Saratoga Springs council passes sidewalk sitting law, Hoosick Falls blood tests reveal PFOA levels, lawn signs combat anti-Muslim rhetoric

Spa City sidewalk sitting law
The Saratoga Springs City Council passed a law on Tuesday banning people from siting or lying on the city's sidewalks. The law passed by a vote of 4 to 1, with only Mayor Joanne Yepsen opposing it. Yepsen said the law, which calls for fees of $50 to $500 and possible imprisonment for repeat offenders was too harsh. Public safety commissioner Chris Matthiessen claims the law is not targeted at the homeless, but is a public safety measure meant to keep people from tripping over obstructions on the sidewalk. [Saratogian][News10][TU][TWCN]

Hoosick Falls
Residents of Hoosick Falls have begun to receive the results of blood tests that show PFOA levels from non detectable to more than 200 micrograms per liter, but as the legislative session is coming to an end, lawmakers are apparently not planning hearings or action on the Hoosick Falls situation. [TU][Politico]

David Sweat
The recently released Inspector General's report on last year's Clinton Correctional Facility prison break shows inmate David Sweat was unrepentant, smug, and eager to talk about the escape, and detailed factors that led to his successful escape plot. [Gazette]

Cigarette sales in Albany
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy is expected to sign a law today that will ban the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to adults under the age of 21. [TU]

Rail from Rensselaer to Schenectady
Work has begun on the long anticipated additional rail track between Rensselaer and Schenectady--an area currently prone to back-ups and delays.[Gazette]

Zika
An Albany County resident has been diagnosed with a confirmed case of Zika (the state Department of Health says the person didn't contract the virus here). [TU]

Zombie buildings
Twenty to thirty "zombie buildings" in Troy will get a new life as part of a $22 million NYS revitalization program. [TU]

A nightmarish game of Whac-a-Mole
John Hendrickson, husband of MaryLou Whitney, has resigned his post as a special advisor to NYRA, saying he's tired of playing "a nightmarish game of Whac-A-Mole" in an effort to help protect racing from the state. [Business Review][TU][Saratogian]

Recovery high schools
As the legislative session winds to a close, the Cuomo administration and state legislators are considering the creation of recovery high schools to help deal with the epidemic of opioid and heroin abuse in the state. [TU]

Teachout/Faso lead in Siena Poll
A recent Siena College/ Time Warner Cable News poll reports Democrat Zephyr Teachout and Republican John Faso with double digit leads in their respective primaries in the race for Chris Gibson's 19th Congressional District seat. [WNYT]

Porcupine killings
Investigators in Albany County are looking for ways to bring charges against a group of Middleburg teens who allegedly killed porcupines for sport by beating the animals to death. [Gazette]

Schenectady car vandals
Schenectady police are looking for the vandals who keyed the sides of about 60 cars in the city since late May. [Gazette]

Medical marijuana
New York State's medical marijuana business is apparently picking up. [TU]

Ramadan lawn signs
A Ramadan lawn sign campaign meant to increase awareness and understanding and battle anti-Muslim rhetoric. [TU]

Happening today

Bela Fleck & The Flecktones at The Egg
"[S]ignature fusion of jazz, bluegrass, funk, rock and classical music." 7:30 pm -- $44.50 and up

Boy and Bear at The Hollow
Indie folk rock. 8 pm -- $15 ahead / $18 day of

Hatebreed at Upstate Concert Hall
Metalcore. With: Devil Driver, Act of Defiance. 8 pm -- $18 ahead / $20 day of

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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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