Items tagged with 'St. Rose'

Common Side Effects

Common Side Effects Lisa Hoke Massry Center

"Coming Attractions" by Lisa Hoke

We got a chance to stop in at the Esther Massry Gallery at Saint Rose to catch a look at Common Side Effects, the exhibition by Lisa Hoke that's there right now. It's a series of sculptures, murals, and collages made up of product packaging.

Exhibition blurbage:

Quirky, intensely colored sculptures, giant wall murals and small collages are made from cast-off, familiar packaging reclaimed from our mass-produced, consumerist culture. Formerly trash bin detritus, these intricate and labor-intensive creations add gravitas to an ethos of excess and waste. The exhibition features a large-scale, suspended sculpture constructed in the vertical gallery.
Nancy Princenthal, writer, critic and contributing editor of Art in America, states "The ready-made graphics of her materials are meant by their commercial producers to be seductive, and Hoke only bumps up their appeal, organizing them into tapering cones, telescoping cups, fanned plates and pinwheeling spirals of the most dizzying allure." (Excerpted from 2015 essay on Lisa Hoke's exhibition "Attention Shoppers," published by Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York.)

The pieces are vibrantly colorful, and they draw you in as your eye picks out all the various types of packaging involved.

Common Side Effects is on display through December 4 in the Esther Massry Gallery, which is in the Massry Center building (1002 Madison Ave). The small exhibit's worth a stop if you're in the neighborhood.

Saint Rose advertises on AOA.

Preet Bharara at Saint Rose

Preet BhararaUS Attorney Preet Bharara will be at Saint Rose October 6 for an event titled "Bribery or Just Access to Elected Officials: Tawdry Tales of Ferraris, Rolexes and Ball Gowns." Bharara will be part of a panel discussion that will include:

+ U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska (also a Saint Rose alum) -- Preska will also offer opening remarks

+ Grant Jaquith, first assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York

+ E. Stewart Jones Jr., the high-profile local criminal defense attorney

+ Times Union editor Rex Smith

Bharara is the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It's not a stretch to say that he's has had as much influence as anyone on New York State government over the past year, with his office winning convictions of both Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, former leaders of the state Assembly and Senate.

The Saint Rose event is Thursday, October 6 at 5:30 pm in the Lally School forum space (1009 Madison Ave). It's free and open to the public -- but pre-registration is required:

Saint Rose advertises on AOA.

photo: US Department of Justice

Saint Rose faculty vote "no confidence" in college president

college of saint rose signThe full-time faculty at the College of Saint Rose issued a no-confidence vote in college president Carolyn Stefanco Wednesday. The vote stems from the college's move to cut 23 full-time tenure and tenure-track faculty positions in December, along with eliminating a range of academic programs.

The org representing faculty said 158 of approximately 200 eligible faculty cast votes -- 120 for "no confidence," 35 against, and three abstained. The result will be delivered to the college's board of trustees this Friday along with a petition calling for Stefanco to rescind the cuts or resign.

It sounds like the college administration knew this was a likely outcome. Leading up to Wednesday Stefanco gave interviews indicating her intent to the stay the course regardless of the vote. And after the vote the college issued a statement from Stefanco that read in part:

While some faculty members embrace and support constructive change at Saint Rose, others resist it. Regardless of our personal feelings, we share a solemn responsibility to make the changes necessary to meet the changing needs of our students.
I will proudly continue to lead Saint Rose, working alongside our trustees, staff, administration and those members of the faculty who support the efforts to improve our financial standing, increase our enrollment and chart a course for a strong future.

Back in December when it announced the cuts, Saint Rose cited a $9 million deficit and a 16 percent decline in enrollment since 2008. (For some context, the college had a $121 million budget in 2013, according to its 990 form.) It said about four percent of the college's 4,400 students were enrolled in the programs that would be eliminated (12 programs had no students).

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"Say hi to everybody in Albany ... not now, later"

Two Saint Rose students were on the Tonight Show Tuesday night as part of the "Freestylin' With the Roots" bit -- and it was all spring flowers and... candy corn.

And, of course, Jimmy Fallon is an alum, so they had that to talk about, too.

Frequency North 2014 fall

writer chloe caldwell

Chloe Caldwell

The Frequency North series at Saint Rose starts its fall this season this Thursday with an appearance by writer Chloe Caldwell. Blurbage:

A native of Hudson, NY, Chloe Caldwell is the author of the forthcoming novella Women (SF/LD Books, 2014) and the essay collection Legs Get Led Astray (Future Tense Books, 2012). Her nonfiction has appeared in, The Rumpus, Thought Catalog, Nylon, The Nervous Breakdown, xoJane, The Frisky, The Sun, SMITH, Jewcy, Mr. Beller's Neighborhood, Freerange Nonfiction, The Faster Times, The Fix, and Men's Health, and has also appeared in the anthologies Goodbye To All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving NYC (Seal Press), GIRLS? (Thought Catalog), and True Tales of Lust and Love (Soft Skull Press). She is the founder and curator of the Hudson River Loft Reading Series in Hudson, NY, and has taught Creative Writing workshops at Omega Teen Camp, The Hudson Opera House, The Independent Resource Center, and personal essay classes online through Lit Reactor.

Lena Dunham is a fan, apparently.

The reading/talk is Thursday, October 9 at 7:30 pm in the Events and Athletics Center, Standish Rooms, Second Floor (420 Western Ave). It's free and open to the public.

Here's the rest of the Frequency North fall season lineup...

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Saint Rose adjuncts vote to unionize

Thumbnail image for college of saint rose western aveAdjuncts at the College of Saint Rose have voted to unionize with SEIU Local 200 by a tally of 175-61. In a statement, Saint Rose said it "will work with the SEIU to address the issues concerning the adjunct faculty." [Supporters of Saint Rose Adjunct Faculty FB group] [College of Saint Rose]

Contingent labor is a big issue across higher education right now. Adjuncts make up a majority of nation's faculty work force -- all the while they often make much less than tenure-track faculty and have little job security. And in recent years at campuses around the nation there has been a rising call for unionization. [Chronicle of Higher Ed] [US House Committee on Education and the Workforce] [NYT]

Earlier on AOA: Work Week: Con Job: Stories of Adjunct and Contingent Labor

The College of Saint Rose advertises on AOA.

