School board critics turn out after ouster of Albany schools superintendent, repair of Troy water main break nearing end, Hoosick Falls hired PR firm to help handle tainted water supply situation

Albany schools superintendent pushed out
The Albany school district announced Thursday that superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard would be resigning in an arrangement that includes her taking paid leave now through the end of her contract in June. Said school board president Kenneth Bruce in a statement: "the board and the superintendent have come to a point where we no longer can overcome our philosophical differences about how best to implement the change our district urgently needs." [Albany school district]

Supporters of Vanden Wyngaard have recently been pushing for the board to extend her contract and many people turned out at a tense board meeting Thursday night to criticize the panel for pushing the superintendent out. City Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin: "You set her up for failure ... There was no support. You supported her for about 18 months and then you decided that all bets were off. I don't know who's coming in next, but what you did to Dr. V, you'll do it to them." Common Council member Vivian Kornegay: "The Albany public school district board is dysfunctional. It's dysfunctional, segregated and discriminatory." Bruce said race was not a factor in the board's decision. [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Albany High School rebuild proposal: A PAC called Support Albany High School has formed to push for approval of the reformulated plan to rebuild/expand Albany High School at the February vote. [TU+]

Troy water main break
Crews worked Thursday to repair a second, small leak in the large water main that failed earlier this week. The city says the overall repair project should be finished by this weekend. [Troy Record] [TWCN]

Troy is seeking help from the state -- in the form of grants and a low-interest loan -- to cover the $2.7 million cost of installing 3,700 linear feet of larger pipe as an upgrade to the main. [Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN]

Supervisors in Waterford and Halfmoon -- where water service was disrupted by the Troy main break -- say they're not sure yet how much it's cost the towns to provide alternate water supplies during the episode. [TU+]

The new chief judge
The state Senate confirmed Janet DiFiore as the state's new top judge. DiFiore was the Westchester County DA, and previously had been a state Supreme Court justice. [TU] [NYT]

Have you seen Andrew Cuomo?
Andrew Cuomo has rarely been visible at the Capitol, or spoken to the press there as a group, during the last 200some days. [TWCN]

Hoosick Falls water
The Times Union reports that the village of Hoosick Falls "secretly" hired Behan Communications -- which represented GE in the Hudson River PCB project -- to develop a communications program for the village's handling of the situation surrounding its tainted water supply. Also: The law firm Weitz & Luxenberg has been looking for potential litigants in Hoosick Falls. (If that name rings a bell, it's probably because it was the law firm with which Sheldon Silver had a deal setup for referring mesothelioma cases.) [TU+] [TU]

Cohoes school age
The Cohoes school board is seeking permission from the state legislature to lower its mandatory age of attendance from six years to five years. [Troy Record]

Schenectady schools
The Schenectady school district has gotten poorer compared to the rest of the state over the last five years, according to a measurement that takes into account property valuations and income levels in a district. [Daily Gazette]

Norlite
Tests on wastewater pipes draining into the Mohawk from the Norlite facility in Cohoes found mercury levels many times higher than state water quality standards, according to a Times Union review of DEC docs -- the company is up for a new permit from the state. [TU+]

Development on a piece of park land
A survey of Congress Park in Saratoga Springs has revealed that elements of a condo project built by Bonacio Construction along Broadway have made small infringements on park land -- and fixing the situation may require an easement granted by the state legislature. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

High Rock
A central issue in the consideration of the proposed mixed-use projects for High Rock site in downtown Saratoga Springs: parking -- whether there will be enough, or too much. [Saratogian]

Parking concerns for Schenectady residential project
Residents of the Front Street neighborhood told the Schenectady Planning Board this week they're concerned about the parking and traffic impact of a 60-unit residential project proposed for a site between Erie Boulevard and Front Street (map). [Daily Gazette]

She's the first
At age 22, a Rotterdam woman is both the youngest person -- and the first woman -- to become a lieutenant in the Carman Fire Department. [Daily Gazette]

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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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