Items tagged with 'Scott Murphy'

Bill Clinton in Saratoga

bill clinton saratoga

New York Now Matt sent along this photoset from Bill Clinton appearance this morning at the Hall of Springs in Saratoga.

Clinton was in town to campaign for Scott Murphy. Said Clinton of the race between Murphy and Republican Chris Gibson: "It's not about right and left, it's about tomorrow versus yesterday." (You can probably guess which candidate he thinks represents tomorrow.) [TU CapCon]

While Clinton and Murphy were in Saratoga, Gibson was on TALK 1300 also striking a non-idealogical tone: "Here's the thing though: Let's not worry about who gets the credit ... At the end of the day when we get the economy moving again, that's what matters." [Post-Star]

Sometimes it seems like we don't really have good choices in our elections. But both Murphy and Gibson seem like smart, engaged people. Sure, they have different viewpoints -- but neither is a bozo. That's saying something.

Here's the video of their debate two weeks ago.

As late as the end of September, Murphy had a big lead in the polls. But the latest Siena poll reported Gibson up by 9. FiveThirtyEight is projecting a 4.5 point win for Gibson.

(Thanks, Matt!)

photo: Matt Ryan

Siena poll: Gibson now leads Murphy

murphy gibson ny20The Siena poll out today reports that Chris Gibson now leads Scott Murphy 51-42 for the NY 20th Congressional District. Gibson also leads 49-42 among independents.

That's quite a swing from a little more than a month ago, when the Siena poll had Murphy up 54-37 (and up 58-30 among independents). Murphy has also lost what was a strong lead in the northern part of the district (he's from Glens Falls, Gibson is from Kinderhook). And his favorability rating has taken a dive -- it was 56-27 a month ago, now it's 45-45.

Interestingly, Barack Obama's favorabilty rating in the district has also fallen over the that time (51 then, 41 now) -- but Kirsten Gillibrand's has not.

The poll was conducted October 23-25 -- that's after last week's debate, in which Gibson came across as confident and likable. [WMHT video]

Bill Clinton is coming to Saratoga Springs Monday to campaign for Murphy. And you can bet both campaigns will be running a whole bunch of ads between now and election day. [Post-Star]

This poll was of "likely" voters and its margin of error was +/- 3.8.

Murphy photo via campaign site
Gibson photo via campaign Facebook page

Congressional debates tonight

murphy gibson ny20Because we know that you arrange your social schedule around such events, here's tonight's lineup:

US Senate: Kirsten Gillibrand and Joe DioGuardi
7 pm on YNN
The Siena poll out this week reported that Gillibrand has large lead, but there should still be some good back-and-forth here. KG is a very capable debater and DioGuardi went after her in a debate last Friday.

NY 20th: Scott Murphy and Chris Gibson
8 pm on WMHT
We're looking forward to this debate because both candidates are accomplished people who seem to be serious about the issues confronting the country -- though they differ greatly on how they think we should take on those challenges. Their debate earlier this week did get a little heated when the flip-flopping allegations came out. Still, there should be some substantial back-and-forth here. And the race is relatively close.

Siena poll: Murphy leads Gibson

murphy gibson ny20

Scott Murphy, Chris Gibson

A Siena poll out today reports that Scott Murphy leads Chris Gibson 54-37 for the 20th Congressional District (margin of error +/- 4). Among independents, Murphy's up 58-30. And in Rensselaer and Saratoga counties, he's up 58-36.

When asked which candidate would do a better job representing the district in Congress on a range of issues, Murphy led in each category. The closest was the war in Afghanistan, at 39-31 (Gibson recently retired from the Army -- he was a colonel.) Here's the full breakdown of results.

The poll found that Gibson is trailing close behind Murphy in the southern part of the district. That's not surprising -- Gibson's from Kinderhook. If you drive around Columbia County now, you'll see a bunch of his signs. And he still has about a month-and-a-half to up his name recognition in other parts of the district.

Update: The Gibson campaign sent out a press release this afternoon in an attempt to cast doubt on the Siena poll. The campaign's pollster says the Siena results are "not consistent with other polling in the district" -- and cites results from a poll conducted at the beginning of August by a conservative think tank that reported Murphy was ahead 45-40 (just outside the margin of error).

The release also takes a shot at the Siena poll, noting that its "too close to call" description of the Lazio-Paladino primary "was off by an astounding 24 points."

By the way: When people were asked which issue was most important to them right, 41 percent of respondents said jobs. No other issue was even close.

Murphy photo via campaign site
Gibson photo via campaign Facebook page

One in five living in poverty in Albany, Schdy, Troy; pressure on Murphy from all sides, state running out of cash, North Greenbush kid gets lead role on Broadway

New York State's poverty rate is 14 percent, according to a report from the New York State Community Action Association. More than 20 percent of the people in Albany, Schenectady and Troy live in poverty. And about one third of children in those cities live in poverty. Of the four core Capital Region counties, Saratoga had the lowest poverty rate at 6.9 percent. The poverty line for a family of four is $22,000. [NYSCAA] [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Troy Record] [YNN]

As David Paterson's World Turns The governor said yesterday that he did not try to convince Sherr-una Booker to drop her domestic violence case against David Johnson. Paterson also said Kirsten Gillibrand threw him under the bus when she said he should resign if the allegations against him turn out to be true. Also yesterday: Marissa Shorenstein, Paterson's press secretary, resigned. "Due to the circumstances that have led to my unwitting involvement in recent news stories, I can no longer do my job effectively," she wrote in her resignation statement. Translation: I didn't know what Paterson might really have been trying to do when he told me to get in touch with Sherr-una Booker. [AP/YNN] [Fox23] [NYT] [Daily Politics] [NYT March 1]

Raucci Trial Day 12 Deborah Gray testified that her family's house and cars were vandalized on multiple occasions after Steven Raucci accused her of writing an anonymous letter to unions officials complaining about his leadership. Gray also testified that a former friend told her that Raucci was going to "take care of things" after the former friend told Raucci about her friends with a former partner (an unexploded device was later found at the former partner's house). A former co-worker of Raucci also testified that his vehicles were vandalized after he filed a sexual harassment claim after Raucci played the "man game" with him. [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [WTEN] [YNN]

