Items tagged with 'Bethlehem'

Talking about making a connection at Albany's waterfront

albany waterfront connector meeting posterThe project aiming to connect the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail and the Mohawk-Hudson Hike-Bike Trail in Albany's South End has a public meeting lined up for June 2. The purpose of the event will be to gather comments from the community about the creation of the trail connector.

There's been a lot of work going on recently with both of these bike/hike trails. The paved segment of Albany County's Helderberg Hudson trail between Delmar and the South End will officially open this month (it's been unofficially open for a while). And the city of Albany has a $5 million project under construction to upgrade pedestrian and bike amenities along the Mohawk-Hudson trail along the Hudson riverfront.

So this connector project is about figuring out the best to link these two trails. As Kate Lawrence, a senior planner and sustainability coordinator for the city of Albany, told us recently: "With [the waterfront connector] study what will be important is to get feedback from people in what they want to prioritize for that multi-use path because there will be a few options available." Among those options will be deciding the route of the connecting path, whether it bypasses or goes through the neighborhood, and how it negotiates I-787.

The public workshop is Thursday, June 2 from 5-7 pm at the Howe Branch of the Albany Public Library (105 Schuyler Street). There will be a project open house from 5-5:30 pm, a presentation from 5:30-6:30 pm, and the open house will continue from 6-7 pm.

(Thanks, L!)

Detecting something other than books at the library

bethlehem public library metal detectorSpeaking of libraries and services they offer you might not expect... The Bethlehem Public Library recently announced that it has metal detectors (and other tech items) that can be borrowed. Press release blurbage (emphasis added):

Turn a day at the park into a treasure hunt with a full-size, top-of-the-line metal detector with submersible search coil and optional 4-inch gold nugget coil. A youth-sized version that is easy for children to carry and use is also available. Metal detectors must be checked out and returned to Bethlehem Public Library and can be borrowed for seven days at a time. Patrons are responsible for providing two 9-volt batteries for operation.
The metal detectors are the latest addition to BPL's special collection, which includes GoPro cameras, telescopes and digital slide scanners. Many of those items have been underwritten by the Friends of the Library.

This reminded us that the Albany Public Library has fishing poles you can check out. And late last year it started testing a program for loaning out tablets. [TU]

Apparently, this sort of non-book lending is a bit of national trend, as libraries around the nation have branched out into lending items such as tools and musical instruments. [Fast Company]

photo via Bethlehem Public Library

Rice Chicken Soup at Chontong Thai

chotong thai chicken soup overhead

By Deanna Fox

Balancing the annual rite of passage to eat clean and healthy that New Year's resolutions bring with the desire to eat comforting, rich foods during winter's coldest days might be the great dichotomy of modern humanity. At least for Upstaters.

What should one do, for instance, when the temperature dips below freezing (well below), a head cold has taken over, and the desire to indulge and self-soothe with a gluttonous delight contradicts all the abstention from fatty, sweet, and carb-loaded food that winter cuisine is known for?

You order the rice chicken soup from Chontong Thai in Delmar, that's what.

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Some number of facts about the Normanskill

the Normanskill with Delaware Ave overhead

It's a long running thread through this area.

With the Normanskill in the news this week, we thought it'd be interesting to look into the stream's course through this area -- both in geography and history. We started with the intent of digging up one fact or bit for each mile of the Normanskill -- but, frankly, we lost count.

So here is an undetermined number of facts or bits about the Normanskill.

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Normanskill blocked by landslide

Normanskill at Delaware Ave

The Normanskill at Delaware Ave, below the blockage, at around 3 pm Monday. There was very little water.

Updated Tuesday morning: The Times Union reports that water is once again flowing. Crews used to pumps to keep the water the level down while a new trench was dug to divert the water. [TU] [Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple Twitter x2]
____

Updated

A landslide on the Bethlehem side of the Normanskill blocked the stream Monday. Officials were worried about flooding -- a state of emergency was declared early Monday afternoon. Albany County statement:

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy has declared a State of Emergency in Albany County in the areas bordering the Normans Kill effective at 12:30 p.m. today. This State of Emergency has been declared due to slope failure on the Bethlehem side which has dammed up the Normans Kill. There is a high potential for flooding upstream. Currently there is no water flowing below the blockage. The situation threatens public safety. This State of Emergency will remain in effect until rescinded by a subsequent order. All departments and agencies of Albany County are directed to take whatever steps necessary to protect life and property, public infrastructure and provide such emergency assistance deemed necessary.

Crews are working to remove the blockage and allow water through.

The area of the collapse on the section of the Normanskill between the Capital Hills and Normanside golf courses. The city of Albany has closed Capital Hills, including to walkers, during the work.

