Albany fire leaves 23 homeless, Silver planning appeals, NYS Labor Dept investigates Walmart firing, local film heads to Sundance

Cuomo calls for gun control
Following news of Wednesday's mass shooting in California, Andrew Cuomo called for strong federal gun control laws[TU]

Fire destroys Albany apartments
The Red Cross and New Hope Church are assisting 23 people left homeless by a fire that spread to four buildings on Park Street in Albany. The buildings were torn down by this morning. Fire officials have yet to announce a cause, but there is a press conference scheduled for later this morning. [WNYT][News10][TU]

Silver appeal
Sheldon Silver's attorneys are planning their first appeal, claiming prosecutors in the case failed to prove the existence of a quid pro quo relationship.[NYT]

Silver replacement
Silver's replacement in the NYS Assembly will likely be chosen by the Manhattan Democratic County Committee. [TWCN]

GE fined $2.25 million for Waterford violations
General Electric will pay $2.25 million for violations of environmental law dating back to 2006 and 2007, when employees at the old Waterford facility manually overrode an automatic shutoff valve allowing hazardous waste to burn longer than allowed. [WNYT]

Assembly hearing on prisons
At Wednesday's Assembly Correction Committee hearing on problems within the state correction system - a call for more independent oversight of the state's prison system. [TU]

Rensselaer County anti-blasting law
Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino signed a local law on Wednesday, intended to protect county waters from the effects of blasting -- an effort aimed at Kinder Morgan's proposed Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline. [TU]

Albany County Legislature pay hike
Under a new proposed compromise, Albany County legislators would have double-digit pay raises phased in over the next four years.[TU]

Loudonville/Arbor Hill
Chris Churchill on the Loudenville/Arbor Hill divide. [TU+]

NYS Labor Department investigates Walmart firing
The NYS labor department is looking into the firing of an East Greenbush Walmart employee who was let go for cashing $5.10 in redeemable
cans . Meanwhile an 18-year employee of the Niskayuna Walmart was fired after taking 30 minutes to turn in money that he found in the store's parking lot. [TU x 2]

Thruway slowdown
Traffic problems, including temporary stops, are expected this morning on the Thruway between exits 25A and 26 as the DOT removes a sign. [TU]

Waiting for a license
The NYS gaming commission might not award casino licenses to upstate projects, including the planned Rivers Casino and resort at Mohawk Harbor, by the end of the year. [Gazette]

Police meet with gang members
Albany police met with gang members in an effort to broker a ceasefire, offer options, and call a halt to recent gun violence in the city. [TWCN]

Uber
Uber is planning a meeting next week for potential Albany drivers. [TU+]

Bikes on trains
Round Lake Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner is renewing her call for Amtrak to allow bicycles on trains. [Saratogian]

FBI records show death threats
Recently released FBI records detail death threats made against Governor Mario Cuomo during his 12-years in office.[TU]

Ropes course left swinging
Glenville's town board imposed a temporary moratorium on permits, which puts the conversation about expanding a commercial ropes course in the town on hold . [Gazette]

Ski Resort sells for $36 million
Hunter mountain ski resort has been sold for $36.8 million .[WNYT]

Saratoga upgrades
Plans for the Saratoga Racecourse next year include new dorms for backstretch workers and a new escalator.

Local film headed to Sundance
An indie drama that wrapped up filming in the Capital Region about a month ago is headed to the Sundance Film Festival. [TU]

Happening today

Victorian Streetwalk
The Victorian Streetwalk returns to downtown Saratoga Springs. Broadway will be closed from Route 50 to Spring Street for entertainment, refreshments, business open houses, and people in Victorian costumes. Thursday 5-10 pm- free

Can You Dig This
Thursday: The Linda is hosting a screening of the documentary Can You Dig This. Blurbage:

As part of an urban gardening movement taking root in South LA, people are planting to transform their neighborhoods and are changing their own lives in the process. Calling for people to put down their guns and pick up their shovels, these "gangster gardeners" are creating an oasis in the middle of one of the most notoriously dangerous places in America. CAN YOU DIG THIS follows the inspirational journeys of four unlikely gardeners, discovering what happens when they put their hands in the soil.

The screening is presented by Capital Roots. Thursday 7 pm - $10

Us and the Game Industry
Thursday: The Opalka Gallery at the Sage Albany campus is showing the documentary Us and the Game Industry. Blurbage: "This documentary film explores the motivations and processes of computer game designers at the frontier of experimental game development." Thursday 6:30 pm - free

A Christmas Story, The Musical
Capital Rep's production of A Christmas Story, The Musical continues. It's based on the now-famous film. Tuesday-Sunday various times - $20 and up

Vanessa Carlton at Troy Music Hall
One of the videos of "A Thousand Miles" has 92 million views on Youtube. 7:30 pm - $27 and up

Mary Halvorson + Colin Marston at EMPAC
Jazz guitarist + metal guitarist. 8 pm - $18

The Sword at Upstate Concert Hall
Rock. With: Royal Thunder. 8 pm - $18 ahead / $20 day of

Anais Mitchell at Caffe Lena
Folk. With: Bridget Kearney & Benjamin Lazar Davis. 7 pm - $22

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Recent Comments

I've found that anecdotes from neighbors, friends, or internet "strangers" can only take you so far. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you get out there and visit these schools during the school year, during the school day to get a feel for things. In the last few months, my wife and I have made a series of visits to our local elementary, middle + high-school. During those visits, we had the chance to talk to multiple teachers and see the kids "in action". It was very VERY telling in a lot of ways - both good and bad.

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