Poll: state corruption is voter concern, two killed in Schenectady house fire, Saratoga council censures mayor

Quinnipiac Poll on corruption is an issue in NY
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows 87 percent of those questioned said government corruption is a serious problem in New York. 48 percent said Andrew Cuomo was part of the problem and 36 percent thought he was part of the solution. The poll also showed Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 47 to 35 percent among New York State voters.[Politico]
[TU][TWCN]

Schenectady fire kills two people
A house fire in Schenectady on Tuesday claimed the lives of a 5-year-old girl and a 26-year-old man with disabilities.[Gazette][TU]

Spa City Council censures mayor
Following a heated debate, the Saratoga Springs City Council voted Tuesday to censure mayor Joanne Yepsen for seeking outside consulting work with Saratoga Hospital while the city was considering a $14 million hospital expansion project, and abstaining from a vote on the project. Yepsen said she abstained after consulting the ethics board.[Saratogian][News 10] [TU]

Troy finances
Recently released Troy finance records show revenue in the city was up last quarter over 2015, in part because of a tax hike and some increased fees, but notes serious financial concerns including rising overtime in the fire department and the potential loss of $1.1 million in tax revenues from the sale of city property. [Record]

2016 legislative votes
A look at how local legislators voted in the last session. [TU]

Cuomo at the convention
Andrew Cuomo expects to have a speaking role at the upcoming Democratic Convention.[TU]

Tappan Zee crane collapse
No one was injured on Tuesday when a crane being used in the construction of the new Tappan Zee bridge, collapsed in the middle of traffic on the current bridge on Tuesday. [NYT]

MMA insurance hikes
New York State will require boxers and MMA fighters to get more than $1 million in insurance to cover life-threatening brain injuries. [WNYT]

Washington Park parking
Parking restrictions have been temporarily lifted in Albany's Washington Park while crews are paving in the neighborhood.[TU]

Park Playhouse will try for Monday night concerts
Park Playhouse will make another bid to host Monday night concerts in Washington Park for the summer of 2017.[TU]

St Patrick's Day parade
Donations of $10,000 will offset expenses of the Albany Saint Patrick's Day parade. [WNYT]

Fahy bikes the Canalway
Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy is the first state legislator to bike the Canalway ride from Buffalo to Albany.[TU]

Viral video not what it seems
A viral Facebook video that at first appears to be a man hitting a police officer was actually a man fist bumping the officer, who was a friend. The officer was comforting the mentally challenged man who was crying after being taunted by the people who were shooting the video. [WNYT] [TWCN]

Happening today

Saratoga County Fair
County fair season starts with the Saratoga County Fair at the fairgrounds in Ballston Spa. This is the 175th year for the fair. Admission is $12 / season ticket is $40 / shorter than 52 inches is free / active military free with ID card / unlimited ride wristband is $20

Stage

A Night with Janis Joplin
Capital Rep continues its production of A Night with Janis Joplin. Blurbage: "A Night with Janis Joplin is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences - trailblazers like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith - who inspired one of Rock 'n' Roll's greatest legends." Tuesday-Sunday various times - $25 and up

Williamstown Theatre Festival
The Williamstown Theatre Festival's season continues with The Chinese Room on the Nikos Stage (it runs through July 23). And the new comedy Romance Novels for Dummies starts on the main stage Wednesday (it runs through July 31). various times -- $40 and up

Park Playhouse
The Park Playhouse in Albany's Washington Park continues its production of Chicago. (It runs through July 30). Tuesday-Saturday 8 pm -- free on the lawn / reserve tickets $16 and up

NYC Ballet

The NYC Ballet returns to SPAC, where it will be performing through July 30. This week's performances include George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream and the annual ballet gala this coming Saturday. Wednesday-Saturday various times -- $35 and up

NYS Writers Institute

Novelists Rick Moody (Hotels of North America, The Ice Storm, Purple America) and Kathryn Davis (Duplex, The Thin Place, Versailles) is today's featured author at The NYS Summer Writers Institute reading series at Skidmore.

The Felice Brothers at Rockin' on the River
Americana. With: The Parlor. 5 pm -- free

Black Joe Lewis at the Empire State Plaza
Blues, funk, soul. With: MIRK, Sonny Knight and the Lakers. 5 pm -- free

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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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