Abelove files civil suit over Cuomo order, Capital Region population rank drops, unattended cooking oil blamed for Colonie fire, Siena students create arm for 7-year-old Ugandan girl

Abelove
Less than a week after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office seized the cellphone of Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove in an investigation into the death of a civilian in a confrontation with police, has filed a civil complaint in state Supreme Court seeking to overturn Andrew Cuomo's order giving the NYS attorney general authority to supersede local DAs in such cases. [TU]

Capital Region population
Fixed According to newly released U.S. Census data, Capital Region population rank relative to other metros slipped a few places. [TU]

NY Dems lobby against ACA repealing replace
Top state officials are doing some last minute lobbying to try to influence House Republicans from NY to vote against the measure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. [Gazette][TU]

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Troy shooting, school lockdown
A shooting in a taxi cab on Sixth Avenue in Troy early Thursday morning led to a lock down at School 12 on First Street in the city. [TU]

Schenectady bank robber
Schenectady police are looking for the man who robbed a Trustco bank branch on Union Street on Wednesday afternoon. [Gazette]

Transit
CDTA and other upstate transit systems say they're carrying more riders and need more state aid. [Gazette]

State Senator indicted
A current and former State Senator from Western New York have been indicted on felony election law violations. [WNYT][TWCN]

Fire
Investigations have determined that the Colonie apartment fire that displaced 100 residents started with unattended cooking oil on a stove. [Gazette]

Casino fined
Rivers Casino was fined $6,000 by the NYS Gaming Commission over an underage gambling incident. [Gazette]

State testing
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia told the TU editorial board that she does not think the movement to boycott state testing will be as strong this year. [TU]

Mining in Sand Lake
The town of Sand Lake is considering a new zoning code that would replace a 45 year old code and would feature stricter requirements on gravel mining. [TU]

Bussing students on CDTA
Cohoes is considering issuing CDTA swipe cards for middle and high school students. [News 10]

South Colonie budget
The first draft of the South Colonie school district budget contains cuts spending by almost $174k but also includes a 1.75 percent tax increase. [TU]

Conservative Saratoga moms take to Fox
Appearing on Fox and Friends, a pair of Saratoga Mothers say their children are being indoctrinated into a liberal mindset. [TU]

SCCC biotech
Schenectady County Community College officially opened its new biotech facility and announced two new degree programs --Biological Technician Associate in Applied Science and Biotechnology Associate in Science degree.[TU]

Siena students create prosthetic arm for7-year-old
Students at Siena College created and donated a prosthetic arm to a 7-year-old girl at an orphanage in Uganda. [TWCN]

Canal set for May opening
The New York State Canal system will open on May 19, and, in honor of the canal's 200th anniversary, there will be no tolls or fees for recreational use this year. [TU]

Stuff going on today

An Iliad

Today-Sunday: Capital Rep's production of An Iliad continues.Blurbage:

Thrilling storytelling explodes across the stage in this sprawling yarn based on Homer's epic poem. This Obie Award-winning adaptation spins the familiar tale of gods and goddesses, undying love and battles of The Trojan War told through an original and immediate narrator -- whose knowledge cuts across time -- to bring the past and present together for a captivating theatrical experience. Accompanied by cellist Kathleen Bowman, acclaimed actor David Barlow embodies this tale that is sure to deliver an unforgettable evening of theatre!

It runs through April 2. Tuesday-Sunday various times -- $20 and up

g>David Salle
The Creative Life series at UAlbany continues with painter and writer David Salle. His most recent book is How to See: Looking, Talking, and Thinking About Ar. Thursday 7 pm, uptown campus, Performing Arts Center -- free

Transgender people and the law
The LBGT Law Series at Albany Law continues with a program about legal issues facing transgender people. Thursday 6 pm -- free (advance registration appreciated)

Music

August Alsina at Proctors
R&B star. HOT99.1 Spring Break show. With: A Boogie, PNB Rock. Thursday 8 pm -- $35 and up

Liz Longley at Caffe Lena
Folk singer/songwriter. With: Brian Dunne. 7 pm -- $20

Comments

RE: 2016 Census. According to the article, Alb-Schen-Troy actually grew in population, but dropped in nationwide rankings for rate of growth from 2015 to 2016. A couple things to keep in mind there:

- These numbers are estimates, you can read about the methodology if you're having trouble falling alseep.

- National population growth 2015-16 was 0.695%

- New York's population growth 2015-16 was negative, -0.010%

- The capital district growth 2015-16 (using numbers from the article) was 0.117%

The metro area data is under press embargo currently, so I can't give it a cursory glance. Anyway, as always there are multiple ways to look at this. Yes, as I think everyone would expect, the capital district area is growing at a rate slower than many other (especially southern, as the TU points out) metro areas. You can also say that relative to the country as a whole, our population is shrinking (as our growth rate is lower than the US total). And you can say that we are bucking the trend in NYS of negative population growth. What all this means is a different story.

Hope this helps, you can see the census estimate data for yourself, and please do check my math, it was hasty.

I think the Sand Lake mining story is tangential here; we all want growth but be aware of what that means. Sand Lake/ West Sand Lake/Averill Park is high growth, with most of that being suburban in a historically rural area (with the gravel operations being notable industrial use). That's a recipe for conflict and that conflict has to be resolved mutually unless you want either that growth to slow/stop (along with the increased property value, tax revenue, and other benefits that come with it) or the local industry to do the same (along with the jobs and other benefits it provides). Will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Editors: Yep, we had the population growth/rank thing wrong. Fixed. More to come this afternoon.

South Colonie budget, a 1.75 tax sink?
Is that a decrease?

Editors: No, it's a typo. Fixed. Thank you.

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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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