Schenectady budget would "severely" cut into services, criticism of UAlbany's plan to cut language programs, family says dog was shot in their backyard

Schenectady's proposed budget includes a 4 percent tax increase, a "curb fee" that would apply to property owners (including non-profits), and would "severely" cut into city services. Among the cuts: 19 fire department positions and a fire house. The cuts could also keep city parks closed. Schenectady mayor Brian Stratton says it's the worst budget situation he's ever seen. [Daily Gazette] [CBS6] [TU] [Fox23]

The two candidates running for state comptroller -- incumbent Democrat Tom DiNapoli and Republican Harry Wilson -- focused on their respective backgrounds in last night's debate. DiNapoli defended his time spent as a state legislator and Wilson defended his experience as a hedge fund manager. Live blog: one, two, lightning round, three. Debate video. [TU] [NYT] [YNNx4]

Local leaders say it's hard to say exactly how many jobs were created by local projects funded by federal stimulus money. [Troy Record]

Local auto dealers say "Cash for Clunkers" did stimulate sales of cars. (A recent working paper reported that the program simply moved up many car purchases nationally.) [Troy Record] [Marginal Revolution]

Non-profits -- including the Veggie Mobile -- are feeling the pinch from delayed funding from state agencies. [TU]

Clifton Park's town budget includes some rare these days: raises for town employees. [TU]

For 29th consecutive year, the Wilton town budget does not include any town taxes. [Post-Star]

What's the status of the race between Scott Murphy and Chris Gibson for the 20th Congressional District? It depends on which internal poll you believe. [TU CapCon] [TU CapCon]

Roy McDonald on the race between him and Joanne Yepsen for the 43rd state Senate district: "I do believe I am going to win, but I am going to win it in a nice way." [TU]

The executive director of the Modern Language Association on UAlbany's plan to phase out many of its foreign language programs: "Albany has definitely distinguished itself in the worst way." [TU]

Albany police say three men armed with handguns busted into a home yesterday afternoon trying to find "where the weed" was. (map). [TU] [CBS6]

Rensselaer County law enforcement officials say they're hoping the public can help them find a man accused of leading police on a car through Troy Friday before ditching the car and running off on foot. They say the man is suspected in a string of car thefts. [YNN] [Troy Record]

Watervliet police say a 91-year-old woman with walker was hit by a car and killed Saturday while crossing 23rd Street (map). [TU]

Albany police say a man fell to his death from a third story window at an apartment building along Western Ave (map). They say part of the window sill had also fallen out. [TU] [CBS6]

A Watervliet family says their dog was shot with a pellet gun and seriously wounded in their backyard Sunday night. [Fox23]

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany is overhauling its schools in an effort to stabilize enrollment. Since 2005, grade school enrollment is down more than 31 percent. Tuition averages $3,796 for its elementary schools. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [TU]

Verizon could be crediting wireless customers for improper data charges. [AP/YNN]

It sounds like the new Saratoga County animal shelter is making both the people and the animals there happier. [Post-Star]

Indian Ladder Farms says it's actually a little short on apples this year -- and is offering "twice-picked" apples. [Fox23]

An archaeological dig began yesterday at the site of the proposed Albany Convention Center. The finds so far: broken glass, pottery shards, parts of old outhouses. [Fox23] [Troy Record]


Why do you link to the Schenectady Gazette? You can't read anything unless you sign up and pay for the pleasure of reading! It's LAME.

@xina: I understand your frustration, but here's why we link to them:

+ The Gazette is a good newspaper. They cover the western (and northern) side of the Capital Region well. Their stories often include good details.

+ AOA has an online subscription -- and we don't mind paying for good journalism. Admittedly, the Gazette's per-article pricing is steep. Two bucks to read an article is too much, especially when an online subscription is $2.95 for the whole week.

+ The more outlets covering the Capital Region, the better.

All that said, it would be great if the Gazette could work out a better system for providing access to its online content. Maybe there could be a metered system, in which people can read two or three articles a day (or week or whatever) before they have to pay. Or perhaps people could get access for the day by watching a large format ad.

There are complications with all these approaches -- and no one has figured it out, yet. Let's hope that someone does.

The NY Times did not have the best coverage of the debate. YNN with Liz Benjamin was much better but it was a live blog format - short on analysis because Liz was a panelist.

Jimmy Vielkind is a fellow upstate American and presented a better picture of the debate without the bias apparent in the NYT's Sam Dolnick's article -- where Dolnick commented on Harry Wilson's "swallowing" among other important points.
His last supposedly balanced article on the comptroller's race he called Wilson "rosy cheeked". Can you imagine commenting on the complexion of a minority candidate?

Stick with the Times Union for reality based journalism. Dolnick is not up to the job.

People don't realize how dangerous pellet guns can be. My little brother killed a bunny by shooting at one, only thinking he would scare it. He was devastated when it died (he was only 12 or so) so I said..."if you don't want something to get hurt when you shoot at it, don't shoot at it." The same goes for anything...whether a couple of kids are shooting at each other for fun, or someone gets annoyed by a barking dog.
I'm just glad the pup will be ok.

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Washington Avenue definitely needs more than one lane in each direction, but that doesn't mean it can't be redesigned. They can reduce the size of the lanes, add a median, and add a protected bike lane where the shoulder of the road now lies. I agree, however, that the entire Harriman loop would have to be redesigned and that includes those over-passes, so this would be an extremely expensive undertaking if they want to do it right. But there could be significant development on the land that is now wasted by asphalt that could offset that cost and bulk up the tax base for the city.

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