Ron Canestrari says talk of a cancelled racing season at Saratoga is a pressure ploy by NYRA. Roy McDonald and Tony Jordan have written a letter to David Paterson urging to review the already-existing bids for the Aqueduct racino (money from that deal was going to prop up racing in the state). [WTEN] [Saratogian]

The Schenectady man accused of killing two dogs and torturing another has pleaded guilty. The plea deal includes two years in prison. [YNN] [Daily Gazette $]

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State delaying refund checks, Save the Y rally, father of American Idol judge to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand, Hasbrouck makes NBA

save the y rally

From yesterday's Save the Y rally -- here's a photoset from Sebastien B.

David Paterson says the state is delaying the distribution tax refund checks in order to keep the state afloat. Paterson and legislative leaders are finally meeting to negotiate the budget. [TU] [TU]

Paterson said yesterday that "we wouldn't project that the Saratoga racing season is in jeopardy at this point." Members of the racing industry have said recently the Saratoga season could be in doubt because of problems with New York City OTB and the stalled-again Aqueduct racino. [YNN]

Paterson signed The Family Health Care Decisions Act yesterday, which allows family members and close friends to make decisions on behalf of a patient who lacks capacity. The law has broad support, but was hung up in the legislature for 17 years. [YNN] [TU]

More than 100 people showed up yesterday for the Save the Y rally outside the Washington Ave location in Albany (photo above -- more photos here). Protesters criticized the Capital District YMCA and city officials for their handling of the location's now-imminent closure. A spokesman for the Y says it "just wasn't possible" to keep the location open. [Fox23] [Sebastien B] [TU] [YNN]

Day 11 of the Steven Raucci trial focused on testimony by former Schenectady school district athletic director Gary DiNola, who testified that an un-exploded device left on his car and vandalism of his house had "terrorized" his family. The testimony featured a heated exchange between DiNola and Raucci's lawyers, who objected to his characterization of the situation. Emails introduced as evidence indicated Raucci at one point wrote to DiNola: "I'm not a tolerant person to begin with. I'm even less tolerant of people who show me disrespect." In an email from DiNola to district superintendent Eric Ely, DiNola said that he had "learned to park my beat-up Volvo in front of the security cameras near the loading dock." [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Fox23] [CBS6]

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Paterson now snagged in Yankees ticket flap, new Troy city hall won't be cheap, Proctors expanding, cookies for Oscar

The state Commission on Public Integrity announced yesterday that it's asked prosecutors to look into whether David Paterson should be charged for giving false testimony during an ethics inquiry about Yankees World Series Tickets. The commission says it found:

"... there is reasonable cause to believe that Governor Paterson solicited, received and accepted an unlawful gift; and falsely testified under oath that he had always intended to pay for the tickets for his son and his son's friend when, in fact, the Governor's intention was to receive and accept the tickets without paying for them until a press inquiry caused him to submit a backdated check as payment for the tickets."

When asked yesterday whether he lied during the ethics investigation, Paterson said: "No." Paterson's story about how he ended up with the tickets has changed multiple times. In response to one of the Paterson administration's versions, the president of the Yankees told the NY Post the governor was "a liar." The Paterson aide who reportedly approached the Yankees: David Johnson. [NYS COPI] [TU] [NYT] [NY Post] [NYDN]

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio was in Scotia yesterday and told a gathering of Republicans that "the people of New York deserve better than what they've been getting." He also criticized Andrew Cuomo for "ducking and bobbing and weaving - avoiding taking positions." [CapNews9] [Daily Gazette $] [Fox23]

"Several hundred" people showed up for yesterday's state parks rally outside the Capitol. Jack McEneny said he's been getting more mail about the parks closures than all proposed budget cuts combined. [TU] [Troy Record]

The 12 jurors for the Steven Raucci case have been selected. Potential jurors were screened for their thoughts on firecrackers and the use of informants. As part of jury selection, potential witness lists surfaced -- and many current and former top officials for the Schenectady school district are on the lists. [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette $]

Consultants for the City of Troy report that building a new city hall could cost somewhere between $21 million and $25.5 million. Here's a live blog transcript from last night's meeting. [TU] [City of Troy]

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Second teen pleads guilty in Bailey case, Paterson says he gets advice from Spitzer, Murphy talks about Afghanistan trip, appeals court ruling in mall peace tshirt case

Ricardo Caldwell, one of the three teens accused of being involved in the shooting death of UAlbany student Richard Bailey, took a plea deal yesterday that requires him to testify against the alleged shooter, De Von Callicut. The third teen that was charged -- King Modest -- took a similar plea deal in January. [TU] [Troy Record]

Albany police say investigators have not yet met with the two officers involved in the fatal shooting this week on Quail Street. [TU]

A group of citizens -- including UAlbany students -- testified at last night's Albany common council meeting that they don't think the police chief search has been open enough to public input. [WTEN] [WNYT]

A spokesman for David Paterson called the New York Times' latest profile of the governor (perhaps the article that had been the subject of so many rumors) a "gossip-laden, subjective, and poorly-sourced narrative." [NYT] [press release]

David Paterson says he talks to Eliot Spitzer "from time to time and get[s] advice from him." [NY Post]

Two people have filed a lawsuit against the Schenectady school district alleging that top district did nothing after being warned about Steven Raucci. [Daily Gazette $]

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No jail time for pedestrian death, RPI mansion zoning app bounced, Ford and Gillibrand race for donors, Schenectady beckons to Stephen Colbert

The woman who pleaded guilty to hitting and killing a pedestrian -- and then temporarily driving away -- on Madison Ave in Albany a year ago was sentenced to probation, restitution and community service. The victim's family said justice was not served by the sentencing. The judge presiding over the case said the misdemeanor plea deal "on its face, does not look right." Prosecutors say the evidence didn't support a felony charge. [Troy Record] [WTEN] [TU] [Fox23]

