Obama visit to Schenectady today, Cuomo says there will be pain, Albany fiscal outlook "bleak," hospital offering "warranty" on heart surgeries

Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Schenectady today (you may have heard). The President will be appearing at the GE campus with CEO Jeffery Immelt. The White House announced yesterday that Immelt will head up its panel of outside economic advisers. All sorts of local and state officials will also be there, some of them accompanying the President on Air Force One. [AOA] [NYT] [Saratogian]

The Secret Service reportedly talked with the Niskayuna Five Guys about a potential POTUS lunch stop. [Daily Gazette]

Though he wouldn't attach a number to the reports of plans for state employee layoffs, Andrew Cuomo did say yesterday of the next budget: "There is going to be, no doubt, a period of short-term pain." There have also been reports that Cuomo is threatening to shut down the state government if he doesn't get the cuts he wants -- yesterday he said that was "possible" but "I don't believe there will be a shutdown." [TU] [AP/Troy Record]

Jack McEneny says the number of layoffs being talked about would be an "absolute disaster" for the Capital Region. [State of Politics]

In his state of the city speech, Jerry Jennings said Albany's fiscal outlook is "bleak" if it doesn't get more funding from the state (this is an ongoing issue -- the city has contended it should receive more money because so much of its land is tax exempt state property). Without the funding, the mayor says there will be significant cuts to services such as fire, police, and trash collection. Says Jennings of his friend Andrew Cuomo: "His leadership of our state gives me cause for hope because I know he is committed to the continued revitalization and success of our capital city." [WNYT] [CBS6] [TU]

The Buddhist org that's talked about investing $1 billion in the area around Amsterdam now says it's fed up with the way it's been treated -- and it's thinking about leaving. The World Peace and Health Organization invited to the media a tour of a property were piping and wiring had been removed -- the org says the theft was a hate crime (Amsterdam officials say the theft was probably just a regular robbery, not a hate crime). Prior to this incident, valuable Buddha statutes have been stolen from the org and it was the target of a weird road block allegedly constructed by a pizza chef. [CBS6] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TU] [Fox23]

The state Public Service Commission approved a National Grid rate hike -- though it won't immediately lead to higher rates for consumers. [YNN]

Schenectady police say they've made an arrest in a fatal shooting on Tremont Street last September (map). [CBS6]

Albany police say a tip from the public after the release of a surveillance photo led them to arrest the man accused of a stabbing in Pine Hills last November. [Troy Record]

Albany police say a man was mugged on Hamilton Street in Center Square (). [TU]

The Saratoga Springs police chief says the number of DWI arrests was down last year because of reduced department staffing. [TU]

Ellis Medicine is now offering a 90-day "warranty" on its cardiac surgeries. The hospital says it will cover the cost if a patient is re-admitted for complications in the 90 day period following the initial surgery. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

It appears the Fort Orange Club is starting demolition on the buildings at 118-120 Washington Ave in Albany (map). [TU]

Elizabeth Young -- owner of an antiques store -- has been chosen as the executive director of the Troy downtown business improvement district. [Troy Record]

The expansion of the Saratoga Springs City Center is just about complete. [Post-Star]

Price Chopper didn't send out a media notice for a recent voluntary recall of beef at store in Glens Falls because it says every affected customer had used an AdvantEdge card and had been contacted directly. [Post-Star]


It's really sad that people hate Buddhists. What the hell is wrong with you?

Some random thoughts on the Buddhist situation:

It would have been interesting to see how much of the Buddhist organization's vision would have been completed if they stayed in Amsterdam. I don't doubt that they intended to help the citizens and improve the region, but their plans were really, really, kinda-comically ambitious.

It did sound like they were using the promise of $1B in investment funds to get some special treatment by the local authorities. But, Amsterdam (collectively) may be kicking themselves for letting them go if they end up totally revitalizing a different depressed city.

Buuuuuuuut there is no chance that the copper theft is a hate crime. If you own an unsecured structure in a bad neighborhood, you aren't going to have copper for long, no matter your race or religion. Copper thieves are everywhere, and don't care who owns the building (or if it's completely abandoned or not).

Alsoooo, you wouldn't think that a few thousand dollars worth of damages on a property that needed many more thousands in rehab would matter to an organization with a billion dollars in investment money. I guess it was the last straw after the other vandalism.

The budhists were always a pipe dream, I don't see how anyone's surprised.

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