Rensselaer County designated for individual FEMA aid, assessments of farm damage bleak, call for info about fatal police shooting, big crowd for Saratoga lip dub

Rensselaer County residents are now eligible for individual aid from the feds after FEMA made the county eligible Thursday. Montgomery County still hasn't been eligible. [Troy Record] [YNN]

The head of the state's financial services watchdog agency warned insurance companies to not try to get out of paying by telling state residents that damage from Irene doesn't qualify as flood damage. Kirsten Gillibrand also says she watching her insurance companies, pointing to the experience of a woman in Middleburgh: "She spent $5,000 a year so she would have very complete coverage and her insurer literally told her, oh, it's not a flood, it's a hurricane. I'm sorry, seven feet of water in your home is a flood." [NYS DFS] [WNYT]

The Cuomo admin says 140,000 acres of farmland in the state have been affected by Irene flooding. It's calling the situation an "agricultural crisis" and is asking the feds for $45 million in aid. The timing of the flood has hit some farmers especially hard as they were just about to harvest large amounts of produce. In Schoharie County, a state official estimates 40 percent of the corn crop was lost -- which will now leave dairy farmers short on feed. And the owner of the Kilpatrick Family Farm in Washington County says it could lose as much as $100,000 in revenue from damaged crops -- and "It was such a beautiful crop." [CBS6] [State of Politics] [YNN] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star]

Andrew Cuomo's handling of the Irene response is drawing praise from both Democrats and Republicans. [TU]

Part of the cleanup process: dealing with the possible pathogens and toxics in all that flood mud. [TU]

Troy officials flooding on the Poestenkill caused the the stream's dam to shift, potentially opening the way for it to fail. They say it's being monitored and there appears to be no immediate flood danger. Some residents along the creek are criticizing the recent water flow management. [TU] [Troy Record] [WNYT]

Some residents in Rotterdam Junction say the official evacuation order didn't come soon enough -- and they wonder if the Canal Corporation could have done more. [Daily Gazette]

Wateford's mayor was hit by a car while overseeing cleanup in the village. [TU]

In one devastated neighborhood in Montgomery County they've found a porch -- but no one knows where the house went. [Daily Gazette]

Guy Park Manor, the home of the Elwood Museum in Amsterdam, was hit very hard by flooding. [NYT]

The mother of Luis Rivera, the man shot and killed by Schenectady police in August, is asking the Schenectady Police Department to release more details about the shooting. The SPD hasn't released the dashcam video of the incident -- the local chapter of the NAACP is calling for it to be shown to community representatives. The SPD says it's cooperating with the Schenectady County DA's office and it would be "inappropriate" to release more details until the DA is finished reviewing the case. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Fox23]

Vanessa Ortiz -- the woman accused of shooting her boyfriend while "joking around" at their home in Colonie last week -- is out on bail, but she's been forbidden from attending the man's funeral service. Ortiz's attorney has argued that she shouldn't face criminal charges because the shooting was an accident. [TU] [TU]

The US Postal Service has stopped home delivery to Bluff Avenue in Schenectady out of concern for mail carriers' safety -- it's the street where a carrier was attacked by two dogs this week (map). [Daily Gazette]

The Albany County Sheriff's office alleges a man set his own house on fire because he was upset over a breakup. [TU]

NYRA released the list of projects it's considering as part of the planned renovations at the Saratoga Race Course. Among the projects: new dorms for backstretch workers, and a new building at the rail, and an expansions of the backyard. The racing org has said it plans to spend about $100 million on work at The Track. [NYRA] [Saratogian]

The City of Albany -- in which codes are seemingly an ongoing topic of conversation -- has picked a new head for the its codes division. [TU]

Troy's city council voted against entering into a new franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable. The lack of a public access channel in the agreement had prompted criticism of the deal. [Troy Record] [AOA]

Troy appears to be no closer to settling on a city hall -- and the war of words ("incompetent" "cop-out" "laughingstock") continues. [Troy Record]

Falling property values in Niskayuna have prompted an increase in the school tax rate. [Daily Gazette]

A blind chihuahua was found wandering near the Stockade in Schenectady after the recent flooding. [Daily Gazette]

About a thousand people turned out to be part of the recording of the Saratoga Springs lip dub Thursday (to a selection of songs by the band Train). The video is intended to be a way to market the city. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

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It amazes me that people still pin budgetary issues for old post-industrial upstate cities on individual mayors. This is a nationwide problem for all but the largest cities. But it's depressing that issues like getting vacant or dilapidated properties back on the tax rolls or making it easier for small businesses to open are being addressed and no one even notices. Given that, exactly what incentive is there for any politician to do anything? I'll give all the candidates a fair hearing, Sheehan included. But if we want to have any chance of fixing our problems, we really need to start acknowledging the progress we have made.

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