Congress Street in Troy between 15th Street and Brunswick Ave will be closed today from 10 am - 4:30 pm for what the city says is the emergency demolition of a building (map). The city's engineer says the front wall of the former Industrial Tool and Die building "could rupture at any time." The building had already been slated for demo. (CBS6 says it will be streaming video of the demolition.) [@TroyMayor] [TU] [Troy Record] [CBS6]

Troy's Zoning Board of Appeals has bounced RPI's application for a height variance for the new president's mansion. [Troy Record]

David Paterson the vetoed the legislature's ethics reform package. The governor said the bill didn't go far enough. Legislative leaders are now talking about trying to override the veto. [TU] [NYDN] [NYT]

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Snowfall total way behind, Republicans lining up behind Lazio, shooting in north Albany, Brunomobile still parked

This winter's snowfall so far is about a foot less than typical totals. By the way: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today. [TU] [CNN]

Brian Stratton says Schenectady is facing a budget gap of almost $13 million in 2011. One possible way to help cover the gap: start charging non-profits such as Union College and Ellis Hospital for police and fire services. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

It's looking like the state Republican Party is lining up behind Rick Lazio as its choice for governor. Lazio was in Colonie yesterday and called out Andrew Cuomo, saying that Cuomo has "locked himself in his office and watched as Albany burned." A spokesman for Cuomo said yesterday that the AG is currently "focused on his public service." [CapNews9] [TU] [NYT] [Fox23]

Skidmore's president announced yesterday that the college will not have to go through with planned layoffs. He said the college's financial is improved because of an upswing in the endowment, as well as the results of attrition and a hiring freeze. [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Post-Star]

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Suspended Schenectady cop arrested again, Cuomo to declare in March?, man arrested for 65th time, local pilot flies supply missions to Haiti

Suspended Schenectady police officer John Lewis has been arrested. Again. It's his sixth arrest in the last two years. In this most recent case, he's accused of causing a car accident in the Ellis Hospital parking lot after he allegedly left the emergency department drunk. The SPD first tried to fire Lewis in 1998 for allegedly using a racial slur. The department's waiting for a decision on its most recent attempt to terminate him. [WNYT] [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Fox23] [CBS6]

A "source close to [Andrew] Cuomo" tells the Daily News that Andrew Cuomo will officially announce he's running for governor in March. David Paterson's campaign manager says "it's clear Mr. Cuomo is running for governor." [NYDN] [NYDN]

David Paterson is apparently going to try again to get the state worker unions to give up their raises this year. [TU]

Colonie assemblyman -- and outspoken MMA critic -- Bob Reilly says he's willing to support a compromise bill that would legalize ultimate fighting in the state if certain restrictions were placed on the sport. [TU]

UAlbany cancelled a cage fighting match scheduled for the SEFCU Arena this past weekend after a state commission said the event appeared to violate state law. [@albstudentpress] [Daily Gazette $]

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Teen accused in Bailey shooting pleads guilty, Walmart heirs backing local charter schools, rash of car break-ins in Colonie

King Modest, one of the teens accused of being involved with the killing of UAlbany student Richard Bailey in 2008, has agreed to a plea deal that involves him testifying against the other two accused teens. If convicted on the original charges, Modest faced 25 years to life -- he's now expected to get 10 years in prison. Statements the three teens allegedly made to Albany police indicated that Modest was a lookout during the robbery-turned-shooting. The attorney for the teen accused of pulling the trigger tried yesterday to cast doubt on Modest's version of events. [CapNews9] [Troy Record] [TU] [Fox23]

Albany police say the shooting of two men in an apartment near the St. Rose campus this week appears to have been a targeted robbery attempt. The APD says it's searching for five suspects allegedly involved in the crime. [APD] [TU]

The state Senate committee investigating Hiram Monserrate has recommended "expulsion or in the alternative, censure with revocation of privileges" for the Queens senator. Monserrate was convicted of misdemeanor assault against his girlfriend last fall. A state Senate vote on whether to expel him is expected to come in the next few weeks. Neil Breslin and Roy McDonald are both expected to vote for expulsion -- Hugh Farley says he's undecided. A political scientist says Monserrate's expulsion could throw the chamber into "chaos and deadlock." [Daily Politics] [NYT] [CapCon] [TU]

Delmar resident Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector and outspoken Iraq war critic, has been accused of being caught in a online sex sting. Police in Pennsylvania allege that he exposed himself via webcam to a undercover officer posing as a 15-year-old girl. Ritter faced similar charges in 2001 from a sting here in the Capital Region -- those charges were dropped. Ritter did not comment to reporters who knocked on his door yesterday. [AP/Saratogian] [CapNews9] [TU] [WNYT]

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State of the State today, hundreds show up for save-the-Y meeting, Some Girls "in jeopardy," Murphy says he was "clotheslined" in the House

David Paterson is scheduled to deliver his State of the State address this afternoon at 1 pm (webcast). He's expected to propose a set of reforms aimed at fighting political corruption. Among the proposals: terms limits for legislators and a requirement that legislators disclose their outside income. [NYT] [TU]

The executive director of the Capital District YMCA said last night at a community meeting that the Washington Ave location -- which is on the verge of closing -- lost almost $400k last year. He said the location currently has 1800 memberships -- and, to stay open, needs 2500 by April and 3500 by the end of the year. About 400 people showed up for the meeting. [TU] [@sebastienbarre] [ACO]

The Duanesburg Central School District announced yesterday that almost $3 million had been stolen from its accounts electronically last month. The district says about $2.5 million has been recovered. The theft came to light after the district's bank flagged a transaction to an overseas bank account. A district official says they thought they had "the proper safeguards in place" to prevent such a crime. The FBI and state police are investigating. The district says it does not believe the theft was an inside job. The district has a budget of $15 million. [Daily Gazette $] [CapNews9] [CBS6] [WTEN] [Fox23] [TU] [WNYT]