Here are few more pics...

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That time -- not even that long ago -- that Albany annexed a chunk of Bethlehem

hurstville Bethlehem Albany border 1956

Was Bethlehem, is now Albany.

There was a bit of ripple this week when Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan mentioned the topic of annexation during a panel discussion about poverty and cities. From an article over at Capital:

"We could expand," Sheehan said. "States that have elastic cities where there's an ability annex do not have the same stratification that we see here in New York State. So there are states where you can grow your way out of this situation because you can expand your tax base by annexing. We can look at that, but we could also look at how we fundamentally fund our cities ... because cities still grow every day. The city of Albany doubles in population every day when people come here to work.
"We have to look at all levels at how we are funding our cities and have a conversation with those wealthier, surrounding suburban communities about what it is we need to do to address that inequity that we have," she said.

So this was a more a nod to the idea than actually raising it as a realistic option. (Update: Here's Sheehan emphasizing that point. [TWCN]) And that makes sense, because the idea that Albany could/would annex one of its surrounding suburbs seems... highly unlikely.

But. You might be surprised to find out that Albany has done just that in the past -- and it wasn't even that long ago (on the scale of Albany history). And the episode highlights why it would be so unlikely today.

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Slingerlands ShopRite opening at end of September

vista technology campus signShopRite announced today that its new store at the Vista Technology Campus in Slingerlands (on Route 85) will open September 30. (press release post jump)

The store is the third of four the chain is aiming to open in this area. A Niskayuna location opened a year ago and the Albany location opened in April. A fourth location is planned for Colonie. Coincidentally or not (probably not), all those spots are close to Price Chopper locations. In fact, the Slingerlands location is literally right across the road from the Chopper there. [Biz Review]

The chain says the new store will offer the "ShopRite from Home" delivery service. That's apparently been popular here -- the company is expanding its Niskayuna store to make more room for the service. [Biz Review]

Interesting non-grocery bit: ShopRite says the Slingerlands location will include a park and ride lot for CDTA routes #13 (New Scotland Ave) and #18 (Delaware Ave). Both those routes run into downtown Albany.

Earlier on AOA: Delivery! Comparing ShopRite from Home and Price Chopper Shops4U

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Deer, yeeehaw!

deer riding sign bethlehem

Arielle noticed this sign on Delaware Ave near Bethlehem High School.

Well played.

(Unless, of course, there's been an issue with deer-riding cowboys crossing the road there. You never know.)

(Thanks, Arielle!)

A ShopRite for Slingerlands, and a tech park

vista technology campus sign

Right now there's not a lot there besides dirt.

Thursday was the official groundbreaking for the Vista Technology Campus in Slingerlands. A lot of the attention was focused on one of the tenants already signed up: ShopRite. That makes three stores now officially announced/open for the area (there's a fourth planned for Colonie). ShopRite continues what appears to be a strategy to go to head-to-head with Price Chopper -- the Vista ShopRite is pretty much be right across the road from the Slingerlands Chopper. [Spotlight] [YNN]

Planning for the Vista site has been going on for a few years -- but Thursday's announcements would seem to indicate it's picking up momentum. It's a potentially significant development project. The site includes 150 acres of land planned for development. And the developer -- Columbia Development -- says its plan includes up 1.4 million square feet of office, research and manufacturing facilities, medical office, and retail space.

A few quick thoughts about all this...

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Watch for turtles

small animal crossing sign

We came across this sign while driving around Bethlehem the other day. It made us smile.

A picture flashed in our mind of a line of cars waiting for a turtle to cross the road.

Megyn Kelly's look has changed a bit since Bethlehem High School

megyn kelly then GQ now

Bethlehem High School 1988 | GQ 2010

The new issue of GQ includes an interview with Fox News anchor -- and Delmar native -- Megyn Kelly.

Says the article (titled "She Reports, We Decided She's Hot") of Kelly:

Abhorred by the left, adored by the right, frequently pinata'd by The Daily Show, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly has become the very blonde face--and legs--of the network. And she's okay with that.

Kelly is also a lawyer. Apparently, she got her start at Fox News after Brit Hume saw her audition tape.

That Bethlehem High School 1988 yearbook photo above is via the Times Union. Daniel Nester recently found a few other yearbook mentions of Kelly.

[via NY Mag via TV Newswer]

GQ photo: Alexei Hay via TV Newser

The Normanskill's Norman

the Normanskill with Delaware Ave overhead

Delaware Ave above, the Normanskill below.

By Carl Johnson

Around Albany, many of our most familiar place and street names come from notable local figures.

