Local schools on Cuomo admin's "failing" schools list, the Albany St. Patrick's Day parade drama, the thing about wild animals

The Cuomo administration released a list of 178 schools around the state it says are "failing." The list includes three schools in the Albany school district (including Albany High School), two in the Schenectady district, and one in Troy. Said Cuomo in a statement: "This is the real scandal in Albany, the alarming fact that state government has stood by and done nothing as generation after generation of students have passed through failing schools." Local school officials pushed back on the Cuomo admin's contention that they've been getting enough funding, and the threat of a state takeover. Schenectady schools superintendent Larry Spring: "It baffles me that the governor would systematically withhold money from poor schools that serve poor students, that he would wait for them to fail, and then say the state government is going to ride in to rescue them." Albany schools superintendent Margeurite Vanden Wyngaard: "The premise of receivership is that other folks can do that better ... And I understand that notion -- but we are not a business model. We are not creating a factory or parts; we are trying to develop human beings." [Cuomo admin] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

More banging on the drum for the Cuomo admin to release numbers on how much state aid schools will be getting so districts can plan budgets, this time from Assembly Republicans. [NYSNYS/Troy Record]

The proposed $200 million renovation of Albany High School will be up for a public vote on Election Day this November. [TU]

Colonie's town board approved new rules for motels that limit guest stays to 28 days if a motel doesn't have a restaurant or kitchenettes in the rooms. Also Thursday: The owner of 470 Troy-Schenectady Road reached a plea deal that includes the demolition of the building, which the town said had many code violations and was housing people upstairs. And the Alex Patel motel saga continued. [TU x2] [News10]

The Albany metro area has the highest per capita union membership in the nation, according to an analysis based on Census data. [TU]

The man Schenectady law enforcement officials allege was the shooter in the shooting death of Danny Russell in the Vale Neighborhood last September has been identified and arraigned on a second-degree murder charge. The man was already in jail because of a separate case. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The developers that have floated a residential conversion plan for the Kenwood campus in Albany are looking for a $7.3 million tax break. [TU]

What exactly happened with the Albany St. Patrick's Day parade and the request for private money to help offset city costs and the allocation of $20,000 in city funds? [TU]

The city of Albany pays National Grid about $4.2 million a year for streetlights. [TWCN]

A state appellate court ruled that Schenectady police were wrong to remove a condom allegedly containing 67 packets of heroin and protruding from a suspect's rectum without a search warrant. [Daily Gazette]

The Federal Trade Commission says Albany is one of 32 markets where food service distributor competition would be significantly reduced if the Sysco/US Foods merger goes through. [Biz Review]

The state Public Service Commission has suspended changes to the rules involving solar farms and the rates utilities pay them for power -- solar companies had argued the change would significantly affect many projects, including the planned Monolith Solar facility in Slingerlands. [TU]

The Capiello storefront property in Schenectady is for sale. [Daily Gazette]

Change of plan: The owners of the building in Troy planned to be Cafe Congress are opening the place with a different concept and the name Annie Patterson's Fancy Shop. [Troy Record]

Dean Davis, who's done wild animal demonstrations around the region for many years: "I've never had an animal friend ... They all wanted to kill me. Some hid it well for years." [TU]


Bummer about Cappiello's. They had the best little Italian mix sandwiches on Saturday mornings (at least) - first come first served...

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