After years of planning, the Albany Police Department recently installed cameras in its patrol cars. Here's press release explaining how the system works. [TU] [APD]

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Investigation finds fraud at state forensics lab, Paterson talking about layoffs again, homeless shelters jammed, another bank robbery attempt

A investigation by the state inspector general concludes that Gary Veeder, a former state police forensic scientist, "routinely" failed to conduct a required test on fiber evidence and then lied about performing the test in case records. Twenty-six of the cases were from the Capital Region. State police say it does not appear the fraudulent testing affected any convictions. The IG's report also concludes that Veeder was able to get away with the fraudulent work for years because "laboratory staff's technical, or peer, reviews of Veeder's fiber examinations were substandard, overlooking obvious indications that Veeder had omitted the required fiber test." State police say they're bringing in an outside consultant to address the problem. Veeder is now dead -- he committed suicide at his home in Vorheesville last year. [NYS IG] [Fox23] [WNYT] [NYT] [TU]

The Saratoga County sheriff's deputy accused of forcing an acquaintance to perform a sex act on him while he was on duty has been indicted on 11 new charges. Saratoga County DA James Murphy says three more women have stepped forward to accuse the deputy of similar crimes. [TU] [Saratogian]

Federal prosecutors are predicting jail time for Joe Bruno. [NYDN]

David Paterson says state worker layoffs will be back on the table if state revenues continue to drop. [NYP]

Steven Raucci will stay in jail after a state appeals court affirmed a lower court's decision to deny him bail. The TU and the Daily Gazette are now suing the Schenectady school district for access to its investigation of Raucci. The district has already released a version of the report -- but it was heavily redacted. [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

State DEC scientists report that bat populations are down 90 percent in caves where they're studying "white nose syndrome." "We don't have a lot of years to figure this out," says a DEC scientist. [NYS DEC] [TU]

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Troy budget veto overridden, APD leaning toward community policing, Paterson looking for a "hand back," trailer runs into overpass

The Troy city council voted to override Harry Tutunjian's budget veto last night -- and now Tutunjian says he'll take the issue to court. The mayor says he would go jail before certifying what he calls an "imbalanced" budget. He also accused members of the city council of lying and distorting the truth. Council president Clement Campana said the council was within its rights to adjust the mayor's budget. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23] [@TroyMayor] [CapNews9]

The Albany police department appears to be leaning toward an embrace of community policing again. (Question: Why are fundamental policy decisions being made before a new chief comes on board?) [TU]

Now that Colonie has tightened its rules on motels that house sex offenders, Albany County Social Services has been placing them in homeless shelters and apartments in the city of Albany, according to a county spokesperson. [TU]

Saratoga Springs police say they're still investigating an incident last Friday that resulted in a man being shot in the leg. [Saratogian] [TU]

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Paterson says he's cutting local aid to keep state solvent, downtown Albany Y could close, yet another bank robbery, sinkhole swallows car, more quakes in Berne

David Paterson announced yesterday that he's unilaterally withholding $750 million in aid to local governments and schools in order to keep the state solvent. Said Paterson at the announcement, "I can't say this enough: The state has run out of money. We are $1 billion short." He also blamed the legislature, again, for not addressing the state's budget gap. A spokesman for the state Senate majority called Paterson's action "self-indulgent theatrics." [TU] [NYDN] [NYO] [NYT]

A state panel's draft report, obtained by NYT, says that New York State's juvenile prisons are in such bad shape that family court judges should stop sending all but the most dangerous offenders to them. [NYT]

The lawyer for De Von Callicut, the teen accused of firing the shot that killed Richard Bailey, is trying to get Callicut's statement to police tossed because he didn't have an attorney present. [TU]

A state lawyer told a state Supreme Court judge that the planned expansion of the Albany landfill would be its last -- probably. [TU]

Saratoga Springs are investigating an early Friday morning shooting. [Saratogian]

Albany police are investigating a car-to-car shooting around noon on Saturday near Hoffman Park (map). [WNYT] [Fox23]

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Porco appeal focuses on nod, state budget gap deal could be close, job cuts at Skidmore, police say 11-year-old called 911 on alleged robbers, CDTA bus bursts into flames

The judges hearing Christopher Porco's appeal in a Brooklyn state appellate court yesterday focused on the admissibility of the nod that detectives say Joan Porco made indicating Christopher was responsible for the attack. Joan Porco says she has no memory of the crime -- and the defense argued that prevented Christopher from being able to confront his accuser. The prosecution argued that the defense just missed its chance to have Joan Porco testify that she didn't remember. Christopher Porco is currently serving 50 years in state prison for the murder of his father and attempted murder of his mother. [TU] [Fox23] [CapNews9] [Troy Record]

A deal to close the state budget gap could be near. Or not. Members of the legislature indicated last night that they had put together a plan to cut $2.8 billion (from the $3+ billion gap), which borrows almost $400 million federal education aid from next year for this year's budget. David Paterson said that wasn't good enough -- and announced that he would move to withhold payments to local governments in order to keep the state solvent. [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Politics] [NYT]

Joe Bruno Trial: still no verdict. The jury heard read backs of testimony from two witnesses yesterday, which could be helpful to Bruno. [TU] [Troy Record] [NYT]

Skidmore says it could eliminate as many as 70 jobs as it tries to cover a $12.6 million gap in next year's budget (about 8 percent). [TU] [Post-Star] [Saratogian]

The board overseeing redevelopment of the Harriman State Office Campus announced yesterday that Columbia Development has been picked to develop the site. Officials with Columbia have close ties to Jerry Jennings, which prompted a competing developer to accuse the board of making a politically motivated choice. [CapNews9] [TU]

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Legislature back today, Tonko and Murphy split on health care vote, the weekend in stabbings, police chase half-naked suspect through Watervliet

