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 don't understand how people give such leeway to expensive highway boondoggles like this one as compared to the scrutiny the Albany Skyway project is receiving. Sure, there's certainly things to criticize with the Skyway project, but this project appears to save drivers 30 seconds on their way to the Airport at the cost of $50 million dollars! How is this not receiving five times the scrutiny and outrage that the skyway project is receiving?!? Imagine how much good we could do if that $50 million were spent in the City of Albany...

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