Louis Menand was a noted horticulturist of his time; Daniel Manning published the Albany Argus and became US Secretary of the Treasury. Slingerlands was named for farmer Teunis Slingerland.

So, who was the "Norman" of the Normanskill?

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Paterson says budget gap growing, Gillibrand asks Obama question, rabid kitten found, another escaped dog

David Paterson says the state is now facing an $8.2 billion budget gap -- that's up about $750 million from the previous estimate. The state's budget director says the widening gap is the result of smaller than expected tax revenue from Wall Street bonuses. In the increased estimate had member of the legislature criticizing the governor for not providing an "accurate picture" in his proposed budget. [TU] [AP/Post-Star] [NYT] [Daily Politics]

Kirsten Gillibrand got to ask a question at yesterday's Q&A with Barack Obama. That might not be a good sign for her. [NYDN] [PolitickerNY]

The Greenfield man accused of stabbing and killing a tenant last year during a fight pleaded guilty to manslaughter yesterday. The case ended up being a bizarre tangle of allegations. [Saratogian] [TU]

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Education groups sue over state aid, Schumer apologizes to flight attendant, police say stolen Timberlands kicked off chase, Albany councilman calls for cancellation of "Jersey Shore"

A coalition of education groups -- headed by NYSUT -- filed suit against David Paterson yesterday in attempt to eliminate the delay in education aid payments. The coalition argues that Paterson has overstepped his authority -- and the uncertainty created the action is making budgeting difficult. Paterson accused the coalition of trying to be "extra special" interest groups. [TU] [NYT] [Fox23] [Daily Politics]

Saratoga Springs' finance commissioner says the city may have to borrow money to cover the gap created by delayed state aid payments. [Saratogian]

Democrats in the Rensselaer County legislature says three incoming Republicans should not be allowed to serve in both the county legislature and their town boards. One of the incoming Republicans called the practice "totally legal." [TU] [Troy Record]

Richard Daines, New York's health commissioner, got an H1N1 shot during a photo opp yesterday. Even though flu activity in the state is decling, Daines called the flu a "tricky virus" and urged people to still get vaccinated. [CapNews9] [TU] [Fox23]

Chuck Schumer apologized yesterday for calling a flight attendant a "bitch" after she told him to stop talking on his mobile phone. Kirsten Gillibrand was sitting next to him on the plane (and apparently did end her call) and Republicans are now criticizing her for not publicly condemning Schumer's actions. [NYDN] [Politico] [NYT] [Daily Politics]

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Investigators hope to pull DNA from bone fragments, big development planned for Troy, Paterson's deadline could be January, police car license plates stolen

Law enforcement officials say they found a jaw bone containing teeth near the site of the skull fragments in Greenfield. The hope is they'll be able to extract DNA evidence from the teeth. Forensic testing is expected to take weeks. Officials say the child-sized skull could be evidence in a handful of missing persons cases -- but they say it's unlikely the fragments belong to Jaliek Rainwalker. [Saratogian] [TU] [CapNews9] [WNYT] [Fox23]

Jerry Jennings has put together an eight member search committee for a new chief of police. The Albany mayor says the panel has no timeline. [CapNews9] [TU]

The union that represents Troy firefighters is using a house fire this past weekend to continue its push for more staffing at the station on Boulton Road (the station near RPI). They say it took crews an extra three minutes to respond to the fire because they were short staffed -- and that delay may have resulted in a firefighter sustaining minor injuries. The union would like to see two more firefighters added to the crew at the station. [Troy Record] [TU] [WTEN] [WNYT]

A developer is proposing a $160 million mixed used project in Troy at Ferry, Congress and Eighth streets (map). [TU]

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State flu shot mandate cancelled, charges over ESP man cave, Paterson says Obama Admin cost state $1 billion, a big year for lady bugs

The state Department of Health has rescinded the flu shot mandate for health care workers. The DOH says there isn't enough vaccine to go around and the state would rather see the vax go to at-risk populations (young people, pregnant women). The Paterson Administration said the move was not related to the group of lawsuits filed over the mandate. [TU] [NYT] [NYDN]

The two men accused of being involved with the alleged "man cave" in the ESP have been hit with a bunch of charges that make the cave sound like some sort of stoner's paradise. Both men have pleaded not guilty. The attorney for one of the men said they were "shocked" to face charges over the cave "when there was actually a more publicized and egregious waste of tax money last spring as our state Senate sat around proud doing nothing while Rome burned." [Daily Politics] [AP/Troy Record] [TU]

