Glenville explosion injuries three people, another large rate increase proposed for Troy, money diverted from funding for 911, ViaPort aquarium sets opening date

Glenville explosion
An explosion at an asphalt company on the Mohawk River in Glenville injured three people Monday and sent a plume of smoke into the air. The three people were taken to a hospital, one by helicopter. The Thomas Corners fire chief said it appeared the explosion happened while workers were doing something involving a valve connecting a holding tank to a tanker truck. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU]

Troy death investigation
Troy police were investigating the death of a man in his Glen Ave apartment. TPD said Monday the night the death is suspicious -- and also appears to be an isolated incident. [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

Alain Kaloyeros
The total compensation for Alain Kaloyeros related to SUNY Poly/CNSE -- including salary and income from research grants -- totaled almost $12 million. [TU+]

Trial in assault of Schenectady police officer
James Hilton -- accused of assaulting Schenectady police officer Mark Weekes on State Street in August 2015 -- testified at his trial Monday that he had an "out-of-body experience" during the incident. His attorney is mounting a not-guilty-by-mental-disease-or-defect defense related to post-traumatic stress disorder (he served in Iraq with the Marines). [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Troy sewer rate increase
Troy mayor Patrick Madden is proposing a 17.5 percent increase in the city's sewer rate -- he said the increase is necessary to deal with costs that should have been handled in the past, including costs associated with the regional combined sewer overflow plan. City council president Carmella Mantello says she's opposed to the increase. (Madden and Mantello are already at odds over Madden's proposed budget, which includes a 28-percent increase in the property tax rate.) [Troy Record] [TU]

Albany County policy change could cost cities
A proposal for Albany County to stop making cities whole up front on fees levied to delinquent properties could result in a $2 million deficit for the city of Albany, according to city officials. [TU]

Downtown Albany residential project tax breaks
The two new-construction residential projects planned for downtown Albany are looking for tax breaks that would deviate from the typical policy of the city's IDA. [Biz Review]

From an AP article over the weekend: "New York trails other states in modernizing its 911 systems to handle greater cellphone use, in part because lawmakers routinely divert money intended for that purpose and use it to plug holes in the state budget." On Monday, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple called the the 911 surcharge on mobile phone bills a "huge deception" because much of the money doesn't end up aiding the system. [AP/TU] [TWCN]

NY-21 debate
A debate for the NY-21 Congressional District -- Elise Stefanik (incumbent R), Mike Derrick (D), Matt Funiciello (G) -- focused on health care, veterans, and broadband access. Also, afterward, Stefanik said of the presidential election: "I'm supporting my party's nominee but I'll continue being an independent voice for the district and critical when I disagree with both. Thank you." -- and then promptly left. [Politico NY] [WNYT]

Rally for direct care workers pay increase
Groups representing direct care workers who care for people with disabilities in New York were at the Capitol Monday rallying for the state budget to include money for pay raises. [TU] [TWCN]

State pension fund investments criticized
The state's Department of Financial Services issued a report criticizing the use of hedge funds and private equity funds as investments for a portion of the state Common Retirement Fund (the investments tend to have high costs associated with them) -- the report also may have served as a shot to get state comptroller Tom DiNapoli to back off his recent criticism of the Cuomo admin. [NYS DFS] [TU]

ViaPort aquarium
There's now a specific opening date for the aquarium at the ViaPort mall in Rotterdam: November 12. [Daily Gazette]

Chris Churchill on the Capital Region's often-enthusiastic reception of new chains, and the controversy attached to Chick-fil-A. (The chain is planning a location in Halfmoon, and probably others around the region.) [TU+]

The First Lady of Burlesque
The life and times of April March -- the 81-year-old "first lady of burlesque", and resident of a Saratoga County log cabin for more than two decades. [TU+]

Stuff going on today

An American in Paris
Tuesday-Friday: The touring production of the Broadway musical An American in Paris continues its run at Proctors. "An American in Paris is a new hit musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war." Tuesday-Friday various times -- $25.75 and up

Romeo and Juliet
The American Shakespeare Center's production of Romeo and Juliet will be at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center. Tuesday 7:30 pm (music starts at 7 pm) -- $15, $10 for students ahead / $20, $15 for students day of

Boston's "street doctor"
Dr. James O'Connell -- founder of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program -- will be at Saint Rose for a talk "Reflections from the Street: 30 Years of Caring for Rough Sleepers in Boston." Tuesday 7 pm, Lally School of Education (1009 Madison Ave) -- free

Nitty Gritty
The Nitty Gritty poetry slam series is back at The Low Beat. Tuesday 7 pm

Music: Tommy Castro and The Painkillers at The Upper Room
Blues and rock. 7 pm -- $25 and up

Music: Bob Moses at Nanola
Electronic. A band, not one guy. An EQX show. 9 pm -- free


The issue of the county fronting delinquent property fees for municipalities is an interesting one. There are compelling arguments on both sides: Residents countywide shouldn't necessarily have to deal with the solvency problems of municipalities they don't live, work, etc. in; however the municipalities take a huge hit in those payments being delayed during the foreclosure process, the county does get that money back and then some, and in the big picture the county has an interest in keeping the municipalities financially stable.

Will be interesting to see if that gets vetoed, and if not, what the true impact will be. Hopefully this will spur more action on the underlying issues, but don't hold your breath.

FYI Kaloyeros' wife is a grant administrator with Research Foundation, the very place that contributes to that exorbitant salary. I wonder why this apparent conflict of interest was permitted to continue for so long. Who enabled that?

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