Allegations of harassment at state agency, Rensselaer community turns out to support families, the Skyway and cynicism, Orange madness

Abuse allegations at state agency
Brendon Lyons reports that a(n unreleased) state Inspector General's investigation found that a top official at the state Division of Criminal Justice Services threatened female employees and engaged in years of sexual harassment, racism, and ageism -- but the official was not disciplined and two women who testified as part of the investigation were punished. [TU]

Cole crash trial
From Friday: A Saratoga County court jury found John W. Cole guilty of felony assault, driving while ability impaired, and reckless driving -- and acquitted him of two other charges -- for the March 2017 crash in Halfmoon that left one of his passengers a quadriplegic. He faces two to seven years at sentencing. Scott Shapiro -- the husband of Deanna Shapiro, was seriously injured: "There are clearly no winners here, the impact on both my family and John's family cannot be understated." [Daily Gazette] [TU x2]

Rensselaer fatal fire
+ Rensselaer police say the cause of the Mann Ave. house fire that killed members of a family appears to have an electrical problem that was accidental. [News10]
+ There was an all-day community fundraiser in Rensselaer Sunday to benefit the Mann Ave family as well as the children of a Rensselaer woman who was recently found dead in the Hudson. [TU]


Guns and schools
+ Paul Tonko held a town hall-style meeting at Shaker High School Sunday to talk about gun violence. Students talked about gun control, the political influence of the NRA, and their fears. [TU] [News10]
+ Schenectady High School students used a vigil to remember 17 victims of gun violence in the city. [Daily Gazette]
+ Local school districts have been talking about ways to tighten school security. [Daily Gazette]

Cuomo and corruption
Despite Andrew Cuomo's comments suggesting his name didn't come up at the Joe Percoco trial, the New York Times reviewed transcripts and counted 136 times that it did, along with many more mentions related to him and his administration. [NYT]

State Senate lulus
The state Comptroller's office says could withhold some of the legislative leadership stipends -- "lulus" -- until there's documentation that the Senators actually performed the duties indicated by the titles. [TU]

Opioid tax
The Cuomo admin's proposed tax on opioids is getting pushback from critics -- including John McDonald, who's also a pharmacist -- who say the fee will just be passed onto patients. [TU]

Saratoga County DA race
Does it matter that Gerard Amedio -- who's challenging Saratoga County DA Karnen Heggen in the Republican primary -- filed for bankruptcy in the late 1990s? [TU]

Albany Public Library
The Albany Public Library's proposed budget includes a two percent increase in the tax levy. The library budget vote is May 15. [APL] [TU]

Asian Americans and politics
A Rexford man who's been involved in organizing a wide range of Asian-Americans, to the Times Union: "Common political issues are now urgent for all of us. We once believed getting a good education was enough to be accepted as Americans. Now we know that we must have a political presence." [TU]

Albany Skyway
Chris Churchill on the Albany Skyway and self-fulfilling negativity. [TU]

Knickerbacker Ice Arena
The city of Troy is planning to spend $100k to get the Knickerbacker Ice Arena back open. [TU]

College coaches
Looking at the salaries of the coaches of the most prominent local college sports teams. [Daily Gazette]

Orange madness
The Syracuse men's basketball team is, inexplicably, in the Sweet 16. []

Stuff going on today

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Monday: The Palace's movie series is showing Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg's 1977 film about encountering aliens. Monday 7 pm -- $5

Front Parlor
Monday: The Front Parlor storytelling series is back at the Olde English in Albany. This month's theme: "Lies & Liars." Monday 7:30 pm -- free admission

Music: The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba
"Since its inception on 1960, the Havana Symphony has been instrumental in developing and introducing Cuban and Latin American music to the international classical music community... " 7:30 pm -- $45 and $55


Regarding Skyway and 787 teardown plans... I don't understand where these irrational and self-harming sentiments are coming from.
Why do people expect to improve anything by crippling transportation infrastructure? Doing harm for the sake of WHAT?
This reminds me of the "organic" movement. How come the practice of using outdated insecticides and animal feces in agriculture is seen as cool and positive? (organic doesn't mean pesticide-free, google that). This looks like a cult proselytizing self-harm for the sake of some impractical idea. Because honestly there is no realistic explanation of this.

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