WNYT] [Saratogian]

State police say a Colonie woman has been charged with criminally negligent homicide for allegedly providing a Cobleskill woman with prescription drugs. The woman allegedly died of an overdose from the drugs. [CBS6] [TU]

Former Troy basketball star Tiki Mayben will get probation as part of the plea deal he took on drug charges. [Troy Record]

Troy police say they've identified the body found floating in the Hudson and it doesn't appear foul play was involved. [CBS6] [YNN]

Police say the man who allegedly crashed into an airplane at the Saratoga County airport has been found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot. [Saratogian]

Saratoga Spring's police chief told the city council that moving the bar closing time to 2 am could cause "an all-out riot." [Daily Gazette $]

Price Chopper pharmacies are now giving away generic versions of three diabetes medications. [TU]


I must be missing something when the state can come up with $20 million for HORSE RACING but not state parks.

The state will get that back with mounds of interest. The track is a huge revenue generator. Parks, sadly, are not.

A week after all the furlough drama, I love how all of a sudden the state can cough up money for the track. So typical.

Wait, if the track is a huge revenue generator, why does it need $20 million?

Mark, That's what I was thinking. How about we loan NYRA $20 million dollars and they will foot the bill for the parks with all of the "interest" they pay back from their revnues at Saratoga. What happened to their revenues from the last 100 years at Saratoga. NYRA is not a profitable business. It is a money grabbing red headed step-shild of the state gov't. No offense to red-headed step chldren.

Tourism is not a revenue generator. That makes perfect sense.

Actually this IS a loan. Also, like it or not, NYRA does give the state a lot of revenue. From the TU, "Hayward said NYRA needs $20 million -- "a small amount given the $90 million NYRA and OTB pay in taxes and fees to the state each year." That's what I meant when I said the tracks are revenue generators, for the state, not in the sense that it's a profitable business. Cause yeah, they themselves are not profitable. This shouldn't be too surprising though, considering their status as a not-for-profit corporation.

So we could not give them the loan, punish NYRA for mismanaging their cash flows and anything else they did wrong over the last 100 years. This of course would mean we could forget about the $90 million in revenue and ultimately end up in a worse financial situation than if we had given them the loan. Maybe if we closed some more parks we could make up the difference? I guess I'm just saying is, like the track or not, NY would have to be stupid to not make this loan.

And another thing. Now I don't give half a flying “f” about NYRA or horse racing, and as an avid hiker I care very deeply about NYS parks. Thing is though, the parks don't bring in anywhere near that kind of revenue for the state. Especially not the ones who are on that closure list - and don't think that's incidental. Sure there are tourist dollars associated with parks, but most people arn't exactly planning vacations with hotel stays and restaurant visits around trips to Thatcher. And while I'm sure that one Stewart's revenue will be significantly impacted, I doubt if the impacts will still be significant when passed through to the state as sales tax revenue. This is all really mutt anyway though, cause if you really think the reason why parks were targeted for cuts was due to concerns over their costs, well, frankly you’re a little naive.

Jackers, a factor that's easily and usually missed is "local" tourism; that is, if I or you or anyone else who lives in the area wants to go to a place like Thacher but can't, in some cases they'll head out of state. Especially if a large number of intra-state opportunities suddenly close.

You're on the money that the park cuts were not really about cost savings, though. But I think you can also understand just why people would be up in arms about this news, just why it leaves a bitter taste.

Obviously the parks are not revenue generators for the state, no property generates revenue (for any land owner) unless it is leased or used for business. However, NYRA as a NFP should be able to balance it's books by reducing salaries/ expenditures etc. Even a NFP earns money, but can only use a smaller % of the revenue for salary and overhead than a for-profit company can. There is really very little difference other than the regulations dictating the operation and function of the organization. If you read my earlier post you would see that I am in favor for the loan to NYRA, but there should be requirement that the additional "interest/ taxes" etc. the state earns from this transaction be used to help an explicit shortfall in the state budget (i.e. parks and recreation) rather than go into the general fund or other obscure accounts where money vanishes into the pockets of officials and their friends.

why is the state encouraging gambling? it is the worst kind of resource management and the people who get addicted to it can destroy their families and financial lives. it is like selling crack in a number of physiological ways.

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