Items tagged with 'Hudson River dredging'

Mutants in the Hudson

Hudson River Atlantic tomcod in Science

Sadly, his mutation doesn't involve lasers shooting out of his eyes.

Here's something weird and kind of amazing: researchers led an NYU School of Medicine scientist reported last week in the journal Science that a species of fish in the Hudson River has evolved protections against PCBs. And it only took about 50 years.

The Atlantic tomcod is known for its ability to survive in water heavily polluted with PCBs, but scientists weren't sure why. So the research team collected fish from spots in the Hudson that are full of PCBs, as well as fish from other less-polluted rivers in the region. After analyzing the genomes of the collected fish, they found the tomcod in the heavily polluted water carry a small gene variant that appears to allow them to suffer fewer of the effects of PCB exposure.

The researchers say a few of the fish from the relatively unpolluted water also carried this special gene, so they figure it had already been present at low levels in tomcod populations prior to the pollution. But when GE started dumping PCBs into the river in 1947, these few mutants suddenly had an advantage. And now almost all the tomcod in the Hudson carry the mutation. (PCBs were banned in 1976.)

Said Isaac Wirgin, the NYU population geneticist who led the study, in a release: "We think of evolution as something that happens over thousands of generations. But here it happened remarkably quickly."

More coverage: NatGeo | Wired | AP

By the way: the Hudson River dredging project is scheduled to start back up again in late spring.

photo of an Atlantic tomcod from the Hudson River: Science/AAAS

Bruno trial focuses on disclosure forms, progress -- or not -- on state budget gap, contractor dies on dredging project, the crow wars continue

Joe Bruno Trial: Much of the testimony yesterday focused on how Bruno's financial disclosure forms had been compiled. Ken Riddett, the former counsel to the Senate majority, testified that state senators were instructed to hand deliver their financial disclosure forms because of "concerns with federal mail fraud statutes." Also: Bruno's former executive assistant continued her testimony yesterday. She recounted the time Bruno sent her to the bank to get a $1000 bill for his wife -- and she says Bruno got "very angry" with her when she returned with ten $100 bills instead. [NYT] [TU] [Troy Record]

What's the state of discussions on how to close the state's budget gap? It depends on whom you ask -- though count David Paterson as one who's not optimistic, calling the situation a "prelude to what will be continued unhappiness." The governor also said he wouldn't rule out state worker furloughs if a deficit deal doesn't come about. [Daily Politics] [TU] [NYO] [NYDN]

Amy Seyboth Tirador, the Colonie soldier who recently died in Iraq, was buried in Saratoga National Cemetery yesterday. About 300 people attended her funeral in Colonie. Military officials in Iraq told the TU via email yesterday that "we do not know if her death was accidental, a suicide or a homicide." Seyboth Tirador's family has said the soldier was shot in the back of the head. During the funeral yesterday her grandfather said, "Whoever did this crime, I hope they rot in hell." [WTEN] [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

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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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Man shot in head, mother and son defy bike-to-school ban, state investigating suspicious fires, odd math on state test, ghost cats

Troy police say a man was shot in the head Sunday morning during a fight (map). The man is expected to survive. Police say the man may not have been the target of the shot -- though neighbors say the man, who lived on the street, was fired at for taking pictures of the scrum. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23]

Albany police have arrested a Troy man for the August 30 Second Street murder. Police say there may have been a confrontation between the two men before the shooting. The APD says witnesses at the party where the shooting occurred were initially reluctant to cooperate with the investigation. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23]

Schaghticoke fire officials say there was another suspicious fire this weekend. The state is now organizing a task force to investigate a string of 10 suspicious fires around the town. [Fox23] [TU]

A Troy City Hall inter-office memo warns of big tax increases in the city next year if it can't find a way to make budget cuts. [Troy Record]

The Saratoga mother and son who got in trouble for biking to school last spring defied the districts' no-biking-to-school rule by pedaling to the first day of class last week. [Saratogian]

