One dead in West Hill shooting, Cuomo unveils AIDS plan, education lobbies were biggest spenders, advice for living to 104

One dead in West Hill Shooting
Albany police are investigating a shooting in Livingston Park in West Hill overnight that left a 21-year-old man dead and two other men injured. [WNYT][TWCN]

Another suspicious fire in Mont Pleasant
Schenectady officials are investigating the third suspicious fire in the Mont Pleasant neighborhood this month. [TU]

Shooting prompts school lockdown in Schenectady
Elmer Avenue Elementary School in Schenectady was locked down for a while following a shooting on Wednesday morning. [TWCN]

Cuomo unveils AIDS plan
Andrew Cuomo has announced a plan aimed at ending the AIDS epidemic in New York State over the next five years. The plan is expected to cost billions of dollars, which still need to be found. [TU][CapNY]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

Saratoga Race Course seeks major expansion
NYRA has announced a public hearing to discuss replacing the At The Rail pavilion and tent with a three story hospitality building that includes a 500-seat room and party suites.[TU]

Blight and freedom
A tour of blight in Guilderland and a discussion about freedom. [TU+]

Education lobbies biggest spenders
A new JCOPE report shows education lobbies were the top spending lobbyists for 2014.[CapNY]

Air sensors removed
The Department of Environmental Conservation has removed sensors that detect airborne chemicals in Rensselaer and Schenectady counties.[TU+]

CDTA record
CDTA ridership hit the 17 million mark in the last fiscal year -- the first time in its 45-year history. [TU]

New King statue unveiled
A new Martin Luther King sculpture was unveiled on the Empire State Plaza on Wednesday, nine months after the first one was badly damaged [TU]

Advice for living to 104
Have the occasional scotch and cigarette, and go slow. [Daily Gazette]

Happening today

A touring production of the musical Memphis will be at Proctors. It's set in the early rock and roll scene of 1950s Memphis. The show won the 2010 Tony for best musical. Thursday 8 pm - $20 and up

Troy-based artist Jenny Kemp will be at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus for a talk about her paintings. Thursday 6:30 pm - free

A Taste of Albany
The annual Taste of Albany will be back at the State Museum. The event includes a cocktail hour and samples from more than 30 local restaurants. It's a benefit for the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless. Thursday 5 pm (cocktail hour -- tastings start at 6 pm) - $75

Thursday-Sunday: The Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be at the TU Center for a four-day run. This particular show is "Legends." It looks like it includes the usual sorts of circus acts -- and elephants, a growing point of criticism in recent years. The company recently announced it will be phasing out the use of the animals. Thursday-Sunday various times - $18 and up


Cymbals Eat Guitars at The Low Beat
Rescheduled. With: What Moon Things, Slowshine. 8 pm - $12 ahead / $14 at door

The Wailin' Jennys at The Egg
Folk. With: The Stray Birds. 7:30 pm - $36.25 and up


Any idea if CDTA record ridership is due more to an increase in full paying riders or an increase in government, school, employer fully/partially subsidized riders? Trying to get an idea of whether more riders makes CDTA more or less viable and self sufficient.

"government, school, employer fully/partially subsidized riders?"

All of these categories are negotiated with CDTA, and provide what is basically a dedicated source of stable funding through their contracts. This is much better than relying on farebox revenue.

I'd love to see you apply the same logic to fully subsidized roads and heavily subsidized drivers.

CDTA tracks how people board but I don't think they'll know about subsidies since most of those programs offer a discount on the purchase of the fare, which then gets used the same as if it was purchased at full price. That's to say, if you get a discounted 31-day swiper, CDTA doesn't know that it was discounted when you swipe to board. I could be wrong there, but that data would probably have to come from the entities offering the discounts.

Anyway, fares account for less than 1/5th of CDTA's revenue. It will never be self sufficient -- and it shouldn't be, public transit is a huge driver of quality of life increases and the local economic engine.

You can get info from their annual reports, and I know there's ridership data broken down by individual bus lines out there somewhere too.

This is great news for CDTA! I'm going to be working at the ESP, though I live in Troy. I have been dreading the parking situation, but I learned that taking CDTA I can go from my doorstep to work in 30 minutes. No stress from finding parking! I'll have to see how viable it is, but it seems like a great option, especially when winter weather gets bad.

I've been taking the bus for about three years now (part of that rise in ridership) and can attest that the buses on many routes have filled up (great news as a public transit supporter, but definitely leads to less wiggle room). With BusPlus, new commuter/neighborhood routes, and a noticeable shift to the buses being fairly reliable 90% of the time, I think you naturally have more folks engaging this undervalued asset. I'm sure the increase in universal access agreements with the colleges and some private institutions also feeds into this positive trend.

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