A special meeting of the Troy city council turned into a bit of display as Democrats refused to show up and people ended up yelling at each other in front of TV cameras. Harry Tutunjian had called the meeting in an attempt to suspend three Democratic appointees accused of being involved with recent case of alleged voter fraud. [Troy Record] [TU]

Two alternate jurors from the Adrian Thomas trial say they would have voted "not guilty." [Fox23]

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Court halts mandatory flu shots for health workers, stabbing in Glenmont, small pumpkin crop, Paterson-Schwarzenegger friendship

A state Supreme Court judge has issued a temporary halt to the state-mandated flu shots for health care workers. A handful of lawsuits, including one filed by three Albany Med nurses, argue that state Department of Health overstepped its authority in requiring the vaccinations. The state health department says it's "confident that the regulation will be upheld." [NYT] [TU] [AP/Troy Record] [WTEN]

Neil Breslin and a group of other state senators are calling for Hiram Monserrate, recently convicted of misdemeanor assault, to quit -- or get kicked out of the Senate. Breslin said that Monserrate's exit is a necessary step toward the state Senate earning back the public's trust. [TU] [AP/Troy Record]

Shop owners and residents near Hackett Middle School in Albany say students have been causing a bunch of problems right after school as they walk through the neighborhood (map). [TU]

Investors with an Albany investment company currently under federal investigation say they raised red flags about the operation more than two years ago. [TU]

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Voter fraud alleged in Troy, VFW punishes alleged flag burner with duct-taping, big chunk of downtown Albany for sale, mass Thriller dance planned

Thirty-four people in Troy have filed sworn affidavits alleging that absentee ballots were fraudulently cast in their name during the recent primary election. The ballots were handled by or prepared for officials of the Democratic and Working Family Parties. The Rensselaer County DA is asking for a judge to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate. The affidavits were collected by private investigators working for Republican Bob Mirch, who says he will call for a federal investigation. [Troy Record] [TU] [TU] [CBS6]

Troy police have arrested a suspect for the shooting that hit a man in the head two weeks ago. The victim, who witnesses say had told a group of teens outside his house to quiet down and then was taking pictures of a fight that later broke out, is still in the hospital. [Troy Record] [WNYT] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

Members of a VFW in Rensselaer County say they duct-taped a man to a flag pole for six hours as punishment after the man allegedly burned the American flag flying at their post. The man reportedly had gotten angry after he was denied a drink at the post's bar. The post's commander says the man was given three options for punishment: being turned into police, a one-on-one fight with a veteran or the duct-taping. [WTEN] [Troy Record] [TU]

Jerry Jennings has proposed using land from the Harriman State Office Campus to allow a buffer zone between the dorm UAlbany wants to build on the east side of its campus and the residential neighborhood next door. Many of the residents of the neighborhood are not happy about the proposed dorm and have been posting developments about the project to a blog. [TU]

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Paterson says he never expected to be Gov, another person arrested for turtle bombing, chief suspended for slur, Schenectady overrun with kingergartners

Yesterday wasn't exactly a day of ringing support for David Paterson. Of Paterson's vow to run for governor in 2010, Sheldon Silver said, "I think, right now, I support him for governor." And at a Capitol leaders meeting, Senate leader John Sampson publicly doubted Paterson's estimate of a $3 billion midyear budget gap by saying his conference "doesn't believe in government by guesswork." Paterson says he'll be calling the legislature back at some point to address the gap. [AP/Troy Record] [PolitickerNY] [TU] [WTEN]

Paterson said yesterday in Syracuse that he never thought he'd be governor: "I did not sign up for this ... I wanted to be lieutenant governor. I had this grand plan that Hillary Clinton was going to become president. Maybe the governor would appoint me to the Senate." But he said he's still planning to run next year -- probably. [NYT] [NYDN]

The Schenectady County legislature has approved a county budget that will cut taxes a little more than two percent. Republicans -- who are in the minority -- criticized the cut as an election year ploy. [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

A group of Albany County legislators is proposing that the county build a new nursing home to replace the current facility. County exec Mike Breslin has been pushing to close the existing home in favor of placing residents in private facilities and in-home care. [TU]

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Obama at HVCC today, Bruno not invited, Paterson told to drop out, transcript indicates chief used slur, men accused of blowing up turtle

obama hvcc before

The scene this morning before the event.

