It's tax day, Common Core testing underway, environmentalists ask GE to expand dredging, Fight for $15 protests in Albany

The forecast

It's April 15. Expect long lines at area post offices today and exhausted accountants later this week.[TWCN]

Be careful filling out your forms, New York has already rejected $331 million in fraudulent refund claims this year. [WNYT]

Headlines

Common Core
Common Core testing is underway across the state for students in grades 3-8. Opt out rates in Capital Region schools range from 2 percent to 53 percent. [TU]

Herman Robinson rape/murder case
A disturbing day of victim and Public Defender sparing in the rape and murder case of Herman Robinson. [TU][TWCN]

$5 to $15
Fast food workers in the Capital Region will join the Fight for $15 protest for a living wage, along with fast food workers around New York State today. Employees at the ESP McDonald's will walk off the job at noon today, and protests at the Holland Ave McDonalds in Albany and a Dunkin Donuts on Washington avenue. [Fightfor15][NYT][TU]

Crossing guards
Albany's crossing guards will unionize , six months after the city tried to privatize them. [TU]

Dredging expansion
At a rally in Green Island Park on Tuesday, environmental advocates called on GE to expand it's PCB cleanup of the Hudson. The current clean up plan is slated to end with the sixth round of dredging this year. [Record][News10]

You may have 99 problems but ski tow fees are no longer one
Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that 57 nuisance fees were repealed in the new state budget, including fees for ski tows, antique boiler inspections and laser regulation permits. [NYT]

Pansies in the potholes
A Schenectady woman is calling attention to Schenectady's pothole problem by planting pansies in them. [Gazette]

Troy park
Troy is dedicating a new park to its first mayor, Col.Albert Pawiling. [TU]

O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A
The Oklahoma Track is open -- the first step toward Saratoga's 2015 racing season. Why do they call it the Oklahoma Track? [TU][AOA]

Quote
George Pataki on Republicans taking on "social issues" in campaigns:

"Defeating Islamic terror ... shrinking government ... growing the economy -- these are the issues that matter most. Instead, we're debating social issues like abortion and gay rights. They're a distraction, and will only help elect Hillary, After eight years of Obama-style socialism, we need to shrink government, not let big government tell us how to live our lives."
[TU]

Happening today

Sufjan Stevens
href="http://palacealbany.com/EventsandTickets/EventTickets/event.aspx?eid=e4cf1112-0927-4937-9d18-3cd0c5120691">Sufjan Stevens at The Palace
The Sufjan Stevens. With: Cold Specks. 8 pm - $30 and up

Don't blame the IRS

Before you blame the IRS, Michael Bolton would like you to remember "you never miss your anus, till it's gone"

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