Saint Rose names college's next president

carolyn stefanco saint roseThe College of Saint Rose announced today that its next president will be Carolyn Stefanco, who's currently the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Stefanco is scheduled to start the position July 1. Her selection caps an unusual transition at the college. In a surprise announcement last summer the school and former president David Szczerbacki parted ways after he had spent just one year in the role, with no mention about what caused the split. Margaret Kirwin, the school's VP for academic affairs, has been serving as interim president.

Stefanco has a PhD in history from Duke, an MA in women's history from Binghamton, and an undergrad history degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her scholarly focus has been American women's history, higher education, and international education.

Agnes Scott College, Stefanco's current school, is a private 900-student women's undergraduate liberal arts college in Decatur, which is just east of Atlanta. Prior to Agnes Scott, she was the founding dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at California State University, Stanislaus, and she held teaching positions at Oklahoma State, Cal Poly (a handful of student reviews) and Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

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Frequency North 2013-2014

rick moody looking off

Rick Moody will be at St. Rose September 26.

The "aggressively eclectic" visiting writers series Frequency North is back for another season at St. Rose starting in September. One name that jumps out immediately on first scan of the lineup this time around: author Rick Moody.

A compressed, easy-scan version of the lineup is post jump. As in the past, FN events are free and open to the public.

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"But even very rich people who may have commissioned portraits of themselves as centaurs deserve to be treated fairly."

baseball glove in grassOver at Deadspin today St. Rose political scientist Scott Lemieux plays a different angle on A-Rod and the situation surrounding performance-enhancing drugs in baseball:

But the particular focus on players of the '90s makes it clear where baseball's anti-PED hysteria comes from. It's about the boomers who are offended that better players have taken over records they believe should belong to their childhood heroes in perpetuity. The nostalgic sentimentalism that used to produce lots of drearily irritating tributes to baseball now leads to lots of drearily irritating attacks on baseball. ...
That's what the war against A-Rod is about. Not all MLB PED-users have been singled out, after all. Prominent accused users like Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, and David Ortiz aren't treated like pariahs, because they haven't broken certain iconic records or passed certain statistical benchmarks or threatened any sportswriter's right to remain a child forever. After comparing Rodriguez to a murderous gangster, Bill Madden goes on to complain about "the steroids plague that has tarnished the game's integrity and made a mockery of the home run records." In a sentence, that's what motivates the anti-PED fanatics.

In addition to the professoring at St. Rose, Lemieux also writes regularly at the blog Lawyers, Guns, & Money as well as The American Prospect.

Massry Center 2013-2014 season

Chris Thile

Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile will be there in October (as mentioned).

The Massry Center at St. Rose has announced its slate of show for the upcoming 2013-2014 season. Tickets are on sale now. (There's a discount if you buy a multi-event pack.)

Ending the ado, here's a compressed look at the slate...

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Chris Thile at the Massry Center

Chris Thile

Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile -- from the Punch Brothers, and Nickel Creek -- is scheduled to play a show at St. Rose's Massry Center October 27. Tickets are $30 and on sale now.

Thile has bee on fire over the last year or so -- earning acclaim with the progressive bluegrass band the Punch Brothers (including a show at The Egg), and being named a McArthur fellow. From his profile for the "genius grant":

Chris Thile is a young mandolin virtuoso and composer whose lyrical fusion of traditional bluegrass with elements from a range of other musical traditions is giving rise to a new genre of contemporary music. With a broad outlook that encompasses progressive bluegrass, classical, rock, and jazz, Thile is transcending the borders of conventionally circumscribed genres in compositions for his own ensembles and frequent cross-genre collaborations. Although rooted in the rhythmic structure of bluegrass, his early pieces for his long-time trio, Nickel Creek, have the improvisatory feel of jazz; his current ensemble, Punch Brothers, evokes the ethos of classical chamber music even while adhering to the traditional instrumentation of the bluegrass quintet.

See also: a cover of the Strokes' "Reptilla."

Thile has a new album of Bach recordings coming out in August. The show at the Massry Center will draw "from his new Bach recording, while also exploring his own compositions and contemporary music."

More Thile:
+ He's playing with Michael Daves at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Greene County July 20.
+ Thile will be at Tanglewood August 15 to play as part of Yo-Yo Ma's Goat Rodeo Sessions with bassist Edgar Meyer, fiddler Stuart Duncan, and singer Aoife O'Donovan.

[via Val]

photo: Danny Clinch

St. Rose president out after one year

Thumbnail image for college of saint rose western aveThis comes as a surprise: St. Rose president David Szczerbacki is out after one year in the job, the college announced this morning.

Szczerbacki "elected not to renew his contract as president for the 2013-2014 academic year," according to a press release, which states that he cited "personal reasons" in his letter to the board of trustees.

Prior to becoming president Szczerbacki had been CSR's provost and vice president for academic affairs, the #2 job there, starting in 2004. He succeeded Mark Sullivan, who had been the college's president for 16 years.

St. Rose says it's starting a national search for a new president. In the interim, the duties of the president's job will be shared by current provost and VP for academic affairs Margaret Kirwin and VP for finance and administration Marcus Buckley. Sullivan will also be advising. (And the school is set to get a new provost starting July 1 -- Hadi Salavitabar, former dean of the School of Business at the SUNY New Paltz.)

Earlier on AOA: New president for College of St. Rose

The College of St. Rose advertises on AOA.

Poetry Out Loud at St. Rose

college of saint rose western ave(crotchety old person voice) Oh, teenagers today, with their Facebook and their dubstep and their... public poetry reciting.

St. Rose is hosting the local regional finals of a national competition for high school students called Poetry Out Loud. Blurbage from CSR:

Poetry Out Loud is a national contest program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Sponsored by The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by building on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as demonstrated by the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among youth. By performing great works of literature, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn more about their cultural heritage.

