Man dies in APD custody, Cuomo touts education reform, enrollment decline concern for UAlbany, Capital Region seeks infrastructure help from federal govt

Hi. We're continuing to try out a new format for Morning Blend. Thanks for the feedback so far, and we welcome continued suggestions.

What not to wear
Your winter coat. It's going to be 61. Also, we suggest a walk at lunchtime. This reprieve from the winter that wouldn't end isn't going to last for long.

Man dies in APD custody
Updated Albany police are investigating the death of a 39-year-old man who police say died after being tasered during a physical confrontation with officers near Lark Street early Thursday morning. Statement from Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan: "The Albany Police Department is investigating the death of a person in custody. The incident occurred on Lark Street near Second Street early this morning. I ask that everyone respect the process and await the results of the investigation. Our condolences go out to the family during this difficult time." [TU] [City of Albany press release]

News
Cuomo on education reform
Andrew Cuomo on his controversial education reforms in the 2015 budget - including the overhaul of the teacher evaluation system opposed by NYSUT: "Despite the trauma of change, that's going to be one of the greatest legacies for me in this state when all is said and done." [TU]

How old and broken down are Albany's water and sewer systems?
Paul Tonko referred to Capital Region water and sewer systems as "hidden spaghetti" and Kathy Sheehan pointed out that one of the many water pipe breaks repaired this year was installed when Ulysses S. Grant was president. [TU]

Travel ban affects UAlbany coaches
It looks like New York's ban on non-essential travel to Indiana will keep UAlbany's basketball coaches from going to the Final Four in Indianapolis this weekend. [TU]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

Declining enrollment at UAlbany
The number of students at UAlbany has dropped by more that 1,000 over eight years - something university President Robert J. Jones calls the college's most "significant financial threat."[TU]

Capital Region ranks last in support for black children
A Child Opportunity Index developed by Brandeis and Ohio State University reports that the Capital Region ranks lowest among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the US for providing black children with an environment that supports healthy development. [TU]

Oil train protest
A rally was held outside Albany City Hall on Wednesday to protest oil trains in the city of Albany. [WNYT]

Casino refunds
The NYS Gaming Commission reimbursed the 13 casino applicants a total of $7.8 million from the fees they incurred during the application process. [Gazette]

Joe Allen
Joe Allen, Schenectady's first African America city council member, has died at the age of 79.[Gazette]

Stuff to do today

Lunch
The grand opening of Puzzles bakery and Cafe -- last year's winner of the AOA Start-up contest -- is today.

Get the taxes started
You've got less than two weeks and you don't want to leave it to the last minute.
Got questions? The state's income tax call center has extended its hours. Last year they handled more than a million calls. [TU]

"How Storytellers 'Color' Stories"
ESPN VP Rob King, who heads up the network's flagship SportsCenter show, will be at Union for a talk titled "The Content of Our Character: How Storytellers 'Color' Stories." 5:30 pm, Nott Memorial - free

Designing for aging
Syracuse University interior design professor Sarah Gillen Redmore will be at Sage for a talk about her work into how to design spaces to make life better for people who are over the age of 55. Thursday 6:30 pm, Sage Albany campus, Opalka Gallery - free

Parakeet Logic
A media collage by artist Lindsay Karty called "Parakeet Logic" opens at EMPAC. Blurbage:

"Parakeet Logic" is a spiraling multi-channel sound and video collage, combining trash aesthetics, podcast logic, and amateur video. Drawing from location-based DIY counterculture, Lindsay Karty creates a satirical journey through our technological fetishes, our search for authentic relationships, and the tangles between. This piece is formed by collected language filtered and activated through Craigslist collaborations, handheld video experiments, and a significant repository of things collected over the past two years. These materials are amassed, reduced, and spewed into a study of weird harmonies where some things seem significant, but are actually equalized.

It will be in EMPAC's Studio 2 Thursday and Friday from 10 am - 5 pm. There's an opening event Thursday from 5-8 pm.

Man About a Horse
Man About a Horse at Parish Public House
Bluegrass from Philly. With: Olivia Quillio. 8 pm

Things we'd do if we had the time
Wander through the butterflies or the baseball exhibit.

Words
And something to think about today from former New York governor and noted badass Teddy Roosevelt: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

Comments

I like it! Very readable format!

This is a Chris Williamson song - based on that Teddy Roosevelt quotation.

She sang this one when she played Cafe Lena a few weeks ago and referred to the quotation.

http://www.criswilliamson.com/new/images/samples/pray_tell/Disc_1/10_Shine.mp3

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