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Dredging starts up again, Espada says no quid pro quo for son's job, rally for post office, horse prices up at Saratoga sale

The Hudson River PCB dredging project has started up again. Officials say they'll be working slowly in an attempt to prevent PCB levels from spiking. The PCB spikes have prompted some "told you so" from dredging opponents. [NYT] [TU] [CapNews9]

The Schenectady County legislature has voted to ban BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups. Albany County passed a similar ban earlier this week. [TU]

Pedro Espada said yesterday that the $120k/year state Senate job created for his son (Pedro G. Espada) is "not the result of a quid pro quo or a contingency to my ending the Senate stalemate." An unnamed state Senate Democrat called the younger Espada "lazy and not so smart." Big Pedro, who's know the Senate majority leader, apparently tried to hire his son directly, but ethics rules prohibit senators hiring family members. [PolitickerNY] [NY Post] [TU]

New York State will be giving people on welfare $200/child to help with back-to-school costs. A total of 800,000 kids will get grants. The cash comes from federal stimulus money snagged with the help of $35 million from George Soros. Dean Skelos called the plan "ripe for fraud and abuse." [CapNews9] [Fox23] [AP/Troy Record]

The number of new homes being constructed in the Capital Region is way down -- because of the economy, but maybe also because of changing buyer preferences. [TU]

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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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Friend says man killed by police suffered from mental illness, unease over state worker buyouts, judge pleads guilty to DWAI, big year for apples

A family friend says the man shot and killed by Schenectady police this past weekend suffered from mental illness. The man's brother says the SPD should have used non-lethal force. [Daily Gazette $] [CapNews9]

Workers at GE Energy in Schenectady approved a new contract with the company that includes no layoffs for two years -- and clears the way for a new battery factory that could add 350 jobs. In return, the union is forgoing cost of living raises for the next two years. [WNYT] [CapNews9] [TU]

The Hudson River dredging project has started up again after tests indicated that PCB levels in the water had dropped below the set limit. The EPA is blaming fast-moving currents for the spike. Officials from some downstream communities say the EPA was slow to notify them of the test results. [Troy Record] [TU] [Post-Star]

New York State has finally paid the property taxes it owed on The Track -- almost $478k. The payment was six months late. Apparently the state is exempt from having to pay late fees. The state started paying property taxes on The Track after it took ownership of the property from NYRA. [Daily Gazette $] [Saratogian] [TU] [Post-Star]

Lack of information about the $20k retirement buyout is upsetting state workers. [TU]

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Man shot to death by Schenectady police, no more Bruno bacon, conflict over dredging dump site, artist accused of stealing his own paintings

Schenectady police say an officer shot and killed a man wielding a butcher knife Saturday afternoon. Schenectady's public safety commissioner says the man moved quickly toward the officer -- and there's "nothing that indicates" the officer did not comply with department's laws and regulations. The Schenectady County DA's office says it will investigate. The officer who fired on the man had been shot in the line of duty ten years ago. Saturday's shooting was the first by an officer in Schenectady since 2002. [Daily Gazette] [CapNews9] [CBS6] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A state panel has concluded that the City of Albany's refusal to release "fixed" parking tickets could be a violation of state law. [TU]

With Joe Bruno no longer sending this bacon this way, the Capital Region's haul of state Senate pork is down 76 percent. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo has apparently "begun to embrace the possibility of a run for governor." [NYT]

It sounds like Carolyn Maloney is now leaning against challenging Kirsten Gillibrand in the Senate Democratic primary. [Politico]

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Ravitch appointment blocked, motivational event jams traffic, Schenectady SD paid $13k for Raucci report, Troy dog park drama continues

A state Supreme Court justice in Nassau County has issued an injunction stopping Richard Ravitch's appointment as lieutenant governor. The justice also ruled that Malcolm Smith -- who's (again) the state Senate president -- would take over the role of governor if something happened to David Paterson. A spokesman for Paterson says the administration will appeal in the ruling. Despite the injunction, Ravitch says he'll be showing up for work today. [NYT][NYDN] [Daily Politics] [Fox23]