The first regional final is Thursday evening. There's another next week. And the state final is in March. All three are free and open to the public. The schedule is post jump.

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This just in: college continues to be expensive

The website Campus Grotto recently released its annual list of the 100 most expensive colleges -- and, as in years past, RPI, Union, and Skidmore are on the list (table above).

Both Union and Skidmore have been sliding down the list over the last few years. For 2008-2009, they were both in the top 20.

Other schools in the greater region that also made this year's list: Bard College (#10, $57,580) Bennington College (#27, $56,990), Williams College (#33, $56,770).

Of course, these totals are like the list price on a car -- not everyone ends up paying that. In fact, at a lot of schools, very few students end up paying full price because of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid.

Campus Grotto notes this school year marks a new era -- for the first time a school's total cost has exceeded $60,000. Sarah Lawrence -- #1 on the total cost chart again -- checks in at $61,236.

St. Rose, Siena, Sage, and UAlbany did not make the top 100 list. Their 2012-2013 total cost figures are post jump.

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Capital Region college president compensation

UAlbany entrance fountain

UAlbany's uptown campus.

When it was announced last week that Robert Jones will become the next UAlbany president, there were a few eyebrows raised about his compensation -- he'll receive a total of $555,000. That includes salary, money from the Research Foundation, and a housing allowance.

That's a lot, no matter what job you're doing. And given that the SUNY system has faced budget cuts recently, it's understandable that the figure would catch attention.

But is it too high? That's a hard question. And people are going to have different answers based on their own perspectives.

To get some context, we pulled data about presidential compensation at UAlbany, RPI, Union, Skidmore, St. Rose, Siena, and the Sage Colleges -- and broke it down to see how it compares across multiple categories.

Here's the result...

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Frequency North 2012-2013

frequency north febos strauss

Melissa Febos and Darin Strauss are both on this year's slate. (Fact: a black and white photo makes you look even more writerly.)

The Frequency North series at St. Rose is back for the upcoming school year -- and the slate is now out. The lineup includes fiction writers, non-fiction writers, memoirists (including a former dominatrix), poets, and the return of Pitchapoolza.

The full schedule is post jump.

Frequency North readings are free and open to the public.

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Massry Center 2012-2013 season

medeski martin and wood

The Picotte Recital Hall at the Massry Center.

The Massry Center for the Arts at St. Rose has released its schedule for the upcoming season. The lineup includes Medeski Martin & Wood; Doc Severinsen; Ben Allison; and the return of the popular Vince Guaraldi holiday concert.

The season starts with Severinsen on September 14. Full schedule is post jump.

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St. Rose goes SAT/ACT optional

Massry exterior mainSt. Rose announced this week that it's making the SAT and ACT optional for many of its applicants. From the press release:

The new Saint Rose admissions process will continue to place the greatest weight on the level of, and success in, college preparatory courses taken in high school along with recommendations from teachers and participation in other school and outside activities. As part of the pilot, an applicant who does not submit scores will be required to complete an essay designed to help further identify the individual and provide a glimpse as to what he or she might bring to the Saint Rose community. ...
"Our own data show that there is a wider pool of students who perform well in college preparatory high school courses who we believe would be successful at Saint Rose but for the fact that they do not perform well on one four-hour standardized test. Our new policy eliminates that roadblock," said Mary Grondahl, vice president for enrollment management.

A bunch of schools around the nation have adopted SAT/ACT-optional admissions policies during the last few years. Here in the Capital Region, both Union College and the Sage Colleges are already test optional. [FairTest] [Union] [Sage]

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Here's your diploma -- and a payment schedule

One of the interesting things in a recent NYT package about student debt is an interactive listing that includes school-by-school breakdowns of the average student debt for each school.

We were a bit surprised by the numbers from Capital Region schools (above). Even though Skidmore and Union College both have expensive sticker prices (both locally and nationally), their average graduate debt figures were among the smallest in this area -- and they had the lowest percentage of grads carrying student debt.

That result probably speaks to a few things about those schools: a) a not insignificant share of the students attending come from families that can help them cover the price and/or 2) many of the students whose families can't cover the cost probably aren't paying the full sticker price. In fact, Union says more than 60 percent of its students "receive some kind of financial assistance."

Contrast that to St. Rose and UAlbany. CSR had the highest average graduate debt -- with 86 percent of its graduates carrying debt. And UAlbany, though having one of the lower debt numbers probably as a result of its relatively inexpensive tuition, had by far the highest debt-to-tuition ratio.

The NYT interactive feature has more info and is worth checking out.

Noted: Americans now owe more in student debt than they do in credit card debt -- the total amount of outstanding student debt in the country is roughly $1 trillion. [USA Today]

Fine print: All the tuition and debt total numbers are for 2010 and via NYT, with one exception: NYT didn't have a tuition number for Union. So we pulled it from College Grotto's rankings for 2009-2010. It appears NYT pulled the numbers from The Project on Student Debt, from which we pulled the "grads with student debt" percentages. The debt:tuition ratio is our own calculation.

Pitchapalooza at St. Rose

the book doctorsPitchapalooza -- sort of like the opening round of American Idol for authors -- will be at St. Rose April 15. At the event authors will get one minute to pitch their book to a panel of judges and get feedback. From the blurbage:

At Pitchapalooza, judges will help you improve your pitch, not tell you how bad it is. Judges critique everything from idea to style to potential in the marketplace and much, much more. Authors come away with concrete advice as well as a greater understanding of the ins and outs of the publishing industry. Whether potential authors pitch themselves, or simply listen to trained professionals critique each presentation, Pitchapalooza is educational and entertaining for one and all.

The judges will pick one winner and that person will get an intro to an agent or publisher.

The catch: to pitch a book or idea you have to buy a copy of The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, who bill themselves as "The Book Doctors" and run Pitchapalooza. (The book is $10.85 online, though it's not clear if you have to buy the book at the event.) Book buyers also get a free 20 minute consultation.

