Reaction to state tax restructuring, RPI board backs Jackson, four get prison for mortgage fraud, chainsawing as personal expression

Andrew Cuomo said in a recorded video message that "gridlock" in Washington prompted the tax restructuring deal announced yesterday (he didn't talk with the media, or take questions). [State of Politics]

Local legislator reaction: Said Ron Canestrari of the deal: "If this is the way to do it and equalize some of the other brackets and maybe give relief to some others where there are inequities, and of course there are inequities, then I'm all for it." Jim Tedisco said deal lacks a "long term solution to curing New York's chronic spending addiction" (he'd like to see a state spending cap). The deal also includes a pledge to push for a constitutional amendment to allow full casino gambling -- Roy McDonald says he's concerned that expanding casino gambling in the state could hurt Saratoga. [Fox23] [TU CapCon] [TU CapCon]

Good government groups criticized the way the deal came together, calling it "a continuation of the backdoor-deal making that has defined Albany culture." Sheldon Silver disputed that there wasn't enough public debate: "I think there has been open debate for a year and a half now on what we put forth in a millionaire's tax. There have been no secrets about it." [TU CapCon] [State of Politics]

The parents of a soldier from Clifton Park who was killed in a brawl outside a McDonald's in Washington D.C. last month are upset that no charges will be filed in the case. Sources said his death was ruled a "justifiable homicide." [TU] [Fox23]

Occupy Albany is waiting for the results of a visit from a code inspector yesterday to see if its violations were remedied. [TU] [YNN]

The RPI Board of Trustees voted in support of president Shirley Ann Jackson one week after the Student Senate passed a resolution for Jackson to be replaced if changes aren't made at the school. [Troy Record] [TU]

A teenage boy took a gunshot to the hip at North Manning and Third Street on Tuesday morning. [YNN]

Police are looking for a man who allegedly grabbed and assaulted a woman on Academy Road in Albany. [Fox23]

Four people from around the Capital Region were sentenced to prison for a scam that preyed on distressed and evicted homeowners. [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette]

The state has told the Troy Fire Department that it is breaking the law by answering ambulance calls in Waterford and has ordered it to stop doing it. [WNYT]

Police found a large indoor pot growing operation in Berne. [YNN]

A Schenectady police sergeant pleaded not guilty to charges that he drove drunk and crashed his car last month. Because he refused a breath test at the scene, he also lost his license. [Daily Gazette]

Despite losing all but one election in Schenectady, Roger Hull believes his Alliance Party is a success, partially because of backing from Republicans. Meanwhile, Hull outspent Gary McCarthy by about 30 percent in the race for mayor. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

RPI frat boys are accused of stealing Christmas decorations off of people's lawns. [Troy Record]

After months of debating where to put the 9/11 memorial sculpture, Saratoga Springs may put it at High Rock Park. The site was recommended by a special committee formed specifically for the issue. [Daily Gazette] [YNN]

A Schenectady man who turned a downed poplar tree into a giant piece of art says he was inspired by his "take on what's going on in the world." [TU]


I just love how quickly the conversation around Occupy Albany has devolved from the politics of income inequality to the politics of city codes and permits.

I love how a guy who is on social security disability because he can't work, could make a giant sculpture by hand using a chainsaw and chisel.

Hopefully someone reports his gold-bricking ass

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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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