The "Get Motivated" event at the TU Center yesterday contributed to a big traffic jam in downtown Albany yesterday morning -- I-90 and I-787 had mile-long lines of standing cars. The event featured motivational speakers -- including Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani -- pitching optimism, faith, skepticism of government and motivational products. Powell's speech was apparently the highlight of the day. (Question for another day: if having this gathering during a weekday snarled traffic so badly, what will happen if/when there's a convention center downtown?) [Fox23] [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

Albany police say two banks -- one on New Scotland and another on Delaware -- were held up yesterday within a span of 15 minutes. And they say it looks the same person was involved in both. The guy apparently got frustrated during the first robbery attempt -- so he left without money and headed for the second bank. [Troy Record] [TU] [CapNews9]

The chairman of the Troy City Council's public safety committee says RPI needs to "bring more to the table" in assistance for fire department coverage of the campus. The union that reps Troy firefighters has been lobbying for RPI to pay a "public safety fee" to help fund firefighter staffing near the campus -- and it appears the union is going to keep pressing the issue. [TU] [Troy Record]

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No progress in state Senate, mid-year budget change could be necessary, alleged pharmacy robber nabbed, stimulating the sign economy, hunting for what's left of Henry Hudson

The state Senate had two more in-and-out sessions this past weekend. Negotiations are apparently going on behind the scenes. The big sticking point remains leadership of the chamber -- specifically Pedro Espada's role as president pro tem. David Paterson is reportedly telling Democrats they may just have to get over it. [Newsday] [Daily Politics] [Buffalo News] [NYDN]

State comptroller Tom DiNapoli says it's looking like the state will be short on money later this year -- and a mid-year budget adjustment will probably be necessary. Of course, the would be virtually impossible with the state Senate locked in its current mess. [NYDN]

A state audit of the Schenectady Metroplex Authority reports that the org isn't tracking whether its investment projects are meeting job creation targets and that it's leaving parking money on the table. The authority disputed many of the findings -- and said it's purposefully not charging for parking. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Is it a coincidence that the owner of the construction company with a virtual lock on big projects in the City of Albany is BFF with the mayor and police chief? [TU]

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Paterson says he will force Senate into session, judge snagged in DWI sweep, bristling at being New York's pay toilet, vinyl records store opens in Schenectady

David Paterson says he will call the state Senate into special session tomorrow if the body doesn't get to work today. Said Paterson yesterday of all the drama: "Over the last couple of weeks, the senators' conduct has been laughable." Paterson says Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman would preside over the special session -- a provision that some say could be unconstitutional or create a conflict of interest. The session would focus on "emergency" issues such as the sale tax extension for some counties. Not on that list: same-sex marriage, though Paterson says he intends for the Senate to vote on the bill before the summer break. [TU] [NYDN] [PolitickerNY] [Daily Politics] [NYT]

Two things that might prompt Senators to start moving: they can't hook up their cronies with patronage jobs until the situation's resolved; and all their pork is currently locked in the barrel. [TU] [TU]

A man was stabbed to death in Schenectady Saturday morning. Police say they haven't identified a motive. [TU] [Fox23]

Police say an Albany County family court judge was snagged as part of the county-wide drunk driving sweep last Thursday. Green Island police say the judge tried to evade a checkpoint at the Troy-Green Island Bridge and led police on a short chase. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany Police Department is reportedly trying to fire two members of the force -- the detective accused of driving drunk through Albany into Bethlehem in February; and the sergeant who's been accused of trying to cover for the detective. [TU]

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State Senate paralyzed by drama, plane plucked from Mohawk, Albany sewers maxed out, moose on the loose