President Obama's appearance at HVCC today is scheduled for 11:30 am. There were no tickets made available to the public. Video from the event will be streamed on HVCC's web site. Update: Lou's posted details about how to get the stream working. [HVCC] [HVCC]

Obama's speech is expected to focus on the economy and industries such as alternative energy. HVCC was likely chosen because the Obama Administration has been touting the potential of community colleges to train workers for these industries. [Troy Record] [TU]

The usual assortment of state and local politicians will be at the Obama event -- including Paul Tonko, who's flying in on Air Force One with the POTUS. [TU] [Fox23]

Not on that list of officials: Joe Bruno, who says the White House told him specifically that he was not invited -- and told WNYT that he's "hurt by it." Bruno's pork prowess helped fund many of the projects Obama will be highlighting. [WNYT] [TU]

The White House has reportedly asked David Paterson to drop out of the 2010 gubernatorial race. Paterson says he's still planning to run. The President is expected to meet with Paterson today during his visit to the Capital Region -- and with gubernatorial candidate state attorney general Andrew Cuomo. [NYT] [AP/Troy Record] [NYDN]

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Speculation about Tuffey's resignation, state Ed Department looking into kegger, Bethlehem cops go weeding, new row houses planned for Center Square

Speculation continues about the departure of Albany police chief James Tuffey. His retirement announcement -- by many accounts sudden -- came after a group of department commanders retained legal counsel and told city hall they would not deny a incident in which Tuffey is accused of using a racial slur. Mayor Jerry Jennings says he did not ask Tuffey to resign. The union that represents Albany police officers is saying that the resignation was forced with the help of the department's command staff -- and is accusing the city of using Tuffey's departure to stall contract negotiations with the union. [TU] [CapNews9] [WNYT] [Fox23] [Troy Record]

Jennings says there will be a "national search" for a candidate to replace Tuffey. Because of a charter change in 2007, the Common Council will have veto power over the mayor's choice for the position. Common Council president Shawn Morris says she wants Jennings to talk with the council about criteria for the candidate search. Citing Jennings' five other picks for chief, Morris said, "It's time to broaden the search." [CapNews9] [TU] [CBS6] [CBS6]

The New York State Education Department now says it will be looking into photos that popped up on Facebook of a Schenectady school board member and his wife -- a teacher -- at a kegger celebrating their son's high school graduation. Schenectady's schools superintendent says the district is "looking at [the situation] internally." [WTEN] [Upstream] [TU]

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Plotting and scheming in the state Senate, vote on landfill delayed, Lake George beaches closed, bowling-spectator cop promoted

Today's forecast includes the possibility of severe weather this afternoon and evening. The chance of rain is 80 percent and conditions could include "penny size hail or greater and wind gusts 58 mph or stronger." [NWS] [NWS]

Monday in the state Senate: lots of talking and plotting, but little action. An Assemblyman and a few good government groups are saying that David Paterson could fix the situation by simply appointing a lieutenant governor, and thus giving the Senate a tie breaker. Republicans -- and AG Andrew Cuomo -- say Paterson can't do that. [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Politics]

On a different front, one of the senators has sued the Assembly in an attempt to get it to accept the bills "passed" by the Senate during last week's V8 quorum -- though David Paterson has said he won't the sign the bills even if the Assembly accepts them. [Daily Politics]

Another potential solution that bubbled to the surface yesterday was the idea of co-leadership of the Senate. But it seems the Democrats can't agree with each other, nevermind the Republicans, because many now despise Pedro Espada. And speaking of Espada, he was apparently plotting with the "four amigos" yesterday over lunch at Bongiourno's. [TU] [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics]

The Albany Common Council delayed its vote on the bonds that would fund the landfill expansion. Apparently there's some question as to whether there are enough vote to approve the debt. The landfill could be full as soon as the end of this year. [TU]

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State budget talks appear to be stalling, police commander: no-fine stickers date back 17 years, home prices down again, school district worried about backyard wrasslin'

The Three Men in the Room say they're struggling to reach consensus on the state budget. (Of course, it's hard to tell if that's true or not because all the negotiations are going on behind closed doors.) The budget is due April 1. [NYT]

State Senator Hiram Monserrate, a Democrat from Queens, was indicted yesterday on charges that he slashed his girlfriend with a broken glass. Monserrate says he's innocent and will not resign. The Democrats hold a two seat majority in the Senate. [TU][NYT]

Chuck Schumer says he now supports gay marriage. The New York US Senator had been a supporter of civil unions and vote for the federal Defense of Marriage Act (which forbids federal recognition of gay marriages) in 1996. [AP/NYT]

An Albany police commander testified before the Common Council last night that the "bull's eye" no-fine parking stickers date back to 1992 -- and were administered by the Albany Police Officers Union. The head of the APOU at that time: current police chief James Tuffey. [TU]

The median sales price for a home in the Capital Region fell five percent (to $176,000) in February compared to the same period last year, according to the Greater Capital Association of Realtors. [TU]

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