If you just want watch other people pitch, the event is free. It's presented as a collaboration with the Frequency North series at St. Rose.

photo via Book Doctors Twitter

New president for College of St. Rose

David Szczerbacki St RoseThe board of trustees at the College of Saint Rose has picked David Szczerbacki to the college's next president. Szczerbacki is currently the school's provost and vice president for academic affairs, the #2 job there.

The school says Szczerbacki take over in July of this year. He's succeeding Mark Sullivan, who's had the top spot at CSR for 16 years. The school announced last summer that Sullivan would be retiring this year.

Szczerbacki has been at St. Rose since 2004. Before that he held a similar position at Alfred University. He has a PhD in policy studies from SUNY Buffalo, and a master's degree in urban systems. He went to Gannon in Pennsylvania for undergrad, where he got a degree in political science. In the press release, the school says his professional work outside of academics has "focused on the fields of urban and regional planning, economic development, leadership training, environmental management, strategic management and organization development."

It's interesting that Szczerbacki has a background in urban planning. St. Rose has been very active in recent years developing the neighborhood around it in Albany, with a bunch of new buildings that have influenced the character of the area and, more recently, signage that's more clearly defined its neighborhood campus.

Oh, and we hear his name is pronounced: "sir-BAH-kee."

Full press release after the jump.

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RPI's Jackson stays in top 10 for private college president compensation

shirley jackson croppedRPI president Shirley Ann Jackson's salary is the 7th highest in the nation among private college presidents, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education's annual salary rankings. The Chronicle reports Jackson's 2009 total compensation was $1,771,877, up 7 percent from the year before.

The average professor at RPI gets almost $154k/year in compensation, according to the Chronicle -- giving RPI an 11.5/1 president to professor pay ratio. (A few quick comparisons: the ratio is 4.7/1 at MIT, and 3.7/1 at Cal Tech.)

Said RPI's VP of strategic communications and external relations to the TU about Jackson's salary: "[it is] a reflection of her extraordinary accomplishments, and of the desire of the Board of Trustees to have her continue the comprehensive transformation at Rensselaer."

Jackson topped the Chronicle's chart for the 2007-2008 academic year with reported total compensation of $1,598,247. In March 2009, the school announced she was giving 5 percent of her salary to a student scholarship fund.

There have been a lot of impressive developments at RPI during Jackson's tenure. But there also has been what seems like a not insignificant amount of discontent. The most recent sign was a student senate resolution calling for Jackson's removal if "significant changes" aren't made at the school. And a group calling itself the "Alliance for Responsible Governance" has also been pushing for change. [RPI] [Reddit RPI]

The Chronicle also lists compensation for other local private colleges. Those are after the jump.

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Yuja Wang at the Massry Center

Here's something to get things moving on this dreary morning: pianist Yuja Wang playing "Flight of the Bumblebee." It is freakish.

Wang is playing the Massry Center at St. Rose this Saturday night. Tickets are $35.

It should be quite a performance. YouTube is full of clips of the 24-year-old Wang playing -- and people completely plotzing over what they just watched. As a person commented on a clip of Wang playing an arrangement of Mozart's Turkish march backstage before a concert: "Her fingers have fingers." The commenter may not be wrong.

Yuja Wang seems to have fully embraced being a classical rockstar. For a concert at the Hollywood Bowl in August, she wore a dress you'd probably expect more from a popstar (we would argue she pulled it off rather well). It prompted a critic for the LA Times to snark:

Her dress Tuesday was so short and tight that had there been any less of it, the Bowl might have been forced to restrict admission to any music lover under 18 not accompanied by an adult. Had her heels been any higher, walking, to say nothing of her sensitive pedaling, would have been unfeasible. The infernal helicopters that brazenly buzz the Bowl seemed, on this night, like long-necked paparazzi wanting a good look.

The review prompted calls of sexism. Noted a critic for the Washington Post:

Let's have a reality check for a minute. Yes, the dress is short, tight, and revealing. But in the real world -- the world outside classical music's still-prurient bubble -- this is not unusual attire for a young rising starlet in the public eye.

As with any modern star, Wang is on Twitter. Oh, and she says she'd like to play with Lady Gaga.

This at least the second time Wang has made a stop in the Capital Region. She played at SPAC in 2008 -- to rave reviews.

New city of Albany homeownership program

Thumbnail image for spanish-style houseThe city of Albany and group of the city's largest employers today announced a new package of incentives to encourage people to buy homes in the city.

The incentives include zero-interest and forgivable loans for down payments and closing costs, and in some cases grants for home improvements.

If this gets more people to live in Albany, great. The city could use more homeowners (as do many of the Capital Region's other urban centers) -- as long as those people really can afford to buy a house . And if it gets more people living closer to where they work, even better -- a short commute pays off in all sorts of ways.

Highlights from the program after the jump, along with the full press release.

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US News ranks for Capital Region colleges

nott memorial

Union will probably Nott be disappointed.

US News released its vaunted college rankings today (not important, of course... unless your school ranked well). Here's how local schools ranked.

(Plus a ranking in which UAlbany tops RPI.)

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Michael Bierut at St. Rose

michael bierutNoted designer Michael Bierut will be giving a talk at St. Rose September 30. Opening a few days before that at the school's Esther Massry Gallery: "Michael Bierut 30 Years 90 Notebooks." From the blurbage:

In this exhibition of work stretching over three decades, Bierut has recorded his work and thoughts in a series of identical notebooks dating back to 1982. Today there are more than 90 such notebooks. The exhibit presents a selection of completed pieces that are juxtaposed with an assortment of Bierut's notebooks. Viewers can make connections between original, very rough sketches and finished work and gain insight into the design process as a result.

Bierut is a partner at the famed design firm Pentagram. He's worked with a long list of well-known clients (example: The Atlantic redesign, the New York Times building sign, the Saks shopping bag.). He co-founded Design Observer. And In 2006 he received the AIGA Medal, the highest award in the design field.

Embedded after the jump is video of Bierut talking about his notebooks.

photo: Christian Witkin

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St. Rose's new dorm

st rose centennial hall render 1

Centennial Hall

St. Rose announced today that construction has begun on Centennial Hall, the large residence hall project on Madison Ave. The building will house has many as 224 students when it's finished. It's expected to be ready by next summer.

