Investigation into Park Ave fire, seal's visit to canal lock ending, two new residential conversions opening

Park Avenue fire
Albany fire officials said Thursday they're still investigating the cause of the Park Avenue fire, but it appears to have started on an enclosed rear porch and then burned for some amount of time before someone noticed. The buildings affected by the fire -- three of which were demolished -- housed 25 people. [WNYT] [TU] [TWCN]

Sheldon Silver
Sheldon Silver formally filed for his state pension this week -- which could worth something like $90k a year according to various estimates. [NYT] [TU]

Skelos trial
Among the issues surfaced during the Skelos & Son trial Thursday: You've given a job to the son of the the state Senate majority leader at the request of the legislator, the son doesn't show for the job, you don't fire him in order "to avoid the chance in Albany that, you know, that we would run into a problem with any legislation" -- then what do you put in his annual performance review? [NYT]

Seal relocation
The state Canal Corp is draining Lock 1 on the Champlain Canal in order to capture a seal who's been hanging out there since this past summer -- the plan is to relocate the seal to Long Island. [TU] Earlier: Odd and notable creatures of the Hudson River

Responses to a world of frequent mass shootings
Farther afield, from a Facebook post Thursday by Ulster County sheriff Paul Van Blarcum : "In light of recent events that have occurred in the United States and around the world I want to encourage citizens of Ulster County who are licensed to carry a firearm to PLEASE DO SO." Van Blarcum to WAMC: "You know, when stuff hits the fan it'd be nice to know that there's somebody there that's going to stand up." [Ulster Sheriff FB] [WAMC]

Also Thursday:
+ State Police troopers stationed in the ESP concourse are now carrying assault rifles. [TU]
+ Albany County sheriff Craig Apple urged people to think about how they'd react to a mass shooting situation: "Start thinking about what you would do if somebody came into your workplace, what would you do, where would you hide?" [WNYT]

Investigation of VA suicide
Both Albany police and the VA are investigating the circumstances leading up to the suicide of a veteran at a parking garage near the VA hospital in Albany last week. [TU+]

1 Monument Square
The Troy City Council narrowly voted to get a new appraisal for 1 Monument Square land -- it could still be vetoed by mayor Lou Rosamilia. (The city already has a deal to sell the land for $650k to the developers behind the current 1 Monument Square proposal.) [Troy Record]

Focus on new Albany County jobs
Current drama in the Albany County Legislature: a handful of newly-created county jobs -- including two $100k+ attorney positions -- and who is or isn't in line for them. [TU+]

Infrastructure
Among the freight transportation infrastructure projects recommended in a new report by the Capital District Transportation Committee: $75 million for the replacement of the Livingston Ave Bridge between Albany and Rensselaer. (The push to replace the bridge -- and what form that replacement will take -- has been going on for years.) [Daily Gazette]

Residential conversions
Two new residential conversions of former factory/warehouse buildings: The Hudson Arthaus on River Street in Troy and the Tilley Lofts in Watervliet. [Biz Review x2]

Sounds like the holidays
A Guilderland High School/Saint Rose grad's music appears in a new Starbucks commercial -- pretty much just as planned. [TU+]

It's the weekend

Look for our "Stuff to do this weekend" list a little later this morning.

Comments

When linking to TU+ articles, it would be very helpful if you actually used the proper title of any given story, such as: "VA, police probe veterans death". This makes it much easier to copy into Google, hence bypassing the TU's silly paywall. Just a suggestion - happy weekend.

"...you don't fire him in order "to avoid the chance in Albany that, you know, that we would run into a problem with any legislation" -- then what do you put in his annual performance review? [NYT]"

Otherwise known as 'the boodler's dilemma.'

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The City should take a more proactive approach based on neighborhood consensus. A prescriptive design guideline with great clarity could save lots of graves for aspiring developers and other stakeholders. The City has to be clear upfront on conditions to be met such as overall allowed building volume, easy river connection, parking, pedestrian oriented ground floor usage and etc. It not seems reasonable to expect commercial developers to build something on their own initiative to both maximize ROI and please all city residents.

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