Criticism of UAlbany's handling of bus incident, Troy council pushing for input on 1 Monument Square, a confusing winter for skunks

UAlbany bus incident
An attorney for one of the women charged in the UAlbany bus incident is pushing back on the way the university is handling the situation, arguing the timing of the school's student conduct hearing scheduled for this week potentially compromises the women's ability to defend themselves in criminal court -- and criticizes the university for arranging a list of witnesses for the hearing that doesn't include anyone said to have been on the bus. (Here's the full statement.) [TWCN]

Leaked Troy 911 call
Reaction to the news that a Troy police detective sergeant has been suspended, allegedly in connection with the leaking of the Gordon 911 call during last year's mayoral election:
+ Jim Gordon in a statement: "The attempt to over focus on a previously closed issue for the sole purpose of political gain has no role in our society, just as we have no use for those who committed these crimes" [News10]
+ Troy Republican committee chair Thomas Casey: "Unfortunately, it's par for the course for the Troy City and Rensselaer County Democratic committees ... None of this is for the betterment of Troy; it's basically for power and to line their own pockets." [TWCN]
+ Rensselaer County Democratic chair Tom Wade said he wasn't involved in the call's release. [WNYT]

Watervliet police
The city of Watervliet and its police union are fighting over whether former officer Joshua Spratt -- who pleaded guilty to a criminal sex act with a Watervliet High School student while he was the school's resource officer -- retired or resigned before pleading guilty; $20k in benefits are at stake in the distinction. [TU]

Corrections officer arrested
Rotterdam police say they arrested a corrections officer who works at the Coxsackie Correctional Facility for allegedly damaging a woman's vehicle six different times. [TU]

Push back on new Albany Parking Authority leader
The Albany Common Council is holding off on voting on three appointments to the Albany Parking Authority board
after council member Judd Krasher requested a legal review of the hiring process in which Matthew Peter, mayor Kathy Sheehan's chief of staff, was picked to head the authority. [TU]

1 Monument Square
Troy City Council president Carmella Mantello is pushing for mayor Patrick Madden to meet with the council to discuss its views about the controversial 1 Monument Square proposal. [Troy Record]

The Schenectady city workforce
Despite a campaign in recent years, the city of Schenectady hasn't made much progress in diversifying its workforce, the Schenectady County affirmative action officer reported to the city council Monday. [TU]

Schenectady school funding
A coalition advocating for increased state aid for Schenectady schools was at the state Capitol Monday pushing for $62 million more a year. [Daily Gazette]

Carried interest tax
What is the carried interest tax loophole, and why was a group called the "Patriotic Millionaires" at the Capitol Monday pushing for it to be closed. [NYT] [TU]

New Albany-Rensselaer track
A fourth track at the Albany-Rensselaer train station is now operational, which should help ease train congestion there. [TU]

Salt surplus
The mild winter has resulted in surpluses (so far) of both salt and overtime funding for the town of Colonie. [TWCN]

GlobalFoundries
Contrary to reports in recent months, the head of the Abu Dhabi state fund that owns GlobalFoundries says the chip maker is not for sale. [TU] [Reuters]

Minimum wages
Walmart says it's increasing its minimum pay rate to $10 per hour for its employees in the Capital Region were hired before January 1, and for new employees after they complete a six-month training program. [TU]

Downtown Albany retail
Talking with the owner of Amore Clothing, a longtime presence on State Street in downtown Albany, about moving his shop to Colonie. [TU+]

Mohawk Harbor bike trail
The Schenectady County Legislature is set to name the bike trail at Mohawk Harbor the "Alco Heritage Trail," after the locomotive manufacturer that was once there. [Daily Gazette]

Marathon dance record
The South High Marathon Dance in Glens Falls this past weekend raised more than $762k, beating the old record by $140k.

Skunks
Rotterdam's animal control officer on the warm winter, which has been busy with skunk calls: "It's like they don't know whether they should hibernate or not." [TU+]

Stuff going on today

Stories
Tuesday: The Front Parlor storytelling series returns to The Ale House in Troy. This month's theme: money. Tuesday 7:30 pm

Tour of the Stephen & Harriet Myers Residence
Tuesday: History Albany Foundation is hosting a tour of the Stephen & Harriet Myers Residence in Albany. They Myers were agents for Albany's node in the Underground Railroad. And they helped hundreds of people escape slavery. Tuesday 5:30 pm - $10 (registration required)

Spiritual housekeeping
Tuesday: UNC-Charlotte professor of religious studies Sean McCloud will be at Skidmore to talk about his recently published book American Possessions: Fighting Demons in the Contemporary United States. Blurbage: "In this talk, Dr. McCloud will focus on the [American Evangelical] Third Wave practice of 'spiritual housekeeping," in which demons are removed from household objects which bind people to bad habits and inherited patterns of sin." Tuesday 6 pm, Palamountain Hall - free

Music: Tinashe at Upstate Concert Hall
"R&B punctuated by hip-hop attitude, pop flavor, rock swagger, and electronica spark." With: Jahkoy, DJ TGIF. 8 pm - $25 ahead / $28 day of

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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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