The college has radically transformed that block of Madison Ave, with the construction of the Lally Building on the north side, the Massry Center on the south side, and now this building. As with those two previous buildings, the design of Centennial Hall seems to make a (small) nod to the surrounding residential architecture. But even so, the scale is much bigger -- and the school had to knock down a significant chunk of the block to make room for the building. That irked some of the neighborhood residents.

The situation is an interesting design and planning challenge because the St. Rose campus is the neighborhood and vice versa -- the campus is open and integrated right into Pine Hills. It's almost the inverse of UAlbany's uptown campus, which is more-or-less sealed off from the surrounding area like an office park.

There's one more rendering and the CSR press release after the jump.

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Four commencement speeches in four lines

michelle rhee st rose commencement 2011

Michelle Rhee at St. Rose's commencement. Apparently her daughters are not very good at soccer, but they still get trophies. This bothers her.

Commencement was this past weekend for the College of St. Rose, the University at Albany, Siena College, and the Sage Colleges. Here are four of the commencement speeches in four lines (or so):

St. Rose: former DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee
"We should be striving always to be better or we will never be better. Our country needs to regain its competitive spirit." [St. Rose press release]

UAlbany: alumnus, and Wicked author, Gregory Maguire
"Stories start right out with action. Your story starts today. What will you imagine?" [TU]

Siena: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
In referring to George Bernard Shaw's remark that youth is wasted on the young: "Please prove Mr. Shaw to be wrong. You are ready for the world now and the world certainly is ready for you, and needs you." [Troy Record]

Sage Colleges: LouAnne Johnson, the teacher and author whose book became the movie Dangerous Minds
While doing an impression of the main character in her book Muchacho: "You don't get the life you got because of being lucky, or poor, or Mexican. You get it because of the way you think about yourself. Because you think you're a loser, you're going to be a loser. If you think you're going to be a success, you gotta set your intention. Like I used to be afraid of being an intellectual because I thought was going to get my ass kicked all the time. But then I figured that's only in school. When you get out of school, people don't kick your ass for being smart -- they give you money." [Sage Colleges video]

Commencements coming up: Skidmore (May 21), RPI (May 28 [corrected]), and Union (June 12).

photo via the College of St. Rose

Michelle Rhee to speak at St. Rose commencement

michelle rheeMichelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the Washington, DC public schools, will be the speaker at St. Rose's commencement this year.

Rhee's an interesting choice. She's pushed hard for reform in DC schools during her tenure -- generating attention, controversy, and seemingly, results. She was also was featured in the documentary Waiting for Superman. But a recent investigation by USA Today raised questions about whether the dramatic rise in test scores at one of the DC schools touted by Rhee was actually the result of cheating. Time Magazine named her one of its "Time 100" today.

Admission to the St. Rose commencement is by ticket only. We asked a college rep whether there would be any public events involving Rhee while she's here -- he said there's no word on that, yet.

Meanwhile, over at RPI: U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin will be the main commencement speaker this year at RPI.

"Picture all that extra fat, the 30 pounds, just falling away, like some gray blob, floating off into space..."

daniel nester finger in noseThe latest in St. Rose professor Daniel Nester's series of trial experiences: hypnotism for weight loss. From the recent piece on Salon:

He is not a doctor. He does not dangle a pocket watch in front of me. He is what is known in the trade as a "lay hypnotist." I found -- let's call him Gary -- by Googling "hypnotism" and my hometown, "Albany, NY." His business card bears a sentiment along the lines of "hypnotism really works." The letters after his name are "CH," for "certified hypnotist." According to Dwight F. Damon, president of the National Guild of Hypnotists, there are somewhere between 8,000 and 9,000 dues-paying certified hypnotists in his organization in the United States, and 12,000 worldwide in 72 countries. Hypnotism is routinely covered by HMOs; for my stand-alone hypnotism treatment, however, I pay $160 out-of-pocket for an initial visit, or a package of $295 for a three-session course of treatment.

Does it work? Well, he reports it probably has a better chance than the "man corsets" that made him feel like "a flatulent sausage."

photo: Joe Putrock

The weight of Thanksgiving

daniel nester finger in noseWhile you're celebrating this Thanksgiving, St. Rose English professor Daniel Nester will be weighing his head. He explains today at The Morning News:

This year in southern New Jersey, Thanksgiving will offer no shortage of family theater. My mother, holding court as reluctant matriarch, will offer backyard advice on relationships as she puffs away on her Marlboro Light 100. My cousin, who just eloped to Philadelphia with her chef co-worker, will introduce her husband for the first time. He is a Mexican-American, and it's only a matter of time before someone makes a joke in a Speedy Gonzales accent or asks about drug cartels or his green card status before they realize their faux pas. My 13-year-old nephew will play his jazz saxophone in a confined space.
And everyone will weigh their head on a meat scale.

Because we know you're curious -- Dan's head weighs 30 filet mignons.

Earlier on AOA: Summer with Daniel Nester

photo: Joe Putrock

Meghan Daum this week at Frequency North

meghan daumJust a heads-up that author Meghan Daum will be doing a reading as part of the Frequency North series at Saint Rose this Thursday evening. From the blurb:

Meghan Daum is the author, most recently, of Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, a memoir about real estate addiction, published in May 2010 by Knopf. Since 2005, she has been a weekly opinion columnist at the Los Angeles Times. That column is distributed widely to numerous newspapers across the country and in 2006 was a finalist for a National Journalism Award and the winner of the Southern California Journalism Award in column writing. Meghan is also the author of the essay collection My Misspent Youth and the novel The Quality of Life Report. She has contributed to public radio programs such as This American Life and Marketplace and her articles and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, GQ, Vogue, and The New York Times, among other publications. She lives in Los Angeles.

It starts at 7:30 pm in the the Events and Activities Center. It's free.

Next week: co-founder Scott Rosenberg will be appearing October 20 as part of Frequency North. He's the author of Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters.