As had been rumored, Hiram Monserrate switched back to the Democratic caucus yesterday and now the state Senate is split 31-31. Result: no one knows what the hell is going on. The two parties discussed a power-sharing arrangement, but couldn't come up with a deal. They're now looking to the courts to settle things> -- and it sounds like the judiciary would really rather not do that. [NYT] [NYDN] [NYT]

The situation puts the state in a "constitutional crisis" as there's no clear way for the Senate to function. Also muddled: the line of succession to the governorship. [Buffalo News]

The Republicans + Democrat Pedro Espada showed up in the Senate chamber yesterday, but couldn't do anything official because they were one short of a quorum. Democrats are now threatening to sue Espada because, they say, he violated a court-issued injunction against acting as Senate pro tem. [Daily Politics] [CapNews9]

John Sampson, the new leader of the Senate Democrats, is being credited with bringing Monserrate back into the caucus. [TU]

A crew pulled the small private plane that crashed into the Mohawk near Glenville out of the river yesterday. The victims were also identified -- one was a former Bollywood actor turned real estate developer. Officials aren't sure what caused the crash. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

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Ambulance crew was going to take even longer route, H1N1 case in Albany County, Bronx terror informant was also Albany informant, turkey hunter charged, Troy co-op nears first goal

Recordings of dispatch communications indicate that the ambulance sent to transport the Albany boy who ran his bike into a car -- and later died -- had originally planned to take an even longer route to the scene of the accident. As it was, the Mohawk ambulance arrived on the scene 25 minutes after the call. Mohawk has yet to address why it didn't call for outside help in making the transport. [WNYT] [TU]

The state Department of Health reports that there's been a confirmed case of the emerging H1N1 flu in Albany County. The case, apparently a relatively mild one, is an adult who works in New York City. [NYS] [TU]

The Capital Region's unemployment rate was 6.7 percent last month -- that's up from 4.4 percent a year ago, but down from 7.3 percent in March. [TU] [NYS DoL]

The Saratoga Springs man arrested this week on charges he had a grenade is now under federal investigation after authorities say they found "anti-government materials" in his apartment. "Sources" say the material included a cover a Barack Obama Newsweek cover with a bull's eye on it. The father of the man's girlfriend called the guy "a psychopath." [Daily Gazette] [WNYT] [TU]

Federal stimulus money will be used to fund reconstruction of Route 5 (Central Ave) between Albany and Schenectady. Stimulus money will also fund reconstruction of Rt 2 in Watervliet. Along with other projects, $51 million of federal stimulus spending has been announced for the Capital Region. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [Biz Review]

Troy police intervened with a possibly suicidal man after the Los Angeles Police Department alerted them to threats the man made on his MySpace page. [Troy Record]

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Hudson River dredging starts today, no pork for Tedisco, Brown's new brews held up by barcode confusion, prom dress rugby

The Hudson River PCB dredging project finally starts today. Years in the planning -- and fighting -- the project is expected to cost more than $750 million and stretch until 2015. The first phase will include crews working 24 hours a day, six days a week until October. Towns in Saratoga County that get their drinking water from the Hudson have already switched over to Troy's water supply after tests indicated the level of PCBs in the river was twice the EPA's safe limit. [Post-Star] [Biz Review] [TU] [CapNews9]

A fourth Skidmore student has been charged in the alleged assault of a fellow student in April. The four students -- all seniors -- are accused of breaking down multiple doors to reach the sophomore, who -- according to his attorney -- says the alleged attack was like something out of The Shining. The four seniors reportedly had a dispute with the sophomore over a woman.[Saratogian] [TU] [Post-Star]

Jim Tedisco didn't take any pork this year for his Assembly district. Last year he gave out more than $400k in "member item" money. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

David Paterson vetoed legislation that would have fined local governments for not complying with the state's open meetings law. He said the law was "problematic" because the $500 fine would have been assessed to the governmental entity -- not the officials. [AP/TU]

State comptroller Tom DiNapoli issued a report recommending that the state adopt a two-year budget cycle and voter-approval of new state debt. [Biz Review]

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