VA says it won't comply with NY SAFE Act provision, two women shot, push to open casino siting process, recent college grad picked to head up animal shelter

The Veterans Administration says it will not comply with the provision of the NY SAFE Act that requires mental health providers to report people who are likely to act in way that would harm themselves or others. [New York World/TU]

As the state Senate and Assembly stake out their positions ahead of the push to finish the state budget, it looks like there could be some movement on raising the minimum wage. [TU] [NYT]

Albany police say two women were shot in West Hill just before midnight Monday (map). APD says it appears the shooting was "the result of an ongoing dispute" and it's investigating. The women's injuries are not life threatening, according to APD. [YNN] [APD]

The alleged collaboration between an Albany County jail corrections officer and two inmates to beat up a third inmate sounds like something from a TV drama. [TU]

What might be the $600 million projected to which the mayor Rensselaer alluded: a proposal to build at waste-to-energy plant at the Port of Rensselaer. (The same company proposed a similar project for the Port of Albany a few years back.) [TU]

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Kathy Marchione, Jim Tedisco, and Tony Jordan are pushing legislation that would allow voters to know where upstate casinos would be sited before a vote on changing the state's constitution to allow them. And they'd like one of those sites to be Saratoga. (The legislature and Andrew Cuomo are currently pushing back and forth over how the siting process should work.) [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [State of Politics]

GE has agreed to study expanding the scope of the Hudson River PCB dredging project as part of an agreement with state comptroller Tom DiNapoli -- even though the company says it's unnecessary. DiNapoli pushed the company to do so via a shareholder resolution (the state pension fund owns GE stock) -- and now that GE has agreed, DiNapoli is pulling the resolution. [TU] [NYS OSC]

In his state of the county speech, Albany County exec Dan McCoy said the county budget could be within the tax cap by 2015. [Troy Record] [TU]

There was an overflow crowd for public comments on an anti-NY SAFE Act proclamation circulated by Albany County legislator Deborah Busch. [TU] [Troy Record]

Saratoga Springs police say the man found unconscious in the street at Lake Ave and Broadway early Saturday morning had darted across traffic before being hit by a taxi, according to witnesses. A SSPD lieutenant said the man "appeared to be highly intoxicated." He was airlifted to Albany Med and police say his condition is improving. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TU]

A Rensselaer County family says it received one of the letters sent out by St. Peter's Heath Partners notifying Samaritan Hospital patients whose records may have been improperly accessed as part of an alleged situation involving Rensselaer County corrections officers -- in the family's case, it was for their daughter, who had been bitten by a dog belonging to two corrections officers. [TU] [Troy Record]

Schenectady police say a man was in critical condition after being stabbed Sunday at the Yates Village apartments (map). SPD says it's made an arrest and the man is charged with first-degree assault. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Albany police say a pizza delivery man reported being robbed at knife point Saturday afternoon in the South End (block map). [APD]

The Saratoga County DA's office says Virginia J. DeCapria -- accused of stealing almost $500,000 from the Charlton volunteer fire department -- has pleaded guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud and now faces 3-9 years in prison. [Saratoga County DA]

With demolition set to begin, Citizens for St. Patrick's has filed a lawsuit in attempt to force Watervliet's zoning board of appeals to hear an appeal of the demolition permit. [TU]

A Saratoga County supervisors subcommittee has picked a 22-year-old recent Siena grad to head up the county's animal shelter. [Saratogian]

The founder director of the Albany Pro Musica, David Griggs-Janower, has had a stroke, according to a press release from the choral group. Its two planned shows for this weekend will go on. But its board is re-evaluating the rest of the season. [Albany Pro Musica]

____

APD: Shooting

Albany Police are investigating the shooting of two women that occurred last night in the two hundred block of First Street.
On March 11, 2013 at approximately 11:48 PM officers responded to the two hundred block of First Street for a report of shots fired. No victims or suspects could be located.
While investigating the shots fired, officers received a call at approximately 12:54 AM to the 100 block of Quail Street for a report of a female with an unknown wound to the torso. It was determined that the 17 year old victim had been shot during incident on First Street.
At approximately 2:00 AM officers received a call to the 300 block of Third Street for a report of a female with a gunshot wound to the torso. It was determined that the 17 year old victim was also shot during the First Street incident.
Both victims were treated by Albany Fire Department personnel and transported to AMCH for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. It appears that the shooting is the result of an ongoing dispute.
The investigation is still ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Albany Police Detective Division at 518-462-8039.
__
APD: Robbery
Albany Police are investigating the robbery of a pizza delivery driver that occurred on Clinton Street
On March 9, 2013 at approximately 4:25 PM officers responded for a report of a robbery. The victim, a local pizza delivery driver, stated that after completing a delivery in the 100 block of Clinton Street he was approached a black male described as approximately 5'11 and 200 lbs. armed with a folding knife. The suspect demanded the victim's money and fled with approximately $23. The investigation is still ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call the Albany Police Detective Division at 518-462-8039.

Comments

The VA refusing to comply makes absolutely no sense at all. So how about we hold medical professionals accountable for not reporting? If their patients commit murder or suicide - how about we make sure the doctors treating these individuals and refusing to report it are held liable for it when deaths occur?! It is absolutely unbelievable that there is so much resistance on so many levels to stopping the rampant sickness of gun violence in this country.

Not trying to start an argument here, but don't you think the VA reporting that kind of information violates patient/doctor confidentiality? People who might otherwise speak with a mental health professional about problems they're having could be deterred by this provision. In that case, they wouldn't get the help that they need and may be more likely to do something rash.

As to the point of suicide, if someone wants to take their life, they're going to do it. Holding a health care professional libel for it is a horrific idea. Suicide does hurt those around them, including the professionals who've cared for those people. Thinking that they could be held legally responsible breaks my heart.

The gun violence in this country and even in our own community is horrific. I'm all for sensible gun control, but I think it starts with deeper issues like education and access to health care (physical and mental). Going down the road of forcing medical agencies to reveal private information could set a dangerous precedent. I applaud the VA for taking a stand to protect their patients' privacy.

I think the VA is refusing more on Medical Ethics and Ideals, and the furthering the SAFE act has on adding Stigma to mental illness.... they really don't care about the rest of the so called safe act, do some reading before you post your mindless rheotoric.

There is already an established duty to warm re: threats of self-harm and endangered third parties, despite doctor-patient confidentiality. Also, all states have laws that require reporting of circumstances that endanger child welfare. There is not a legal consensus regarding "the public at large" right now (for example someone planning on going on a shooting spree.) I don't see this as a medical/ethical statement by the VA. I see it solely as a refusal to comply with gun control laws. We have astronomical suicide and homicide rates in our military population. It is a real problem and needs to be addressed. Seems to me like you're the one spouting mindless rhetoric and that's just my point. Everyone will argue their side of the story until the end of time and meanwhile the bodies will continue to pile up forever as we all sit by and do nothing. Proves Darwin's point - "intelligence" (and I use that term lightly) is not the end result of evolution - it is a random and irrelevant by-product.

I don't think we should applaud doctors for not asking or reporting about patients who are suicidal and homicidal AND have guns. The gun violence in this country is a public health and safety issue. We need to get a grip on that reality and really do something to stop it.

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