Bernie Sanders back in Albany, LGBT flag burning being investigated as a hate crime, a commencement speech declaration

Bernie Sanders in Albany
Bernie Sanders is scheduled to give a speech at The Egg Friday -- his campaign is calling it a ""Where We Go From Here" speech. People were already lined up by 8:30 this morning for the midday event. On MSNBC Friday morning Sanders said he would vote for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. [Sanders campaign] [TU] [NYT]

Rainbow flag burned at Damien Center
The Albany Damien Center reported Thursday that the LGBT rainbow banner in front of the church that currently houses the center was set on fire sometime overnight Wednesday to Thursday morning in an apparent act of vandalism. Albany police say department detectives and the FBI are investigating and they're treating the incident as a possible hate crime. The Damien Center provides services to people living with HIV. Said Perry Junjulas, its executive director, to the Times Union: "When I saw it, it was this automatic almost punch-in-the-gut feeling, like 'Oh my God, there are people out there who really do hate us, and they're right here.'" [Albany Damien Center FB] [APD] [WNYT] [TU]

Troy charter changes might not go through
Troy city officials are looking into whether the city charter changes approved by voters last fall -- including the elimination of two city council seats -- can go into effect as planned because it appears the city might not have followed the proper procedural steps for making the changes. [Troy Record]

New Scotland bobcat attack
The state Department of Environmental Conservation said Thursday that an examination of the bobcat that attacked two people in New Scotland this week revealed that the cat had porcupine quills stuck in its face and had recently been skunked. Tests indicating whether the bobcat had rabies haven't come back yet, but a DEC spokesman said it's almost certain the cat had rabies because bobcats rarely show themselves to people, much less attack them. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Uber/Lyft
After the state legislature's impasse on the an insurance issue that prevents them from operating outside NYC, Uber and Lyft are both now looking toward 2017. [TU]

Homeless shelters
A state comptroller's office review of homeless shelters around the state (outside NYC) concluded that many are in "substandard condition with numerous health and safety issues." Three of those shelters were in Albany County. [NYS OSC] [TU]

Guns
Elise Stefanik on the sit-in by House Democrats this week over a gun-control bill, an event that included Paul Tonko: "I am a legislator, not a protester ... As a strong Second-Amendment advocate, I believe there are legislative solutions we can agree on that protect civil liberties and constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, and keep guns out of the hands of terrorists." [TU]

Hit and run aftermath
The mother of the boy struck by a vehicle in an alleged hit and run in Wilton earlier this month says he's recovering, but still has to wear a neck brace, can only eat soft foods, and has balance issues. [TU]

Closed after a century and a half
Thursday was the last day of the school for St. Augustine's Catholic school in Troy, which is closing after 147 years because low enrollment. [TWCN] [WNYT]

"So, I'd like to share a little-known fact about myself. I'm bisexual."
The Shen valedictorian publicly revealed that he's bisexual during his speech at the school's commencement Thursday -- he got a standing ovation. [Daily Gazette]

A diploma at age 66
A Saratoga Springs man who had been expelled from Saratoga Springs High School in 1967 -- and went on to lead a very interesting life -- got his diploma Thursday. [TU+]

"It was just a fun, goofy thing."
The mother of the two guys from Menands whose viral wedding date posting on Craigslist was the inspiration for the upcoming movie Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates: "They are pretty funny boys." [TU+]

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Imagine if a mixed use development - apartments, townhouses, restaurants, offices, a park - were built on the Rensselaer riverfront, and people on both sides could go to work and go out in either Albany or Renss, just by walking to a gondola station? If people had reason to traverse the Hudson - in both directions - for a reason other than commuting or getting to/from the train station, a gondola could be an awesome (and financially self-sustaining) idea, that also cuts down on the need for parking. ...

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