The legislature is back this week for at least a few days. Today's schedule includes a joint session this afternoon in which David Paterson will speak about the state budget gap (whatever size it may be). A special session is schedule tomorrow to take up measures to address the gap -- and, maybe for the state Senate to vote on the same-sex marriage bill. [Fox23] [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Politics]

The two local House members split on the health care reform vote his past weekend. Paul Tonko voted "yes" -- in a statement he said the bill will provide coverage to 22,000 people in his district. Scott Murphy voted "no" -- in a statement, he said the bill didn't do enough to curb costs. Murphy was one of 39 Democrats to vote against the bill -- and one of three from New York. [TU] [Paul Tonko] [Scott Murphy] [NYT] [Daily Politics]

The Army has called the death of Colonie solider Amy Seyboth Tirador "a non-combat related incident" in Iraq. But her family says the staff sergeant was shot in the back of the head -- though beyond that, they say the military hasn't given them any more details. [Fort Lewis press release] [CBS6] [Fox23]

Week two of the Joe Bruno trial begins today. On a Friday Leonard Fassler, a longtime associate of Bruno, testified that the senator set up meetings with government officials, including then-Governor Pataki, for companies which were paying him consulting fees. Fassler said the consulting fees were paid to Bruno because he helped Fassler become a "better executive." [CBS6] [TU] [Troy Record]

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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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Shooting in Albany, Jennings and Ellis debate, rolling billboard targets police chief, snakeheads!

Jennings and Ellis

Jerry Jennings and Corey Ellis just before the start of last night's debate

Police say a 19-year-old man was shot and killed last night in Albany's Delaware Ave neighborhood, just a few blocks from the Spectrum (map). There weren't a lot of details -- the APD was canvassing the neighborhood for info. The police say they're not even sure the man was shot at the location he was found. The shooting pushes Albany's murder count to six this year. Update: Police now say the shooting appears to have been an accident. [TU] [CapNews9] [CBS6] [WNYT]

Jerry Jennings and Corey Ellis debated last night in front of an overflow crowd at the Albany Public Library's main branch. Jennings said his top priority is the city's children and economic development -- Ellis said transparency and public safety. The exchanges were mostly calm. One exception: Jennings got a little stirred up when Ellis said he had been ignoring the city's gang problem. There was only one mention, by Ellis, of retiring police chief James Tuffey. The candidates answered a wide range of questions that had been written on notecards by the audience before the debate -- a format that didn't allow follow-up questions. [CapNews9] [Fox23] [TU] [AOA was also there]

For a quick read through of the debate, here's the stream of live tweets from AOA and the TU. Also, CBS6 has posted video, helpfully broken down by issue.

At last night's Schenectady school board meeting, the board president briefly addressed the now infamous graduation kegger, saying it demonstrated "a lack of parental boundaries." James Casino, the board member shown taking a Jager shot from an ice luge in one photo, was not at the meeting. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

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Schenectady High "persistently dangerous" again, Ellis says people don't feel safe in Albany, state texting while driving ban signed, parking permits for Troy?, Paterson finds catharsis and a milkshake

Schenectady High School made the the state Department of Education's list of "persistently dangerous" schools for the second straight year. Superintendent Eric Ely says the district didn't ask to have the school removed from the list because "We're not happy with what we're seeing." Ely also Schenectady is reporting all of its incidents to the state -- he said other districts are not doing that. [NYSED] [TU] [Fox23]

Former state Supreme Court judge Thomas Spargo, whose chambers were in Albany, was convicted yesterday of trying to shake down attorneys with cases before him. The prosecution alleged that Spargo was soliciting the bribes so that he could pay for his defense in an ethics investigation. Spargo was booted from the bench in 2006. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23]

Saratoga Springs police say two people were arrested yesterday after it appears that one of them accidentally shot himself at the Adelphi Hotel in downtown Saratoga. The woman staying with him, who's from New Jersey, was charged with felony weapon possession because she doesn't have a permit for New York. The cops say they were tipped off when the man, who's been charged with reckless endangerment, showed up Saratoga Hospital and wouldn't say how he'd gotten the wound in his leg. [TU] [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

Albany mayoral candidate Corey Ellis said yesterday during a campaign appearance that there "far too many violent crimes in this city, and that too many people don't feel safe in their neighborhoods." Jerry Jennings' campaign has been touting statistics that indicate crime has been dropping in the city. [Ellis press release] [TU]

Jennings held a campaign fund raiser at Michael Bloomberg's home in Manhattan earlier this month. [TU]

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Albany County closer to requiring menu calorie counts, state facing huge infrastructure costs, call for community policing, new state tax credit for home buyers, Dubai ruler sheiks up yearling sale

The Albany County legislature has passed a law requiring that chain restaurants post calorie counts on menus. If county exec Mike Breslin signs the bill, it would take effect next February. New York City already has such a law. [TU] [CapNews9] [CBS6]

The Albany County legislature also passed a bill that bans Bisphenol A (BPA) from baby bottles and sippy cups. [Troy Record]

The state comptroller says New York is facing $250 billion in infrastructure repair costs over the next two decades -- and where all the money will come from is unclear (controller's office report). [CBS6]

State Senate majority Democrats have created a $120k/year job for Pedro Espada's son. [NY Mag]

Scott Murphy has been holding "Congress on Your Corner" meetings with constituents around his district to talk about health care reform -- he was in Saratoga and Rensselaer counties yesterday. Murphy says he's in favor of a health insurance mandate. [CapNews9] [Post-Star]

Hoping to make use of David Paterson's low poll numbers, national Republicans have been referring to Kirsten Gillibrand as "Paterson-appointee Kirsten Gillibrand." [NYT]

(there's more)

Raucci report won't be released, cool summer may be setting up cold winter, Tedisco hints at run for different office, alleged cold cut heist leads to pepper spraying

The Schenectady school district's internal investigation into Steven Raucci -- the former district employee who's been accused arson and intimidation -- will not be made public. The district says its lawyer "strongly advised" it to not release the report. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The package of state incentives for the Luther Forest chip fab project is actually closer to $1.37 billion -- and could be more if GlobalFoundries expands at the site. [TU]

