Local Congressional reps on Syrian refugee program, Troy police get riot gear, downtown residential development in Schenectady

Paris attacks reaction
In a statement Monday Chris Gibson said the US should suspend its refugee placement program for Syrians "until we know more about what happened in Paris and until we can assure the safety and security of our people." Paul Tonko said refugees should go through a screening process, "But I denounce the politics of fear currently being employed by those running for president, as well as those already in office at the federal, state and local level." [TWCN] [TU]

School funding
Among the topics that came up Monday during a state Board of Regents meeting about requesting an additional $2.4 billion in state aid for schools during the next budget cycle: What will school districts do if the next state tax cap is 0 percent, which is possible given the slow rate of inflation. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Troy police riot gear
The Troy Police Department got a $5k grant to buy riot gear for a dozen officers, and the city's proposed budget includes $75k to buy more riot gear. Troy police leaders framed the acquisition of the gear as a protective measure for officers. Alice Green of the Center for Law and Justice, to News10: "It's dangerous to militarize the police department. Especially in this time when they're having such difficulty getting the community to trust them." [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Stockade house raising
Monday evening Schenectady's Historic District Commission voted to allow a Stockade homeowner to move and raise her nearly 200-year-old home out of the flood plain. Said homeowner Meredith Anker of the commission and the long approval process: "They didn't want it from the beginning and kept bringing up negative things. To have to fight so hard to save my house is very frustrating." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

90 years to life
The man convicted of a 2009 fatal shooting in an Schenectady after-hours bar was sentenced to 90 years to life in prison. [Daily Gazette]

Sheldon Silver trial
Lobbyists for the large real estate developer Glenwood Management have testified that they were surprised and uneasy about an alleged arrangement in which Sheldon Silver would get fees from a law firm for referring tax clients such as Glenwood to the firm. [NYT]

Daily fantasy sports
In response to the state attorney general Eric Schneiderman's recent attempt to crack down on daily fantasy sports operations, state Senator Michael Ranzenhofer has introduced a bill that would explicitly declare fantasy sports to be games of skill, and thus not subject to regulation as gambling. On Monday a state Supreme Court justice denied a Draft Kings request to block Schneiderman's order to stop operating in New York State. [TU] [State of Politics]

Arrest for alleged sports gambling
A Rensselaer County man is facing charges for allegedly taking more than $60k in sports bets. He faced similar charges in 2009. [Troy Record] [TU]

He's a clown
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says the man stopped by the TSA at ALB for having a loaded gun in his belongings is a rodeo clown. Apple says the man had a valid permit and the gun was related to his work. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Alain Kaloyeros revealed a few bits about various local SUNY Poly projects during a Q&A session with the public Monday night. [Biz Review]

Downtown Schenectady redevelopment
Demolition will start soon on a section of State Street just west of Erie Boulevard (map) for a mixed-use development that will include 105 apartments. Like downtown Albany, downtown Schenectady is experiencing a small boom in residential development. [Daily Gazette] [TU+]

High Rock development
A look at the various development proposals -- which include parking garages -- for the land at High Rock, Maple and Lake in downtown Saratoga Springs. [TU]

Dance to the end
Local dancer/dance instructor Irma Baker -- who "could put her toe to her nose until the day she died" -- passed away earlier this month at age 98. [Daily Gazette]

Stuff going on today

Motown the Musical
Tuesday-Sunday: A touring production of Motown the Musical will be at Proctors. The show is based on the story of the Motown record label and includes more than 60 songs from the label. Tuesday-Sunday various times - $20 and up

Jason Reynolds
Novelist Jason Reynolds will be at the State Museum as part of the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series. Blurbage: "Jason Reynolds, prize-winning author of young adult fiction set in urban, African-American communities, and written for 'teenage boys who don't like to read,' will read from his new novel about policing, profiling, and black-white relations, All American Boys (2015, with Brendan Kiely)..." Tuesday 7 pm, State Museum Huxley Theater - free

Heart of a Dog
The Spectrum is screening the new film Heart of a Dog, "creative pioneer Laurie Anderson's wry, wondrous and unforgettable cinematic journey through love, death and language." Tuesday 6:45 pm - $10.25

(By the way: The Spectrum will be closed Wednesday and Thursday as part of its ownership switch to the Landmark Theatres group.)

World Cup qualifying
The US Men's National Soccer team is playing a qualifier for the next World Cup (yep, already) against Trinidad and Tobago. The game is beIN Sport, a channel a lot of people don't get. So, if you're looking for a place to watch, the local chapter of the American Outlaws fan group will be at Wolff's in Albany. Tuesday 6 pm

Music: Sublime with Rome at Upstate Concert Hall
Former guitarist for Sublime + singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez. With: The Expendable, Northern Faces. 8 pm - $35 ahead / $38 day of


Riot gear?

That's it start a war, that always works well.

You're right. Why don't we take away their body armor while we're at it. Oh, and they should go around barefoot too!

Open your eyes and look around. Remember those huge fights in Troy around the bars? Why not give these law enforcement professionals the tools they need to protect themselves and allow them to go home to their families at the end of their shifts. Or are police officers not real people so they aren't allowed that privilege?

If police need riot gear to break up a fight, they need new jobs. Since their jobs are safer than they've been in 50 years, and they're assaulting and murdering more people than ever, I don't see how giving them more dangerous equipment helps public safety in any way.

I believe that cops are people too. They are not emotionless robo-cops. They have a tough, and thankless job that no one really appreciates unless they are the ones calling for or needing help. I think that they all deserve to go home safe to their families at the end of their shifts just like any other human being.

That's valid, karner_blu, but what about Tamir Rice going to home to his family? Or John Crawford, buying a BB gun for his kid? Walter Scott probably had a family to go home to. And Sandra Bland. And Akai Gurley. And those are just the infamous ones.

They're people, but all too often they're dangerous people.

karner_blu - I see, life must be hard for police. However police officers are always welcome to resign from their tough and thankless jobs with free coffee and get real life non-union, fire at will, no pension jobs most people have. Ones with higher mortality too (talking about "risking life" etc) - such as farmer, truck driver or construction worker.

70% of officer involved shootings are justified. Human error sucks.

70% is an extremely low percentage when we're talking about people losing their lives. I'm about the last person who would give cops the benefit of the doubt, but I would have guessed (and hoped) the number would be much higher.

I also think there's a huge difference between murder and human error. Thanks to ubiquitous video, there is no doubt that many of these were simply murder.

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