Ice jams continue to prompt flooding concerns, free breakfast touted as reason for surge in school attendance, variance sought for pet funeral facility

Ice jams on local waterways continue to prompt concerns about potential flooding as snow melts and more rain is in the forecast. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Mohawk River at Schenectady, with "minor flooding" in the forecast, for today. Communities along the Mohawk have been watching the ice jams and water levels, which -- so far -- haven't caused much trouble. On the other side of the region, an ice jam in Rensselaer County caused some minor flooding. [TU] [NWS] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

In Waterford there's concern that drastically higher flood insurance premiums will price people out of the village. [TU]

Question: Should the number of seats in the Albany County legislature -- one of the biggest and most costly in the state -- be reduced? [TU]

Local school officials and sexual assault prevention educators say networks such as Facebook and Instagram are being frequently used as a tools of harassment, or as Schenectady schools superintendent Larry Spring says of Facebook: it's "a gift from the devil." [Daily Gazette]

What apparently prompted a surge in attendance at Schenectady public schools this year: free breakfast and lunch for everyone. [Daily Gazette]

Buffalo area state Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak has quit the legislature following allegations he sexually harassed seven female staffers. [Buffalo News] [TU]

The Times Union continues its scrutiny of state homeland security commissioner Jerome Hauer -- AKA, the guy who allegedly used the laser sight on his handgun as a laser pointer during a presentation -- with an allegation that Hauer's vehicle was stopped for traveling 60 mph in the breakdown lane on I-87 to avoid a backup. [TU]

New Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan has appointed Ismat Alam as budget director -- Alam currently works for Proctors, but previously she worked for the city of Schenectady in a similar role. (Schenectady, like Albany, has faced significant budget challenges.) [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Kirsten Gillibrand spoke at Albany City Hall Friday to continue her push for paid family and medical leave. [Troy Record]

Paul Tonko and Pat Fahy were in Albany this weekend pushing for an extension emergency unemployment benefits. [Daily Gazette]

An Albany County judge sentenced Leonard Spence to 21 years in prison for the shooting death of Darzee Reid on Central Ave (map) last April. Said Judge Stephen Herrick to Spence, whose brother was fatally shot in 2012: There's a cycle here in Albany, and in every other urban center in the country at this point in time ... It makes no sense. You lost a brother. I don't know the circumstances of that, other than I believe it was a needless shooting and your brother's dead. On the night that this happened ... you could have broken the cycle. But you didn't do that. You created another victim." [Albany County DA] [TU]

Police say an elderly man died in a fire in Greenwich, in Washington County, Sunday night. [Post-Star]

As many as 75 firefighters from five departments were marshaled to fight the fire that destroyed a bowling alley in Burnt Hills Sunday morning. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

The building that houses Albany News and Grocery on Central Ave in Albany, near the intersection with Washington Ave and Lark Street, caught fire Sunday afternoon (streetview). [WNYT]

Albany city advocates -- including Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin -- are pushing for guarantees that some of the jobs created by the Albany convention center will end up city residents. [TU]

Clifton Park is considering zoning changes that would encourage "downtown" style development on Clifton Country Road (map). [Daily Gazette]

The scrap metal businesses at the Port of Albany is on the upswing. [TU]

An Albany funeral home is seeking a zoning variance to allow it to build facilities for pet funerals, including a crematorium. [Albany BZA] [TU]

Joked 90-year-old arts supporter Gioia Ottaviano on being named a Schenectady patroon: "All I do is show up." [Daily Gazette]


RE Waterford flood insurance: shouldn't flood insurance be more expensive in a place that is likely - does often on a yearly basis - flood? If it is so expensive that people cannot afford to live in a place due to the cost of covering the likely risk to house and home... why live there to start with?

Replying to myself - same thing with the Stockade.

Does the Times Union spell check anymore?

Alex, RE: Why live there to start with: That's a good question for new home buyers to ask themselves, but the people who already own the property in the flood zone are in a bad situation. The one guy in the TU article 'bought' the home from his mother. So even though the sale may have been a formality to change ownership within the family, he's now hit with a penalty that left him unable to pay for his insurance. He probably can't sell the property if he wanted to, because the new owner would be required to have expensive flood insurance...and a property with flood insurance more costly than the mortgage payment isn't very appealing.

Other reasons why people who own property within the flood zone may be subject to suddenly-higher insurance rates: "change in ownership, a lapse in coverage, a change in flood risk according to new FEMA flood maps, or substantial damage or improvement to a building."

I'm no expert, but a friend of mine is going through a similar situation and it sounds horrible.

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