Protesters interrupt Sheehan's State of the City address, Hulett Street fire info reward increased, Albany teens win national song contest

Sheehan's State of the City address interrupted
Protesters calling for the firing of the police officers involved with the death of Dontay Ivy, as well as police chief Brendan Cox, interrupted Kathy Sheehan's State of the City address for about 20 minutes Monday evening at Albany City Hall. They also repeated the call for the city's police force to be disarmed. In her speech, Sheehan pointed to a city goal to implement better policing, including body cameras and implicit bias train -- an effort she said was working to "shake the legacy of racism that we have, that was earned and that was reprehensible." [News10] [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU]

The protest also marked a public announcement of the formation of an upstate chapter of Black Lives Matter. [Daily Gazette]

Albany schools
Acting Albany schools superintendent Kimberly Young Wilkins, a longtime principal in the district, on the situation she's facing: "I've been here for 25 years. We have weathered storms, and we're going to weather this." School board president Kenneth Bruce also addressed the ouster of former superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard last week: "This decision was based on merit. Job security is based on performance. When there's performance, there's security and when there isn't, there isn't." He also fell back on the "personnel decision" reason for not explaining the decision in more detail. [TU] [News10] [WNYT] [TWCN]

Bigger reward for Hulett Street fire info
The reward for info in the fatal 2013 Hulett Street in Schenectady is now $40,000. It's the fire in which a father and three children were killed -- and Sa'Fyre Terry was seriously injured. The now eight-year-old girl appeared at the warehouse where volunteers are opening the millions of cards and packages sent to her Monday to thank everyone for their efforts. Said Terry's aunt: "The outpouring of love for Sa'fyre has been absolutely amazing, but there's no gift that can beat the gift of justice that she so rightfully deserves." [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Rescue from Guilderland fire
Officials say four people rescued from a house fire in Guilderland over the weekend have been moved to a burn unit at SUNY Upstate Medical Center. [TU]

Former surgeon sentenced
Jeffrey Gundel, a former surgeon from the Saratoga Springs area, was sentenced to 6.5 in prison after pleading guilty to writing prescriptions for at least 59k oxycodone pills in return for kickbacks. The feds say the pills had a street value of $1.7 million. During the sentencing federal judge Mae D'Agostino said Gundel had "become a common criminal drug dealer." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Sartogian]

Hoosick Falls water
Politico's Scott Waldman: "After testifying for four hours on unrelated health issues during a state budget meeting, [state health commissioner Dr. Howard] Zucker quickly left the hearing room and his staff physically blocked three reporters who repeatedly tried to ask the commissioner about the water problems in the Rensselear County community." [Politico NY]

Cohoes water
After the Times Union reported tests indicated a Norlite plan pipe emptying into the Mohawk River had above-state-limit levels of mercury, Cohoes mayor Shawn Morse said the city's drinking water intake is up river of the pipe and it doesn't pose a risk to the city's water supply. [TU]

Zephyr Teachout for the NY19
Zephyr Teachout on her run for the NY19 Congressional District: "I think part of the reason that so many people feel shut out of the political process is because it feels like it's become all about the money ... And I have a lot of respect for voters and I think they're willing to listen to the message, not the money." Also:: "I really believe that you can stand up to the establishment and still be gracious." [Daily Gazette] [NYT]

NYSERDA and Malta site
The latest turn in the ongoing drama involving NYSERDA, the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park, and SUNY Poly: it's looking like NYSERDA won't be turning over the property to SUNY Poly. [TU]

Niskayuna grad rate error
The Niskayuna school district says a "clerical error" resulted in the district reporting incorrect high school graduation numbers to the state -- and that its rate was 94 percent, not 90.

Rensselaer infrastructure
The city of Rensselaer has started a $10 million project more than 9 miles of water main and sewer lines. [WNYT]

Gas prices
Gasoline prices in the Capital Region have fallen below $2 a gallon in some places. [Troy Record]

Going to the Grammys
Two teens from Albany's Myers Middle School won a national contest for a song they recorded and the prize includes an invite to the Grammys. [TU+]

Stuff going on today

Naked Influence
Capital Rep premieres Naked Influence, a new play by Suzanne Bradbeer. Blurbage:

A dancer's past. A woman's future. The seductive and lucrative world of strip clubs sets the stage for this spellbinding tale about a charismatic exotic dancer who finds herself engulfed in a doomed relationship with a congressman. She wants to leave the club life behind for a fresh start, but is she powerful enough to untangle herself from her former life?

The production runs through February 14. Tuesday-Sunday various times - $20 and up

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Recent Comments

I don't understand how people give such leeway to expensive highway boondoggles like this one as compared to the scrutiny the Albany Skyway project is receiving. Sure, there's certainly things to criticize with the Skyway project, but this project appears to save drivers 30 seconds on their way to the Airport at the cost of $50 million dollars! How is this not receiving five times the scrutiny and outrage that the skyway project is receiving?!? Imagine how much good we could do if that $50 million were spent in the City of Albany...

Here's the proposed design for the Albany Skyway

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Follow up: Delaware Supply

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How to handle a situation involving a neighbor and uncertain future for a shared property?

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