Earlier on AOA: Frequency North 6

photo: Laura Kleinhenz

Frequency North 6

meghan daumSt. Rose's visiting writer series, Frequency North, starts up again this fall. And this year's lineup looks good.

A couple of the dates that jumped out at us on first pass:

October 14: Meghan Daum
Daum is the author of the novel The Quality of Life Report and, more recently, the memoir My Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in that House. She also writes a column for the LA Times and has appeared on This American Life. (That's her on the right.)

October 20: Scott Rosenberg
Rosenberg is one of the founders of the pioneering website Salon. He recently wrote Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters.

The full schedule is after the jump.

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Railbird, Matthew Carefully, Hoborchestra this Friday



Here's something fun for Friday night: Railbird, Matthew Carefully andthe Hoborchestra are playing Jack's Place at St. Rose. The show starts at 8 pm. Tickets are $7. (Jack's Place is in the shiny new Center for Communications and Interactive Media.)

It should be a good show. Railbird just released a new EP (and is opening for Phantogram in May at the Bowery Ballroom), we hear that Matthew has new stuff coming out soon and the Hoborchestra is back from SXSW.

Oh, and hey: Aficionado, also back from Austin, is playing Jack's Place on April 13.

photo: Railbird


capital lit posterSt. Rose is hosting the first Albany Lit Mag and Small Press Fair this Saturday. From organizer Daniel Nester's web site:

Hundreds of regional and national independent literary publishers will converge to sell their journals for only $2 an issue and books for $4 each. Many publishers will attend in person to meet Albany's eager readers, so don't miss this opportunity to discover literature you are unlikely to find in a single store, and meet the publishers and editors who do the real work of keeping American Literature vibrant and vital.

There will also be readings and discussions throughout the day. The fair runs from noon to 6 pm in St. Joseph's Auditorium on the CSR campus. It's free.

But, wait. There's more. The day will be capped off with an event called "Karaoke + Poetry = Fun" at Valentine's at 7 pm.

St. Rose building gets high "green" grade

Massry exterior looking up

The Massry Center just before it opened in 2008.

St. Rose announced today that its Massry Center for the Arts has been awarded LEED Gold status for its eco-friendliness.

The Massry is the largest new building in this area to get that certification. The Massry is heated and cooled by a geothermal system that uses 40 450-feet-deep wells.

Earlier on AOA
+ A tour of the Massry Center for the Arts
+ A modern building hidden in plain site

Five upcoming shows worth checking out

band composite

Four of the five.

There are a bunch of interesting/good/fun concerts lined up for the Capital Region over the next two months.

Here are a few (of the many) that are worth checking out...

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Murder in Albany, Schenectady cops could get tasers, Hudson river dredging stopped again, Cohoes considers closing barn door

Albany police say a man was shot and killed in his apartment on Western Ave Sunday morning. They say they don't have a suspect, but it appears that shooter was someone the man knew. The location of this shooting, 158 Western Ave, is less than half-a-mile from where UAlbany student Richard Bailey was shot last year. [CBS6] [TU] [Google Maps]

Among the details from the state auditor's Albany ghost ticket report: a former Albany cop was put on the VIP list after he complained about getting tickets while working at his job at the state Education Department -- he then racked up 573 no-fine tickets. Jerry Jennings released a statement Friday that said his administration would be working with the Common Council to "quickly adopt a corrective action plan" for the city's parking ticket system. Said mayoral candidate Corey Ellis in statement released Friday: ""This report clearly shows that Mayor Jennings' administration is incapable of properly managing the issuance and collection of parking fines, a system that should be simple and straightforward." [AOA] [TU] [CapNews9] [Ellis press release not online]

Schenectady police chief Mark Chaires says he pushing for the department's officers to get tasers. The family of the man shot and killed by the SPD last week questioned why a non-lethal measure wasn't used in that situation. [TU] [CapNews9]

The state announced it will be building a new $40 million food safety lab at the Harriman State Office Campus. Where that leaves the plan to turn the campus over to private development is apparently anyone's guess. [Troy Record] [TU]

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Jimmy Fallon's commencement speech

Fallon graduatesJimmy Fallon did finally graduate from St. Rose this past weekend. During his commencement speech, he talked about how hard it was to get the college to give him his degree (he was 15 credits short after dropping out):

I'm on national TV, can I have a degree now?

'No, you keep laughing at all the jokes.'

And then I made a bunch of movies... they actually took credits away from me.

The video of Fallon's speech is embedded after the jump. It was pretty funny.

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City treasurer received ghost tickets, it's good to be a lobbyist, problems at the Muddy Cup, Chopper uses AdvantEdge cards to notify of recall, Fallon was quizzed for final credits

Albany city treasurer Betty Barnette has testified that she had no knowledge of the ghost ticket system until she read about it in the news -- but the TU has obtained copies of seven no-fine tickets given to... Barnette. She says she has no memory of receiving the tickets. [TU] [CBS6]

Firms that lobby the state billed their clients almost $174 million last year. NYSUT spent $4.4 million -- the most of any single group. [Biz Review]

Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are apparently becoming BFF. He's even memorized her mobile number. [NYT]

The Saratoga County towns that had sued to hold up the Hudson dredging over concerns about their drinking water supply have dropped their suit. The dredging project is scheduled to start this month. [Daily Gazette]

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All that communicating pays off

Jimmy Fallon was on the Tonight Show last night -- and he talked about his upcoming graduation from St. Rose:

He starts talking about St. Rose -- and how we dropped out -- about two minutes into the video.

So, if he dropped out, how are they awarding him a degree? "They're giving me credit for all the communicating I've been doing."

