State ethics in the wake of Silver conviction, Former Watervliet officer pleads guilty in embezzlement case, Cuomo appoints former JCOPE head as chief judge, Nassau wants off the grid

Sheldon Silver

Some of the complications of separating ethics from business as usual in the NYS legislature in the wake of Sheldon Silver's conviction. [NYT]

Silver's conviction was yet another political earthquake, but is it enough to bring down the old ways of doing business and clean up state ethics?[TU+]

Will the former speaker be sentenced to 20 years in jail? [D&C]

For now, at least, it seems Silver is still eligible to collect his New York State pension. [WNYT]

A special election to fill Sheldon Silver's assembly seat will be held on April 19.[Newsday]

Cuomo appoints chief judge
Andrew Cuomo has appointed former JCOPE chair Janet DiFiori to replace the outgoing Jonathan Lippman as Chief Judge for the state of New York. [TU]

Troy City budget
By a vote of 8-1, Troy's City Council approved a $67.94 million 2016 budget The spending plan cut a proposed property tax hike in half. Before approving the budget the council cut $70,000 by eliminating a recreation director position.[TU][Record]

Rensselaer County budget
Rensselaer County legislators approved the county's $221.5 million 2016 budget on Tuesday, staying under the state mandated tax cap for the fifth year in a row. [TU][Record]

Honest Weight vote
Members of the Honest Weight Food Co-op voted one member off the board, while six others survived a recall vote this week. [TU]

Oil trains
Capital Region leaders are supporting Eric Schneiderman's efforts to push for new federal safety rules on crude oil shipped from across the U.S. on trains. [TU]

Former police officer pleads guilty in embezzlement
A former assistant police chief for the city of Watervliet pleaded guilty to felony grand larceny and falsifying business records to steal more than $50 thousand from the Watervliet funeral home where he worked. [TWCN][Record]

Assembly examines NYS prisons
In the wake of the Dannemora escape last summer, An assembly committee has been formed to look into the state's prison system. [Gazette]

Damian Center fire
The Schenectady Damian Center has closed temporarily due to a fire -- just a few years after fire destroyed its former Albany headquarters. [TWCN]

Off the grid
The Rensselaer County town of Nassau is exploring ways to go off the grid. [TU]

Priest/author dies
Altamont priest and best selling author of the "Joshua" series, Rev. Joseph Girzone, has died.[TU+]


Happening today:

Tree Lighting
The city of Albany lights its tree tonight in a ceremony at City Hall.


Elyn Saks
Wednesday: Elyn Saks -- an USC law professor who won a McArthur "genius" grant for her work advocating for people with mental illness -- will be at Skidmore for a talk. Saks suffers from schizophrenia, and she'll be talking about her journey to becoming a law professor and advocate. Wednesday 7 pm, Filene Recital Hall - free

On Screen/Sound
Wednesday: The On Screen/Sound series at EMPAC wraps up its season will a look at transforming musicals from stage to screen. London-based artist Cally Spooner will present the EMPAC-produced musical And You Were Wonderful, On Stage. And there will also be a screening of the 1933 musical Gold Diggers of 1933. Wednesday 7 pm - $6

Wednesday: Leftover Salmon at The Egg
"Originators of the Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass genre." 7:30 pm - $34.50

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My grandmother has Alzheimers and sometimes comes to stay with us in Troy. Last week the absolutely highlight of her day was seeing the hundreds of crows that came streaming by the window at our apartment. I watched her go from completely unresponsive to engaged... stringing questions together and returning to her old joyful self for the half hour she watched those birds was enough to endear crows to me forever.

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