Details of proposed Albany budget, more clown drama, state official suspended after complaint to the feds, a look inside new distillery

Albany proposed budget
+ Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan released her proposed budget for the city, which her administration says includes a 2 percent reduction in spending. [Sheehan admin]
+ The proposed budget includes an increase in the tax levy, but small reductions in the residential and commercial tax rates because of a larger tax base.
+ The proposed budget also relies on another request from the state for $12.5 million in "Capital City Funding." Sheehan is asking the state for money straight out, not as a "spin up" taken from future planned payments for the ESP. Sheehan said the city has a "systemic gap" in its budget. [Politico]
+ Common Council member Frank Commisso Jr. criticized the lower tax rate/larger levy move as a camouflaged tax increase. And he also criticized a set of salary increases included in the budget (the Sheehan admin says the increases are a response to new overtime rules and an attempt to bring parity to salaries for similar positions). [TWCN] [TU]
+ Something not in the budget: revenue from red light cameras. [News10]

Stolen State Police car
State Police released a few more details about the situation in Schoharie County in which a woman -- who was said to in double-locked handcuffs -- allegedly was able to lock a trooper out of his car and drive off. Also: the Schoharie County Sheriff confirmed that a sheriff's deputy fired two shots when the trooper was allegedly being dragged the car (the sheriff says nothing was hit). [WNYT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Max sentence in Schenectady fatal shooting
The Bronx man convicted (again) in the 2008 shooting death of a man in Schenectady's Hamilton Hill neighborhood was sentenced on Monday to 53 1/2 years to life in prison. That's even longer than the sentenced he got for the first conviction in the case, which was tossed on appeal. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Sentencing in Saratoga County sexual abuse case
Heidi Gannon of Corinth -- who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse in the case in which her husband was convicted of repeatedly sexually abusing two young people over the course of five years -- was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Her husband, Arthur Gannon, was sentenced to 69 years to life in prison last week. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Clowns
+ The Saratoga County Sheriff's Department says multiple local school districts were taking precautions Monday because of a threat from a creepy clown Twitter account. [Daily Gazette]
+ A NYC police department official on the recent national rash of creepy clown sightings and threats: "... I guess our main message is, don't believe the hype and don't be afraid of the clowns." [Politico NY]

Another allegation involving Cuomo admin and developers
A state Department of State official has been suspended after the the administration of Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner alleged in a letter to US Attorney Preet Bharara that the official left a message that "borders on a threat" related to a snag in a development project involving COR Development. (Executives from COR were recently charged in the string of federal allegations involving former Andrew Cuomo aides.) [TU+]

NY-21 Congressional District debate
Among the topics discussed during a debate involving Elise Stefanik (Republican incumbent), Mike Derrick (Democratic challenger), and Matt Funiciello (Green challenger) for the NY-21 Congressional District: taxes and terrorism. [TWCN] [TU]

Proposed Schenectady County budget
The proposed Schenectady County budget includes no tax increase, and a plan for making use of revenue from the Schenectady casino. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

No tax
The proposed Charlton town budget includes no town property tax -- it would be the 35th year in a row like that. [Daily Gazette]

Rensselaer County politics
Among the allegations in a political drama in which a former Troy City Council member was booted from the Rensselaer County Democratic Committee: disloyalty (for supporting a Republican candidate in 2013) and being "a double agent." [Troy Record]

Trampoline law suit
A state Supreme Court jury awarded a woman $800k in a lawsuit against her brother for injuries she sustained in a trampoline accident at his Saratoga County home. [Saratogian]

New distillery
Stopping in at the new Upstate Distilling Company in Saratoga Springs. [TU+]

Stuff going on today

Art Spiegelman
Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman will be at Skidmore for a talk about the history of comics. Spiegelman won the Pulitzer in the 1990s for his graphic novel Maus. (He also created the Garbage Pail Kids series of trading cards.) Tuesday 8 pm, Palamountain Hall -- free

Breathing Lights
The three key people behind the Breathing Light public art project -- artist Adam Frelin, architect Barbara Nelson, and project director Judie Gilmore -- will be at the UAlbany Art Museum for a talk about the project. Tuesday 7 pm -- free

Disenchanted!
Tuesday-Sunday: A touring production of the musical Disenchanted! will be at Proctors. Tuesday-Sunday various times -- $40

Outside Mullingar
Tuesday-Sunday: Capital Rep continues its production of John Patrick Shanley's Outside Mullingar. (It runs through October 16.) Tuesday-Sunday various times -- $20 and up

Nitty Gritty
The Nitty Gritty Poetry Slam is back at the Low Beat. Tuesday 7 pm

Music: Lake Street Dive at Troy Music Hall
"[S]eamlessly incorporates R&B, pop, '60s-era rock, and soul into a unique, dance-party-ready mix." With: Rubblebucket. 8 pm -- $30

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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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