Officials urge calm on emerging flu, CDTA consolidating routes, Albany getting grant for anti-violence program, old Saratoga Winners destroyed, no Shakespeare in the Park this year

New York State has now had 54 confirmed cases of the emerging H1N1 flu -- including three cases outside NYC. Samples from five suspected cases in the greater Capital Region (two each in Schenectady and Washington counties, one in Albany County) have been sent for testing -- officials say they're not sure when results will be back on those samples. David Paterson reiterated his call for people to stay calm and said the state is prepping for a worst-case scenario. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

Albany city treasurer Betty Barnette now says she will release copies of dismissed parking tickets to the Common Council -- if the council agrees to not share the info with anyone else. Barnette had initially balked at the council's request, which is part of the ghost ticket investigation, citing HIPAA -- even though the medical privacy law doesn't apply to her office. [TU]

CDTA ridership was up 11 percent to record levels during the fiscal year that ended in March. The transit org says it's still short on money, though, and will be changing, consolidating and eliminating routes to save money. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Police used a state police helicopter, a K-9 unit and a lockdown of schools yesterday during a manhunt in Schenectady. Police were looking for a man they suspect has information about the fatal shooting outside a club this past weekend. They didn't get him. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Jimmy Fallon is going to graduate

jimmy fallon tallWhen we heard that Jimmy Fallon was going to be the commencement speaker at this year's St. Rose graduation, we thought it was a little funny (in both the ha ha and strange way) because... Fallon dropped out of St. Rose.

But CSR is on top of this -- it's awarding Fallon his degree on the same day. From the press release:

Fallon attended Saint Rose from 1992 through 1995, starting as a computer science major before switching to communications. He left just one semester shy of graduation to pursue a career in comedy in Los Angeles. Fallon earned his bachelor's degree after presenting College officials with a portfolio of his work in TV and film, satisfying the College's requirements for the outstanding credits.

Also speaking at this year's CSR graduation: pollster John Zogby. In a poll of graduating St. Rose seniors, 32 percent were happy about that, 18 percent thought Nate Silver was hotter and 50 percent said they were undecided.*

*Yes, we totally made up that up.

Capital Region college tuition

Nott Memorial

Union's Nott the most expensive.

After hearing recently that the cost of attending both Skidmore and Union had crossed the $50k mark, we were curious about how the local colleges stack up when it comes to cost.

So, we looked it up. The list and a few notes are after the jump.

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Jimmy Fallon's strike at the Playdium

jimmy fallonCheck out this great anecdote from a St. Rose Chronicle story by Allison Maloney about Jimmy Fallon's time at the school back in the early 90s:

Fallon garnered attention off-stage, too. One time, at The Playdium, the closest bowling alley to campus, where Saint Rose students had gathered for community midnight bowling, he did something a lot of people may have the impulse to do, but never act on.

"All of the sudden, you see this person sprinting down the bowling lane. [Fallon] dove like a Pete Rose slide, head first, and knocked all the bowling pins over. He got up and he did a big X like he got a strike and the whole place went nuts and starts clapping," said Eaton.

As you can imagine, that didn't go over well with the alley's owners -- and they kicked him out. But Fallon managed to get the last laugh.

Previous AOA items about Jimmy Fallon.

image: NBC

The tiny truck

st rose mini truck

It sounded like a golf cart.

We spotted this tiny truck tooling along the sidewalk today at St. Rose and it made us smile. It almost looked like it would tip over when the guy got in the driver's seat.

We can only hope they use the trucks to deliver something equally tiny and cute and a little weird. Like garden gnomes.

Dan Nester's Watchful Analysis of New Growth

Daniel NesterSt. Rose English professor Daniel Nester is back on The Daily Beast today with an essay about, um, enhancement:

The manufacturer of ExtenZe claims more than 460,000 customers have bought in the neighborhood of 250 million pills. Recent campaigns tout the ExtenZe drink, and infomercials in front of the Playboy mansion feature "ExtenZe Girls" dressed in cheerleader outfits. Response, a trade magazine that covers the "direct-response ad" industry, ranked ExtenZe as the seventh-most popular campaign in 2008, beating out the Ab Rocket and the Dual Action Cleanse.

As a former hack medical journalist, I wanted to find out if ExtenZe really works. I bought 120 pills on eBay, recruited 12 thirty- and fortysomething overeducated white males, and mailed each of them a 20-inch tube filled with ten ExtenZe pills, a foot-long ruler from Staples, an informed-consent form, a survey, and what I called a Boner Diary. I advised each patient to try to have an erection each day for ten days, directing them to the YouPorn, Victoria's Secret, and American Apparel websites. Armed with an official-sounding name, the Watchful Analysis of New Growth, we were in business.

Caution: may induce strange feelings about Alex Rodriguez.

Nester is holding what we can only imagine is a sort of poster session about his research Wednesday night at the reading series Live From the Living Room in Albany.

photo: Daniel Nester

From the Partridge Pub to Late Night

jimmy fallonJimmy Fallon takes over as host of Late Night tonight on NBC. (He's replacing Conan who's replacing Leno.)

The St. Rose dropout (15 credits short of a computer science degree) and former Metroland receptionist told Paul Caiano on WNYT recently that he misses Albany -- the Patridge Pub, in particular (it has a different name now).

By the way: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is being touted as "a talk show for the Twitter era."

screengrab: NBC

Slammin' at St. Rose

St. Rose's Frequency North series continues Thursday night with an appearance by teacher -- and slam poet -- Taylor Mali. Here's a clip of him, well, slamming:

Sample line: "Because, you see, I have this little policy about honesty and ass kicking, which is: if you ask for it, I have to let you have it."

So we're guessing this will be a little like 8 Mile mashed up with Stand and Deliver.

The reading/ass kicking starts at 7:30 in St. Joseph Hall on the CSR campus. It's free.

Margan and The Red Lions at St. Rose

margan red lionsHere's an early Valentine's gift: Eric Margan and The Red Lions are playing a free show Friday night at St. Rose.

Margan's debut album, Midnight Book, is lined up for release on March 13. We've heard it -- and it's good. We could try describing the sound (Modern chamber music? Jazz-influenced orchestral pop?), but you're probably better off just heading over to MySpace and having a listen. After a couple of the dreamy tunes you'll feel like you're somewhere else.

So, let's recap. Friday night. Good music. Free.

Sounds like a plan. The show starts at 7:30. It's in St. Rose's music building, behind 1000 Madison Ave. Quintus, Slender Shoulders and Sticklips open at 6 pm.