A guy who was forcibly sedated at the direction of Albany County law enforcement so they could search his body for drugs in 2006 has settled his lawsuit for $125k. The search included a camera being put up his rectum. [TU] [AP/CBS6]

There's some historical data that indicates we could be in for a cold, snowy winter. [TU]

The Capital Region's tick population -- and the incidence of Lyme disease -- appear to be on the rise. [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Deal to avoid state worker layoffs "expected" today, Albany landfill expansion approval could come soon, Rensselaer County computers being de-wormed, UAlbany getting new building

The announcement of a deal between the state worker unions and the Paterson administration to avoid layoffs is "expected" to come today. The deal will reportedly include $20k buyouts for employees eligible for retirement -- which has some observers asking where the money is going to come from. The deal also apparently includes a new, less generous tier in the state pension system. [NYDN] [TU]

It's looking like the state DEC could approve the expansion of the Albany landfill soon. The dump is projected to be full before the end of this year -- six years sooner than originally planned. [TU]

The search has been called off for the man who went missing in the Mohawk on Sunday. A friend who accompanied the man that day said strong currents tipped their canoe. Rains earlier that week had increased the Mohawk's flow that weekend. [Troy Record] [TU] [USGS]

Among Scott Murphy's first slate of requested Congressional earmarks (pork): $2 million for a new Saratoga Springs public safety building. Murphy has posted his full list of requested earmarks online. [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

Another potential 2010 primary challenger to Kirsten Gillibrand has announced she won't be running against KG. [NYDN]

David Paterson's new top advisor described himself as being "like the 300-pound offensive tackle blocking for the quarterback called Governor David Paterson." [NYT]

(there's more)

Ambulance delay questioned, Paterson pessimistic about state finances, Rensselaer council doesn't show for no-show vote, Listerine blamed for failed sobriety test, surge of interest in home gardens

Albany mayor Jerry Jennings says he's putting together a task force to investigate why it took 25 minutes for an ambulance to show up at the scene of a fatal crash between a kid on a bike and a car. A spokesman for the ambulance company, Mohawk Ambulance, said "extraordinary circumstances" required the company to pull an ambulance from Troy to make the run. Firefighters who first responded to the scene reportedly called dispatch twice inquiring about the location of the ambulance. The boy -- who wasn't wearing a helmet -- later died at St. Peter's. The site of the crash was a little more than two miles from the hospital. [CapNews9] [TU] [Fox23] [Google Maps]

David Paterson is warning that $3 billion may have to be cut from this year's state budget -- though it seems that prediction isn't based on much more than his own hunch. Paterson's own budget office gently disputed the claim yesterday. [NYT] [NYDN]

Paterson made his comments about the budget at an appearance yesterday to sign a bill that uses federal stimulus money to extend a person's possible collection of unemployment benefits to 72 weeks. [TU]

State leaders are trying to work out a fix for the new bottle bill. It looks like a revised version will not include the New York-only barcode that bottlers said was going to be so much trouble. [TU]

Saratoga Springs police say they found a grenade and a bunch of guns during a domestic violence call yesterday. SSPD -- along with the ATF -- later arrested a man who lived at the residence. The bomb squad was called to remove the grenade. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Officials expect H1N1 flu in every county eventually, first local stimulus project starts, mixed-use development planned for downtown Albany, Dr. Z gets stiffed, the weekend in chase and taser

There were 96 confirmed probable cases of the emerging H1N1 influenza in New York State as of Saturday night, according to the state department of health. Seventeen of the those cases were outside NYC -- and the state health commissioner says they expect that the virus will pop up in every county at some point. Three suspected cases from Schenectady and Albany counties have tested negative -- a suspected case in Saratoga County has gone for testing. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus is now "circulating all over" the country. [NYS DoH] [NYT] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [NYT]

The Capital Region's first stimulus-funded project -- the reconstruction of Delaware Ave in Albany -- starts today (map). [TU]

The final tally for spending in the Tedisco-Murphy special election: $3.6 million -- $2.05 million by Murphy and $1.55 million by Tedisco. [TU]

Scott Murphy opened an office in Saratoga Springs Friday (it was Kirsten Gillibrand's old office). Murphy mentioned KG at least six times during his public comments. Apparently the biggest complaint at Murphy's first "Congress on Your Corner" event: Murphy supporters were blocking the nearby drive-up mailbox. [Post-Star] [Saratogian]

A state commission is looking into whether the ghost parking tickets given to some state officials in Albany violated a ban on gifts. [TU]

(there's more)

Congressman Murphy

Tedisco-MurphyScott Murphy was sworn in this afternoon as the Representative from New York's 20th Congressional District today.

How about Jim Tedisco? Bob Conner reports that Tedisco was at the (NY) Capitol this afternoon taking responsibility for his loss, sounding upbeat and eating jelly beans.

Officials expect statewide spread of swine flu, Murphy to be sworn in, Vick offer "a big mistake," paid parking proposal for Saratoga, ice cream truck pulls crazy U-ee

State health commissioner Richard Daines says he expects swine flu to eventually spread to every part of the state -- and DoH is already testing suspected cases in a handful of upstate counties. There have been 45 confirmed cases in New York State so far -- all of them in NYC. Said David Paterson yesterday: "This not time for alarm, but it's time to be alert." [WXXI] [TU]

State budget director Laura Anglin says this year's budget is on track to stay even -- if the planned state worker job cuts go through. The next few years aren't looking good, though. [NYS DoB] [TU] [NYT]

About 8,700 state worker job cuts, the Division of the Budget says it's still reviewing plans submitted by various agencies. [TU]

Scott Murphy is scheduled to be sworn in today at the US Capitol. [Daily Gazette]

The Albany Firebirds say the team's contract offer to Michael Vick was a marketing ploy -- and, in the words of the team's owner, "a big mistake."

