Investigation of fatal Colonie pedestrian crash, Cuomo pushing for early voting, infrastructure wish list, remembering Capital Roots founder

Fatal pedestrian crash in Colonie
Colonie police say they're investigating the death of a pedestrian on Watervliet-Shaker Road near the I-87 overpass early Sunday morning as a potential hit and run -- and they're looking for a vehicle that may be a Mazda 6 with front-end damage. Police had originally thought the person had been lying in the road when a vehicle hit him and the driver called in the incident, but the presence of parts from a different car have led them to think there might have been an earlier crash. That stretch of road doe not have sidewalks. [CPD press release] [TU] [TWCN] [News10]

State of the State tour
Andrew Cuomo's State of the State tour starts today in New York City and Buffalo -- he's expected to push a plan to allow early voting and detail a proposal to open the way for services such as Uber and Lyft to operate upstate. (See also: A look at some of the labor issues surrounding the taxi app debate.) [TU] [Poughkeepsie Journal] [TU+]

Zooming out a bit: How Cuomo is shaping his agenda in light of the upcoming Trump administration. [Politico NY]

College tuition plan
A look at who will -- and won't -- be helped by Cuomo's proposed free tuition plan for SUNY and CUNY. [TU+]

And some of the pushback on the plan, including this from a UAlbany alum and partner at a large Albany law firm: "I would look less highly upon those resumes [of candidates from the state schools and community colleges] if I knew those schools and colleges were free" because, in his mind, students wouldn't be as committed to their education if it was free. [Biz Review]

Indian Point
New York State has reach an agreement with the company that operates Indian Point to shut down the nuclear power plant along the Hudson River by April 2021. (Andrew Cuomo has been pushing for the closure because he says the plan it too close to NYC.) The plant produces enough electricity to supply 1/4 of the demand of NYC and Westchester County, prompting questions about how the state will cover the gap -- and how environmentally friendly the new supply will be. [Politics on the Hudson] [NYT] [Politico NY]

Obamacare
New York State says 3.5 million people have already enrolled in health plans through NY State of Health during this period -- up from 2.8 million during the last enrollment period. [TU]

Meanwhile: Phil Steck told constituents about an idea for a single-payer system in New York modeled on Medicare. [TU]

Hoosick Falls
A look at the tangled web of legal arguments involving the class action suit filed on behalf of Hoosick Falls residents for contamination of the village's water supply. [TU+]

Infrastructure
What's on local leaders' infrastructure wish lists: new sewer pipes, road re-paving, transportation projects, and waterfront access. [TU+]

Rensselaer County DA
The grandmother of Viola Davis -- the Lansingburgh two year old whose father was acquitted of causing her death at trial this past August -- is criticizing how the Rensselaer County DA's office handled the case, the latest in a string of criticisms and controversies involving the office. [Troy Record]

SAFE Act
Officials in Renssealer and Saratoga counties are criticizing how State Police are handling handgun recertification required under the SAFE Act. [Troy Record]

Alleged yearbook funds theft
The Saratoga Springs school district says it's reviewing policies after a now-former teacher was accused of stealing $3k from a middle school yearbook club. [Daily Gazette]

Esperance swastika graffiti
State Police say they've arrested a 13 year old for the series of swastikas recently painted around the village of Esperance. [Daily Gazette]

Trump nominee buys Saratoga Springs house
Vincent Viola -- Donald Trump's nominee for Army secretary, and the billionaire owner of a financial firm and the Florida Panthers NHL team -- has bought a $2.5 million house in Saratoga Springs. [Saratogian]

That cold
It's not just -- a lot of people seem to have "The Cold." [TU+]

Capital Roots founder remembered
Dean Leith -- founder of the community gardens org that became Capital Roots -- has died at age 84. Leith was also the former CEO of Garden Way, the Troy-Bilt rototiller company -- the community gardens org grew out of a company service project. [TU+] [Troy Record]

Comments

""I would look less highly upon those resumes [of candidates from the state schools and community colleges] if I knew those schools and colleges were free" because, in his mind, students wouldn't be as committed to their education if it was free."

That ranks right up there with the stupidest s*** i've ever read.

Rich Honen, the attorney at Phillips Lytle, who says he would have to start looking “less highly” at resumes of Students from State Schools if they were free might want to look instead at where the costs of higher education come from. Cuomo’s plan would only make TUITION free for those that qualify. Tuition, as anyone who has gone to college and paid it themselves knows, is only a small part of the cost. Books, housing, food, clothing, fees, transportation come to about 40% of expenses for higher education. Honen must have never had to make the choice between buying that $200 text book or eating. And one could argue that tuition fees are already heavily subsidized at State school like SUNY Albany where Honen attended. If someone from a lower income family can make it through four years of college and come out of it without spending the rest of their lives in debt, it points to a pretty resourceful person, and certainly not one who was less committed to their education.

"And some of the pushback on the plan, including this from a UAlbany alum and partner at a large Albany law firm: "I would look less highly upon those resumes [of candidates from the state schools and community colleges] if I knew those schools and colleges were free" because, in his mind, students wouldn't be as committed to their education if it was free. [Biz Review]"

I guess this particular law firm just doesn't know how to evaluate applicants based on demonstrated skills and knowledge. So they just go with an elitist attitude that focuses on superficiality rather than substance. (I bet applicants get extra points for wearing white shoes.)

"That ranks right up there with the stupidest s*** i've ever read."

ed - you beat me to it!!!

I suppose this same person would never consider hiring anyone from a foreign university because they're free or low cost. Oxford, for example, costs about ten grand a year. Real dump, from what I've heard.

Or the University of Edinborough, home of Adam Smith and Daivd Hume, tuition for which is now over $2,000 annually. You can't get a decent used Honda Civic for that.

Hey, Mr. Honen, what about those graduates from tuition-dependent private universities that give their professors' flack for failing students for not doing the work, because it means they might lose tuition money? Keep in mind, many of these professors, in this day and age, are not tenured.

The Cuomo plan/Sanders plan on higher education is a plan I support. Education shouldn't be something one has to purchase and that you spend your lifetime paying back. Like a sharecropper. This society has become so capitalist/economy driven its really scary. We need to change our ways.

Looks like we all had the same response to that quote from the UAlbany alum Rich Honen.

I received tuition assistance through my employer, covering the last two years of my degree - making it FREE. I think I was exceptionally fortunate to have that benefit. I don't think it devalued my degree. Who would ever even ask how I paid for school?

TAP and PELL grants have long offered assistance for tuition (sometimes covering in full) for those who qualify. This newly proposed tuition program would only assist those families with income between 50k and 125k. Students from wealthier families might also choose to attend SUNY schools, as they are a reasonably affordable choice for everyone - Is this guy saying that any/all SUNY degrees would be tarnished because of more equal access?

Does he routinely ask his applicants how they paid for college?

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