Daniel Nester's fake bake

Nester tanning Daily BeastDaniel Nester, the CSR professor who recently stirred things up with a piece about IVF, is back in the Daily Beast this week with an account of his journey into the tanning culture of Albany:

Albany, N.Y., is an indoor tanning mecca, a hotbed of hot beds. There are more than 800 tanning salons in the greater capital region. Four-term Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings presides over ribbon-cuttings with a year-round bronze. At the historically Catholic college where I teach, students grow more preternaturally orange as winter progresses.

I have never fit in here. I was pasty-faced even for Brooklyn, and when I moved to this tanner's Valhalla I became even more freakishly white. And so, half anxious to fit in, half curious to learn the appeal, I decided to embark on an experiment in which I would join the ranks of the fake-baked to see how a deep, midwinter tan could change my life.

Noted: smelling "like a french fry" not the best way to seduce wife.

photo: The Daily Beast

Here's Jimmy

jimmy_fallon.jpgNBC will start running a series of five-minute videos featuring Jimmy Fallon tonight on the new website for his upcoming role as the host of Late Night.

The network hasn't officially announced when the one-time St. Roser and Metroland receptionist will take over for Conan O'Brien, but the rumored date is March 2, 2009. And apparently The Roots will be his house band.

photo: David Shankbone

The $20,000 baby

Daniel NesterSaint Rose professor Daniel Nester has a piece on the Daily Beast today about the choice he and wife made to use IVF:

Turns out, when you pay a battalion of medical professionals $20,000 to help you induce a pregnancy that didn't want to happen on its own, nobody likes you. My wife and I have been called selfish and narcissistic by adoption activists. Religious zealots have condemned us as immoral manipulators of God's will. And prudes just don't want to discuss where babies come from. Every time I mention our struggle to conceive a child in an Upper East Side Petri dish, I wander into a mine field of awkwardness, discomfort and rage. I'm made to feel I've provided way more information than is socially acceptable.

According to Nester, the response around Saint Rose wasn't so warm, either:

The pitfalls are different with those who regard IVF as subverting the will of a higher power. With 12 years of Catholic school under my belt, I should have known better than to mention it in the halls of the historically Catholic college where I teach. Seems I forgot the Vatican's "Every Sperm is Sacred" doctrine that considers most IVF methods to be sinful, the unsanctioned creation of life outside the integrity of a marital union. The lapsed Catholic conspiracy theorist in me did notice, however, that fertility treatments weren't covered by our health plan.


photo: Daniel Nester

A tour of the Massry Center for the Arts

Massry exterior main

The main entrance.

As we posted earlier today, the new Massry Center opened this week at St. Rose. Here's a short photo tour of the new building.

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A modern building hidden in plain site

Massry Center from Madison Ave

Looks can be deceiving... in a good way.

The new Massry Center for the Arts at the College of St. Rose opened this week and it's quite the building. We got a tour yesterday and the place has some really nice spaces.

The thing that really caught our eye even before the place was even finished, though, is the way it fits into the context of the neighborhood surrounding CSR. Massry is a 46,000 square foot building, but it's relatively unassuming in both size and style from Madison Avenue. In fact, the size is almost hidden when you look at it from the street. It's like this modern building has just been discretely tucked into one of Albany's traditional neighborhoods.

Bill Koonz, an architect with Saratoga Associates, designed the Massry Center. We asked him a few questions yesterday about the thinking behind the design.

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Albany under water in two different ways, who knows how much mercury, AMC gets money for merging computers and humans, it's like Trenton

car submerged on ManningJerry Jennings says the City of Albany may have to lay off people now that it won't be getting that $5.5 million state aid payment (and $11 million in years after). Richard Conti, the Common Council president pro temp, says big tax increase may also be necessary. The city's projected budget deficit for 2009 is more than $14 million. [TU]

Albany's projected budget shortfall won't make infrastructure improvements easy -- no matter how badly they might be needed. See yesterday's flooding, which turned the lower end of Hackett Blvd into a lake. "Too much rain -- in too short a time. It's an older system. This is what happens," said a water department employee to the TU. There were also reports of raw sewage backing up into yards. [AOA] [TU] [CapNew9]

A state Supreme Court judge has ruled that Saratoga Springs -- and former public works commissioner Tom McTygue -- violated the constitutional rights of two developers by blocking access to their land with a dump truck. Both compensatory and punitive damages could be awarded. The original building permit had been issued in 1997. The developers sold the land earlier this year and the new owners have started construction. [TU] [Saratogian]

Officials from the Lafarge Cement plant in Ravena said at a public forum last night that they don't know exactly how much mercury their plant is currently releasing into the environment. A 2004 review reported that the plant was New York State's single largest emitter of mercury. [TU]

New York State has the nation's highest closing costs for home sales. [Daily Gazette]

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Frequency North

Frequency North posterThere are a couple author appearances this evening at St. Rose that look interesting. The Frequency North series is bringing Darcey Steinke and Gregory Pardlo to the campus for an open-to-the-public reading.

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Late night with Jimmy Fallon?

Jimmy FallonJimmy Fallon's career has hit a few speed bumps over the last few years. First he was the next Adam Sandler, but of course that meant being the next Adam Sandler. Then he scored a spot doing SNL's Weekend Update, but he got overshadowed by Tina Fey. And then there was that Queen Latifah Taxi movie, which has probably taken thousands of dollars in therapy to forget.

Well it looks like things may be turning around now for Jimmy. The buzz is that the Saint Rose dropout (apparently he's 15 credits short of a computer science degree) and former Metroland receptionist is on the short list for the Late Night chair when Conan takes over for Leno. (Which prompts us to daydream about what we could have done with all those tuition dollars.) Fallon's been on the list for a while now, but with the late night shuffle just one year away he's still hanging in there. And apparently he's the top choice of SNL producer Lorne Michaels, the guy who put Conan in the seat in 1993.

photo: David Shankbone, used under a CC Attribution / Share Alike license

The Scoop

For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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