Focus on Schenectady code enforcement following Jay Street fire charges, Schumer and Gillibrand call for Sessions to resign, what are those tall poles in Troy for?

Jay Street fire
Said Schenectady County DA Robert Carney Thursday of Schenectady code enforcement officer Kenneth Tyree, who had been arraigned earlier in the day on charges including second-degree manslaughter in the 2015 Jay Street fire that caused the deaths of four people: "He just didn't do his job." The prosecution alleges that building manager Jason Sacks -- who was also charged with second-degree murder Thursday -- had allowed the fire alarm and smoke detection system at 104 Jay St. to be inoperable for five weeks leading up to the fire, and Tyree didn't flag the problem and make the necessary warnings. (A survivor of the fire had said from the start that he never heard a fire alarm.) [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [News10]

The charges against Tyree cast more questions about the state of Schenectady's code enforcement department, the head of which committed suicide last month and friends told the Times Union he had been demoralized about his job. (Carney said Thursd the department head wasn't a target of the investigation and knew that.) The department is set to be audited by the state comptroller's office. [Daily Gazette] [TU+] [TU]

High winds
The high winds Thursday contributed to 35,000 power outages around the region, including one side of Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs. [Daily Gazette]

CDPHP indoor swimming in-post ad

Jeff Sessions
Both Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand called for US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign because of his false confirmation hearing testimony about contact with Russian officials. Later in the day Sessions said he would recuse himself from investigations into possible Russian involvement with the presidential election. [@SenSchumer] [Gillibrand office] [NYT]

Affordable Care Act repeal
On Thursday Paul Tonko joined in the snipe hunt at the Capitol for the House Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. [TU] [Vox]

Arrest in Washington Ave stabbing
Albany police say a 22-year-old city man has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a man multiple times on Washington Ave (block map) in the early morning of September 18. He's alleged to told the other man, "I'm going to kill you." [APD] [TU]

Albany state aid
Kathy Sheehan on the new Albany Capital Center and the city's push for additional state aid: "This is about putting in place the building blocks to a sustainable future. But you can't equate the roughly $75 million that was put into building this building to $75 million to help run the operations of the City of Albany." [Politico NY]

Kindergarten funding
A look at he push for more state aid for the few school districts around the state that still don't offer full-day kindergarten -- including the large Shen school district -- to add the program. [TU]

Albany County nursing home
The plan on the table for a $60 million renovation of the Albany County nursing home. The state and feds would reimburse about 3/4 of the cost. [TU] [WNYT]

Glenville pollution block plan
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has a $16 million plan to stop the underground spread of toxic chemicals from a former factory site toward homes along Sunnyside Road in Glenville. The project would involve injecting neutralizing chemicals into 21 acres of land. [Daily Gazette] [TU+]

Van Rensselaer Boulevard
The state Department of Transportation is planning a road diet for Van Rensselaer Boulevard in Menands. [TU]

Crossgates hotel
There's a proposal to build a 200-room hotel on the south side of Crossgates Mall along Western Ave. [Daily Gazette]

Tall Troy poles
Why doesn't anyone in Troy seem to know why tall poles -- perhaps for telecommunications equipment -- are being erected around the city? [News10]

Shared meters
The story of a fight between a landlord and a South Glens Falls family highlights the problem -- and rules -- about shared utility meters. [TU+]

Robert Higgins
Robert Higgins, the Albany businessman who built Trans World Entertainment into a billion dollar company, has died at age 75. Albany Med CEO James Barba credits Higgins with helping lead the medical center through financial trouble in the 1990s as chair of the board there. [Biz Review] [TU]

Weird winter
The owner of DeVoe's Rainbow Orchard in Clifton Park on the oddly warm winter weather and the possibly damaging effects for farmers: "If you think going to the new (Schenectady) casino is a risk, try farming." [Saratogian]

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Recent Comments

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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