(there's more)

State worker union says it rejected another no-layoff deal, horse breeder charged with animal cruelty, whupping charges lessened, bakery's sales up with help of cupcakes and Facebook

Note: the TU's site was loading erratically, if at all, for us this morning.

One of the state worker unions says it rejected a deal offered by the Paterson administration in which the creation of a new pension tier would guarantee no layoffs. According to many reports last week, the Paterson administration has offered a handful of deals involving cuts in raises or other concessions in return for a no-layoffs guarantee. The unions have rejected these deals. [TU]

As of Friday afternoon the unofficial count from the New York State Board of Elections has Scott Murphy up 35 votes on Jim Tedisco in the 20th Congressional District special election. The counting of absentee ballots continues this week. Democrats in Columbia County accused Republicans participating in the count there of "acting in bad faith." What happens if the election ends up in a tie at the end of all this counting? You guessed it: we get to do it all over again. [NYS BoE] [TU] [Troy Record]

The horse breeder accused of not providing proper nourishment to horses on a farm in Coxsackie was formally charged with animal cruelty on Friday. A human society official described the farm as a "puppy mill" for horses. [AP/Saratogian] [TU]

The four Schenectady teens who recently committed suicide were linked by a common leader of sorts who was the the first to kill herself. [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Paterson administration details state worker layoffs, two banks robbed, popular track coach officially fired, common council urges census recognition of same-sex marriages

The Paterson administration released a list detailing how many jobs are to be cut at which state agencies as part of the state worker layoffs -- the biggest cuts are at Corrections and OMRDD. The governor also announced that no management/confidential employees will be cut because they're raises have been canceled, thus saving the state money. Paterson sent a letter to unionized state workers yesterday calling on them to urge their unions to accept wage concessions as a way to avoid layoffs. [TU] [AP/Troy Record] [WNYT]

The Tedisco and Murphy campaigns have been calling absentee voters in the 20th Congressional District in an attempt to find out how they voted in the special election. The count in the race is currently at Tedisco +17. The counting of absentee ballots will start today. [TU] [CapNews9]

A national suicide expert told a community forum in Schenectady last night that kids in the city have told him that they feel anxious and have problems at home. Said one teen who spoke up at the forum, "We need help." Four Schenectady High students have killed themselves during the last five months. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Two Key Banks in Albany were robbed yesterday, apparently by two different people. Cameras in the Key at Washington and Lark caught a picture of the robber's face. [TU] [Troy Record]

(there's more)

Conviction in triple murder case, special election absentee ballot counting starts this week, Albany Med expansion on hold, woman arrested for false mugging report, bobblehead lineup announced

Jovan Underdue was convicted yesterday of the triple murder in Albany last January. Underdue now faces life in prison without parole. His attorney says they will appeal. [TU]

The Albany Common Council voted unanimously last night to issue a subpoena to the president of the Albany Police Officers Union as part of the ghost ticket investigation. It's the first the time the council has issued a subpoena in 80 years. [TU]

A state Supreme Court judge ruled Monday that the count of paper absentee ballots in the 20th Congressional District special election will start Wednesday. After a re-check of voting machines in Saratoga County, the state Board of Elections reports that Jim Tedisco leads Scott Murphy by 97 votes. But a more up-to-date unofficial count has Murphy up by 83 (the numbers will keep changing as more votes re-checked and/or counted). [TU] [Saratogian] [PolitickerNY]

Central New York Assemblyman Brian Kolb officially replaced Jim Tedisco as state Assembly minority leader yesterday. Tedisco stepped down/was pushed from the position because of his involvement in the special Congressional election. [NYT] [TU]

According to state police, John Sweeney told troopers he was in "big trouble" during his traffic stop for suspected DWI this past weekend. The Saratoga County DA says he expects Sweeney to enter an inpatient treatment program for alcoholism. [TU] [Troy Record]

(there's more)

Dalai Lama visit cancelled, Sweeney picked up for DWI again, Tuffey's niece had bull's eye sticker, another Schenectady HS suicide, school district ordered to pay for not preventing beating, Albany Freenet expanding

A representative for the Dalai Lama tells the TU that the Buddhist spiritual leader will not be coming to Albany as planned. It seems concerns surrounding the sponsor organization's ties to NXIVM, the controversial "personal growth" training org, caused the Dalai Lama's people to reconsider. [TU]

The state Senate finished passing the budget bills Friday night. Assessments of the budget differed greatly between the two parties. Even with passage in both houses, the contents of the budget aren't entirely clear -- and it may have to be revised later this year. [TU] [Daily Politics] [NYT]

At the least for the moment, the vote totals for Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy are exactly tied. That number is almost sure to change as five counties have yet to finish re-checking the numbers on their voting machines. Tedisco announced Friday that he was stepping down as Assembly minority leader to "focus on his transition to Congress" -- though he also said he's not declaring victory. It seems Assembly Republicans were also keen to push him out of the position. The Saratoga Springs regional office for the 20th Congressional District has temporarily re-opened with its old staff while the election is sorted out. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [NYT] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star]

Former Congressman John Sweeney was arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly driving drunk on Route 9 in Clifton Park. This is Sweeney's second DWI arrest, which bumped the charge up to a felony. Earlier in Sweeney's career he served as Rensselaer County's STOP-DWI coordinator. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record]

Among those who had a bull's eye sticker: the niece of police chief James Tuffey (another one of her uncles was also police chief for a time). An unidentified source tells the TU that Tuffey's niece didn't get a ticket for a 2007 crash because of the sticker. [TU]

(there's more)

State budget voting held up, Murphy's lead down to 25 votes, TPD split over whether RPI student was murdered, bathtub full of drugs allegedly found in doctor's home

Voting on the state budget bills hit a snag yesterday when Democratic Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson had to return to the hospital because of pneumonia (the Dems need her vote for the required 32 "yes" votes). The Assembly finished passing all the budget bills yesterday morning -- though a handful of Democrats, most of them from upstate, voted "no." State comptroller Tom DiNapoli, also a Democrat, publicly criticized the budget for relying too much on federal stimulus and other temporary money. [TU] [AP/Saratogian] [NYT] [Biz Review]

