Deal on teacher evaluation system for the state, SCCC president apologizes for Chevrolet remark, group concerned about bobcat population, citywide open house in Schenectady

The Cuomo admin and the teachers unions have reached a deal on a teacher evaluation system for the state. The broad outline of the system: 60 percent of a teacher's rating will be based on direct evaluation of teachers, and 40 percent on the performance of a teacher's students. The lowest-rated teachers could be fired if they don't improve. The agreement moves the state closer to holding onto $700 million federal education aid. [Cuomo admin] [TU] [NYT]

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is calling for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to investigate the situation at the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority. And the chair of the authority's board said yesterday it will be re-evaluating executive director Ed Sypchalski's salary. [TU] [Saratogian]

A former Working Families Party employee testified in the Troy ballot fraud trial yesterday that former councilman Michael LoPorto gave her about 30 sealed absentee ballots wrapped up in a newspaper (complete with a line about there being "some really good article in there"). She also testified that Democratic operatives suggested trying to make a secret deal with Republican operative Bob Mirch to make the scandal go away. [Troy Record] [WNYT]

As Albany County moves toward purchasing its family court building from a developer, there's some significant disagreement over how the building should be valued. [TU]

Minorities in Albany, Rensselaer, and Schenectady Counties are arrested, convicted, and sent to prison at rates much higher than their representation in the general population, according to a report from the Albany-based Center for Law and Justice. [TU]

SCCC president Quintin Bullock released an apology for saying the school was a "Chevrolet" compared to the "Cadillac" of a school at which he we was interviewing in Maryland. He called the line a "poor analogy." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Green Island police say they suspect the man who jumped from the Green Island Bridge yesterday was on drugs. Police helped them man out of the river. [Troy Record] [TU]

Rensselaer County sheriff Jack Mahar says three people have been arrested for allegedly being involved with setting a fire at a historic home in Sand Lake this past weekend. Three firefighters were injured, and two fire trucks damaged, fighting the fire. [TU] [Troy Record]

Albany County DA David Soares says an Albany convenience shop owner has pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud. The store owner was charging food stamp debit cards in order to give people cash -- and taking a cut. [WTEN] [TU]

The Troy IDA has approved $2.5 million in tax incentives for the next phase of the City Station development in Troy. [Troy Record]

Frank Popolizio, who owns multiple properties around Schenectady and was recently charged with animal cruelty in Otsego County, has closed the Pentagon 1978 restaurant -- on which he's more than $30k behind on the property taxes. [Daily Gazette]

Neighbors of the recently opened intermodal rail yard in Halfmoon say cranes used there during the night sound like jack hammers. [Daily Gazette]

The Adirondack Council says the state should not extend the bobcat trapping season because there are too few of the cats in the Adirondacks. [TU]

The three state-run ski areas and the Olympic sites in Lake Placid are 100,000 visitors behind over the last three months compared to the same period a year ago. [NYT]

This Sunday in Schenectady: a citywide open house, with city officials circulating around houses for sale in an effort to get people to buy in the city. [Daily Gazette]

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Recent Comments

If you've never checked out a Friends meeting (Quakers), I recommend giving it a go. I'm Jewish, but have been sporadically attending Friends meetings for several years. We sit in silence. There's no pastor. The idea is that G-d is within all of us, and if someone's truly and deeply compelled to speak, they share their message. Sometimes it's a full hour of silence and then at the end of the meeting we share joys and sorrows and community updates and you realize that the people sitting silently beside you are some of the most engaged, empathetic, and fair-minded activists around.

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