Review of situation leading up to homeless woman's death, budget drama plays out in Albany and Troy, on bans of foam cups and plastic bags

Bits of info from various agencies are forming a picture of the situation that led up to the death of Htee Paw, the 23-year-old homeless woman found dead near the State Museum. Paw, an immigrant from Myanmar, was apparently struggling with medical problems and alcohol addiction as well as a language barrier. Said Liz Hitt from HATAS, to TWCN: "We need to not judge people because of their disease ... We wouldn't do this with cancer, we wouldn't do this with diabetes; we shouldn't do it with alcoholism." [TU] [WNYT] [TWCN]

The contentious Albany city budget process ended with the $176 million budget passing 11-4 -- and continued criticism of the plan from some members of the council. It includes a 5 percent tax increase for residential property owners, which will be rebated as part of the state "tax freeze." [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

The Troy city budget process ended with the mayor's budget being adopted -- because the city council voted not to vote on it. The $66.1 million budget includes a $30k deficit. And there was much finger pointing.

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

The Rensselaer County legislature passed the 2015 budget, which includes a 1.48 percent tax increase. [TU]

Schenectady police say a house and garage in Mont Pleasant were hit by gunfire Monday morning in what appeared to be an attempted drive-by shooting intended for a person on the sidewalk. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Albany police are asking the public for help in identifying the man who allegedly robbed the Subway on New Scotland Ave near Madison Ave Monday evening. [APD]

Albany police say a 12 year old and a 14 year old were arrested -- and a pellet gun recovered -- for allegedly trying a rob a woman of her mobile phone Sunday morning near Hudson Ave and Ontario Ave. [APD]

Albany officials say they're looking into whether vandalism of vans owned by refugee support org is linked to a fire at the org's building on West Lawrence Street Tuesday morning. [TU]

A state fund dedicated to costs associated with oil spill cleanup has shaky finances. [TU]

Chuck Schumer was in Albany Monday to push for $100 million in national funding aimed the rising tide of heroin trafficking and abuse. The Albany County Sheriff's Office says both arrests for, and seizures of, heroin have been on an upswing over the last three years. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

Price Chopper says it supports a proposed ban on thin-film plastic shopping bags in Saratoga Springs. [TU]

Back and forth between Chris Churchill and the Albany County legislator who sponsored the foam container ban. [TU]

Internal debate among PEF leadership: Whether meetings of the union's 134-member executive board should be recorded on video. [TU]

The debate over what sort of development should be allowed in Saratoga Springs' greenbelt. [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

The AIDS Council of Northeastern New York is changing its name to the Alliance for Positive Health. [TU]

The Port of Albany is getting a big new crane that officials say will make the port more competitive. [TU]

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I ride every day to work, and also after work for exercise. I love the concept of being a person who happens to ride a bike. There's a level of bike riding, with the high performance gear and sleek clothing, that makes riding seem like its not for everyone. I try to avoid markers like that, and always wear regular clothing/shoes/backpack with dumpy-looking bike. One concession is bike gloves.

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