There still seems to be a lot that's unknown about the 8,900 state worker layoffs David Paterson has ordered. [Saratogian]

Scott Murphy now leads Jim Tedisco by just 25 votes in the 20th Congressional District special election after a re-check of some voting machines. Counting of absentee ballots won't be begin until Monday at the earliest -- Republican hold an enrollment edge in the pool of absentee ballots. About 165,000 people voted in Tuesday's election, the largest turnout in a US special election in two decades according to a Skidmore prof. Both campaigns are saying publicly that they'll come out on top. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [Post-Star] [TU]

Albany Common Councilman -- and mayoral candidate -- Corey Ellis has called for the council to issue subpoenas as part of its ghost ticket investigation. [CapNews9]

(there's more)

Special election not over yet, state budget hits snags, doubts about Tuffey's ghost ticket testimony, CDTA fare hike takes effect, milk spilled in Troy

The special election in the 20th Congressional District isn't over. Initial tallies indicate that Scott Murphy leads Jim Tedisco by as few as 59 votes and as many as 65 votes. Here's a county-by-county breakdown of the totals. There are about 6000 absentee ballots that need to be counted -- they've been impounded and won't be counted until Monday at the earliest. As you might expect, both campaigns think they'll come out ahead in the final count. There are some indications the parties are already gearing up for a Coleman-Franken-like recount. [TU] [Daily Politics] [WNYT] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star] [Saratogian] [Daily Politics]

Voters told reporters the top issue in the race was, surprise: the economy (great quote about Tedisco: "He's like a little bulldog."). There was a little bit of drama for voters on the Skidmore campus. And apparently some people in Schenectady showed up at the polls looking to vote -- except that Schenectady's not in the 20th (for what it's worth, Tedisco wasn't able to vote either). Many voters said they're just happy the TV ads, polling and robocalls are over. [Post-Star] [TU] [TU] [Saratogian]

The state budget isn't wrapped up yet (the official deadline was midnight last night) -- in part because Republican Senators, upset about the budget, stalled for a while yesterday and a Democratic Senator had to be taken to the hospital. [TU] [Daily Politics]

Three state Senators, including Neil Breslin, have asked David Paterson to meet with the state worker unions about the layoffs Paterson says are on the way. [Biz Review]

Still stung by the cut to Saratoga County's VLT aid, political leaders there seem to be missing Joe Bruno. [TU]

(there's more)

The best mud from Tedisco-Murphy

Tedisco-MurphyThe polls haven't even closed yet for the 20th Congressional District special election, but we're ready to move on. Heck, we've been ready to move on for what seems like weeks now.

If anything, we just want to be able to watch live TV without being deluged by attack ads -- and now web ads, too. (We know, we also see them on AOA -- blame Google.)

To help send this election into the past, we've picked our two favorite ads from the race. Of course, by "favorite" we mean awful or unintentionally funny. Alas, neither of the campaigns chose to use the scripts suggested by @KevinMarshall:

"Eating babies. Scott Murphy just doesn't get it."

"Jim Tedisco devours infants. That's an Albany politician for you."

If only. Our picks are after the jump. If you have a favorite, post it in the comments.

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Scanning Tedisco-Murphy, yet again

Tedisco-MurphyUpdated at 2:38 pm

Make it stop. Just make it stop. For whatever reason (probably the non stop ads) this shortened special election seems to be going on forever. As @AmyMengel recently joked: "Maybe they will let us just text our votes to 1-866-Congress01 or 1-866-Congress02." Then we could all move on.

Here's the latest scan of the coverage.

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Scanning Tedisco-Murphy, take 5

Tedisco-MurphyElection day is just a week away in the race to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's old House seat. We've been reading the coverage so you don't have to. (The last scan.)

The big news this week: two debates!

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Scanning Tedisco-Murphy, take 4

Tedisco-MurphyWe've been reading the cover of the special election for the 20th Congressional District so you don't have to. (The scan from last time.)

In the last few days "bonus" has become a dirty word. Let's get to it...

(there's more)

Special election candidates fight over what's pork, SPAC director's salary in spotlight, man accused of threatening garbagmen with cleaver, new job for McNulty

The two major party candidates for the 20th Congressional District, Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy, went back and forth at each other yesterday over the federal stimulus bill. The super condensed version -- Tedisco: it's pork; Murphy: no, it's not. Tedisco, who said this week that he would not have voted for the stimulus bill, also said he would have voted for it -- if he could have amended it. [CapNews9] [Troy Record]

Schenectady mayor Brian Stratton says he wants to fire five of the city's cops. The city hasn't successfully fired a cop since 1982. [Daily Gazette]

Organizers of the Dalai Lama's visit to Albany say the event will "change the face of Albany if the population of Albany embraces it and gets excited about and really understands the fortitude of something like this coming to this city..." The organizers of the visit are connected to a Clifton Park management training program that's been accused of being a cult. [TU]

Steven Raucci, the Schenectady School District employee accused of arson and terrorism, has filed an application for retirement. He's currently on suspension without pay. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The salary for Marcia White, SPAC's executive director, is catching criticism after a survey revealed that the leaders of other local arts organization make much less. White was paid $244,865 in 2006. [Daily Gazette]

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Scanning Tedisco-Murphy, take III

Tedisco-MurphyUpdated at 3 pm Tuesday

There are only two more weeks until the special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's old House seat.

We've been reading the coverage of the race between Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy so you don't have to. This time around, Tedisco takes a stand, Congress members write checks and apparently Republicans are "self-suppressing."

Here we go...

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Another quick scan of Tedisco-Murphy

Tedisco-MurphyWhat, you haven't been closely following every exciting turn in the special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's former House seat?

Worry not. We've been paying attention so you don't have to.

Here's the quick rundown on where things are at in the race between Republican Jim Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy for the 20th Congressional District.

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The Scoop

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