Charges likely to be upgraded against man accused of setting wife on fire, Albany council approves Palace transfer plan, more Troy political drama

Charges likely to be upgraded for Schenectady man accused of setting his wife on fire
Antonio Bargallo -- the Schenectady man accused of setting his wife on fire in their home Saturday -- is being held without bail and is likely to face upgraded charges later this week (he's currently facing charges that include attempted murder). Said a neighbor of Elizabeth Gonzalez, who died of her injuries Sunday, to the Gazette: "She was a beautiful woman." And one of Gonzalez's sons of the situation, to News10: "That man took everything from me and my little brother that man took a lot. No matter how I want to turn it off, he's still my father." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [News10]

Palace transfer plan approved
The Albany Common Council voted 12-3 in favor of a proposal to transfer ownership of the Palace Theater to the non-profit org that runs for the venue for $750,000 paid to the city over 30 years -- the proposal also calls for a community benefits plan to be included in the deal. (The Palace is planning a large renovation and expansion, and the org says it needs to have ownership of the building to move forward.) [TU]

March madness
+ The Siena men's basketball team narrowly missed out on a trip to the NCAA tournament, losing to Iona 87-86 in overtime in the MAAC tournament final at the TU Center Monday night. [TU]
+ The UAlbany men's team advanced to the final of the America East tournament with 63-56 win at Stony Brook Monday night. The Great Danes will face Vermont in Burlington Saturday morning with a spot in the NCAA tournament on the line. [UAlbany]

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Troy fire
An intense fire engulfed an apartment building on 4th Street in downtown Troy overnight (map). [Troy Record]

Troy political drama
Mark Robarge picks through the latest Troy political drama: "Just when you thought things couldn't get any stranger around City Floor, leave it to the Republican majority on the Troy City Council to lower the bar to unprecedented depths of dysfunction." [Troy Record]

Albany mayoral race
Frank Commisso Jr. is set to officially announce he's running for mayor of Albany on Thursday. [Frank Commisso Jr Facebook]

Colonie supervisor race
Albany County legislator Frank Mauriello is set to be the Republican challenger to incumbent Democrat Paula Mahan in the Colonie supervisor race. [TU]

27 years as mayor
Round Lake village mayor Dixie Lee Sacks is stepping down at the end of this month after 27 years in the job: "I want to take a break before they plant me in the ground." [Daily Gazette] [TU]

State of Albany County
Among the topics in Dan McCoy's state of the county address: social services, the county nursing home, opioids, and consolidating 911 dispatch. [TU] [WNYT]

A look at the push for state funding to help people avoid home foreclosure. [Daily Gazette]

Medical marijuana
A lawsuit filed -- and then withdrawn -- by one of the companies not originally picked to a medical marijuana license alleged that decisions made in the first round of licensing were made in part based on political considerations. [TU+]

Troy poles
Those tall poles being erected in Troy that no one seemed to know what they were for? Apparently they have something to do with new 5G mobile service. [WNYT]

RPI hockey coach fired
RPI fired men's hockey coach Seth Appert after 11 seasons and an 8-28-1 season this school year. [Troy Record]

Concerns about high school basketball coach
The Record's Sam Blum takes a long look at allegations that Troy's varsity girls basketball coach has acted in ways that made players feel targeted and emotionally distressed. [Troy Record]

Stars in town
+ Adam Levine from Maroon 5 stopped into Saratoga Coffee Traders for some Death Wish Coffee Monday. [News10]
+ John Mayer is planning a week of rehearsals at the TU Center later this month before starting off his tour there March 31. [Daily Gazette]

Flying to WGNA
Popular local morning radio team Brian Cody and Chrissy Cavotta are leaving Fly 92 for WGNA. [TU]

Stuff going on today

Black Lives Matter in the Trump Era
Tuesday: Princeton professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor will be at Albany Law to talk about the Black Lives Matter movement. She's studied the the social movement's response to police violence and and the role of race in public housing policy. Tuesday 4, 1928 Building - free (registration required)

Diane Ackerman
Tuesday: Diane Ackerman will be at the State Museum to talk about her nonfiction bestseller The Zookeeper's Wife, which was recently adapted into a film. "The book and film tell the little known true story of a Warsaw zookeeper's family that saved 300 Jews during the Holocaust." Tuesday 8 pm, Clark Auditorium -- free

The Catskills
Tuesday: The Brainfood for the Curious series of short lunchtime talks at the State Museum continues with Chuck Ver Straeten talking about the 400 million-year-old history of the rocks that make up the Catskills. Tuesday 12:10-12:30 pm, Huxley Theater -- free

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

Music: Maroon 5 at TU Center
Rescheduled from last fall. With: R. City. 7:30 pm -- $30.50 and up


The giveaway of the Palace is awful. What are they thinking?

The Palace is a very old building with a long list of needed repairs. As an old building, it's very costly to maintain. A complete renovation is also very expensive. The non-profit organization is much more capable of raising that money as a charity than the City would ever be. If it's lucky and well-run, after the renovation and expansion, the Palace will turn an operating profit. But it will never recoup the capital investment. As such, the property really has no commercial value.

Take for example the very successful Proctors Theater in Schenectady. It depends on volunteer workers to operate. Any organization that depends on volunteers cannot be considered to have viable commercial value. Sure, if a for profit entity took it over, it might eek out some money for a while, but deferred maintenance would catch up pretty quickly and it would go under.

In the age of Netflix, we should be grateful that the non-profit is willing to take responsibility for the building and seek the funding to renovate and expand.

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