Cuomo's proposed budget more or less well received -- so far, snow continues to cause roof problems, outhouse team finishes number one

The general concepts in Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget appear to be going over well -- at least until people figure out what exactly is going to be cut. Informal, "back-channel" talks have reportedly started between the Cuomo admin and the state employee unions about ways to achieve the $450 million in workforce savings in the proposed state budget. (Andrew Cuomo has said if the target can't be reached, layoffs of as many as 9,800 people are possible.) [AP/Troy Record] [TU]

Located just across the border in Western Mass: lower taxes. [Buffalo News via State of Politics]

The $23 judges "hotel" being built for members of the Court of Appeals in downtown Albany reportedly includes Carrera marble and cherry furniture. [NY Post]

With Republicans now controlling the state Senate, the passage of a medical marijuana law seems less likely. [Daily Gazette]

A "person with knowledge of the matter" alleges that Robert Schunk, the suspended Albany police officer who goes on trial today for domestic violence, and "some" members of a now-disbanded patrol unit "occasionally" drank and played cards at Schunk's residence while on duty. [TU]

One possibility for the Albany landfill: "gasification," a process which supporters say could turn trash into energy. The landfill has struggled to capture and make use of the methane it already produces. And while it's not methane (which is odorless), neighbors say much stinkiness currently escapes from the landfill. [TU] [TU] [TU]

The snow continues to collapse barns and other buildings, as well as causing roof leaks. [Saratogian] [WNYT] [Fox23]

A Schenectady County family court attorney alleges the former social services case worker accused of lying about her visits to a client also falsely translated one of the client's answers, leading to a child being taken away for a week. [Daily Gazette]

The "I am gay" billboards are continuing to prompt discussion in Schenectady. [Daily Gazette]

Guilderland's top earner last year was a police sergeant who was paid $137,390, including overtime. [TU]

A van crashed into a Schenectady liquor store, sending bottles flying. [Fox23]

The Normanside Country Club in Bethlehem has closed and its land -- which sits along the Normaskill across from Albany's Capital Hills golf course -- is scheduled to be auctioned off. [TU]

The chowderfest in Saratoga this past weekend served up 70,000 samples. [Saratogian]

If you're looking to adopt some llamas, there are 100 of them in Schoharie County that need homes. [Daily Gazette]

A Watervliet family's annual Super Bowl tradition includes a big viewing party -- outside in the snow. [Troy Record]

Perhaps thanks to its lucky horse shoe toilet seat, the Outhouse Fever team won the 2011 outhouse race at the Lake George winter carnival. [NYT]


Re: The billboards

When someone says "I think this is going to make people gay" and then says "That's why I don't like it," aren't they saying "I don't like gay people"? If I said "I think KFC billboards are going to make people eat fried chicken," and then I said "So I don't like those billboards," it would be safe to assume I didn't think people should be eating fried chicken.

I think these billboards are going to make people who would keep their homosexuality in their pants all the way past marriage, past kids, maybe even into death, just be gay people instead and I think that's awesome. I think it's good for things to make people act gay if they're gay.

I don't know why it's okay for all these people to stand up and say "I don't think it's a good thing to encourage gay people to be gay." It seems kind of ridiculous mean to people who are already kind of getting over many, many years of everyone being ridiculous mean to them.

Also, the whole bucket of chicken thing? Wicked racist.

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