Worries about PCBs in flood sediment, bill would ban indoor tanning by minors, brake for beavers, from homeless shelter to college

As flood waters recede along the upper Hudson, there's a new worry: the sediment deposited by the water could have PCBs in it. GE says it's collecting samples from multiple locations to test for contamination. The US Geological Survey says many gauges in the Adirondacks and upper Hudson recorded record-high levels recently. And flooding shut down Amtrak service between Albany and Montreal. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [AP/YNN]

Andrew Cuomo is planning to tour the state to campaign for a tax cap. [YNN]

A state Assembly bill would ban indoor tanning by minors. If passed, New York State would be the first state to do so. [AP/WTEN] [Fox23]

A conservation easement being drawn up by the state Department of Environmental Conservation could effectively close off future expansion of the Albany landfill. [TU]

Questionable decision of the week: Rensselaer police say a man ran from police and jumped in the Hudson yesterday because he thought there was a warrant out for his arrest -- but there wasn't. [TU] [Troy Record]

Longtime Schenectady County legislator Robert Farley says he won't be running for re-election this fall. In case you're wondering, his dad -- Hugh Farley -- says he intends to run for re-election to state Senate in 2012. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Schenectady school board voted to allow the Times Union and Daily Gazette access to documents and emails related to the Steven Raucci case. The media orgs' FOIL request for the info had been stuck in court. [CBS6] [TU]

Harry Tutunjian says the fate of Troy city hall -- specifically, where it will be located -- is in the hands of the city council. [Troy Record]

Troy police say they found "a copious amount of pornographic images" involving minors in a man's van in Lansingburgh (map). They say they think the images were made locally and urging anyone whose child might have had contact with the man to contact them. [Fox23] [Troy Record]

The Niskayuna school board has made its pick for a new superintendent. [TU]

ALB had the highest average airfare of any airport in the state during the last quarter of 2010, according to federal data. [TU]

A law requiring electronics recycling has prompted the rise of an e-waste recycling industry in the region. [Post-Star]

The owner of a bridal shop on Upper Union Street in Schenectady has won her fight to keep parking spaces in front of her shop. The negotiated situation actually seems to have made everyone happy. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The auction of properties including the Saratoga Shoe Depot building on Broadway in Saratoga has been held up by a Nevada bankruptcy filing by the owners. The auction company said 16 qualified bidders had lined up for the properties. [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

UAlbany's MMA club wants you to know that it cares. [TU]

After three beavers were recently killed on Route 787 in Cohoes, an activist is trying to get signs warning drivers of crossing beavers. [Troy Record]

The carousel in Saratoga's Congress Park will be running Mother's Day afternoon, and weekends until its full schedule starts after school lets out. [Saratogian]

A Saratoga woman who was homeless four years ago has been awarded a $30k/year college scholarship. [Post-Star]


Why all the fuss about beavers being killed crossing the highway? I've been driving on 787 for 25 years and I can tell you that lots of animals are killed, including house pets especially cats, and I haven't heard anyone raising an alarm about them.

Beavers are pests. Their dams often cause serious problems for property owners, who are ( I think) forbidden by law to do anything about them. I look on the culling as survival of the fittest.

Why did the beaver cross the road? So he could make a dam that would back up and flood your garden.

Good to see UAlbany kids doing something positive...but this is more positive:


Thanks kids! Keep up the good work!

Questionable decision of the week: Rensselaer police say a man ran from police and jumped in the Hudson yesterday because he thought there was a warrant out for his arrest -- but there wasn't. [TU] [Troy Record]

"When our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors."
--Lady Macduff, Act IV, scene ii

I agree with Maria...kinda. I love critters, probably more than the average person, but asking people to slow down and look for beavers on a busy, fast highway is not only silly, it could be dangerous. Also, I have always equated those road side crosses as a symbol of a person having been involved in a tragedy there, and putting up a cross for beavers seems a bit disrespectful.

However, beavers are only pests if they're in the wrong place. They can be an important member of the environment. Their dams act as natural water filters (yes, really) and the dams can actually help maintain waterways. Perhaps putting some wire netting under the guardrail along that stretch would be more appropriate, as they're not big on climbing.

Beavers are important to wetland habitats, which are high up on the "places we don't really want to screw with" list. I have a hard time seeing the population as pests but I see the point that individuals can be annoying.

But, it's spring, animals are gettin' it on. It's pretty much the #1 reason they cross our roads, which we've laid willy-nilly all over their habitats. The good news is that this type of movement tends to be limited to small areas where the road links living habitat to nearby mating grounds, and there are ways to help the critters get across with zero impact on drivers -- culverts are usually all it takes to significantly reduce roadkill deaths. Maybe there are already alternative routes for the beavers there, I don't know. I would be wary of blocking the sides of the roads because that would box the animals on the roadway if they happened to make it there, but that's strictly a nonprofessional opinion.

Burying and memorializing them is a bit... weird? Anyway I hear beaver tails are tasty.

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