Items tagged with 'Clifton Park'

TOP2014: The Final

tournament of pizza final a lot of pizza

Sometimes things live up to the hype.

The final of the 2014 Tournament of Pizza, sponsored by Keeler Mini, was this past weekend at Shmaltz Brewing Co. in Clifton Park. And, as would only be fitting for the Tournament of Pizza to end all Tournaments of Pizza, it featured a clash of local pizza titans: DeFazio's of Troy versus Marino's of Schenectady.

DeFazio's, so many times a finalist, finally broke through last year to take the title. Marino's won the title in 2010 by beating, yep, DeFazios's. The two shops have posted the two highest individual pizza scores this year. And they represent the two highest all-time shop averages in TOP history.

That all adds up to a lot of expectation. And they exceeded it.

TOP2014 Keeler Mini in-post-ad

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Books on Tap at Shmaltz

Poster for Books on Tap- John Holl copy.jpgCould be fun/tasty: This summer Shmaltz Brewing in Clifton Park is hosting a Books on Tap program, where beer writers offer talks, tastings and, in some cases, food pairings.

The talks are on Sunday afternoons, and the series kicks off this weekend with Shmaltz owner and author Jeremy Cowan moderating a talk by beer journalist John Holl, author of the American Craft Beer Cook Book . Chef Rachel of The Ruck in Troy will prepare recipes from the book, which will be paired with Shmaltz brews. The tasting and pairing is $15.

Future Books on Tap talks/tastings include:

+August 3 - Giancarlo and Sarah Annese, authors of Beer Lovers New York
+August 10 - Ben Keene, author of The Great Northeast Brewery Tour
+August 17 - Tom Acitelli, author of The Audacity of Hops: The History of America's Craft Beer Revolution

(For the sake of disclosure, John Holl is married to Mary's cousin.)

A year of Shmaltz in Clifton Park

shmaltz brewing composite

What can you do with an English degree?

Well, English-major-turned-craft-brewer Jeremy Cowan founded Shmaltz Brewing Company. But the idea for a beer company came way before college. It was an inside joke between high school friends who were among the few Jewish kids in their San Francisco school and thought Jews needed their own beer brand. So they came up with "He' Brew" and the tag line, "Don't Pass Over Sober."

More than 20 years later that high school joke has turned into an award-winning craft brewery known for both its playful, irreverent beer names such as He'Brew, Rejewvenator, and Hop Manna -- and for experimenting with interesting blends and styles of beer. And last year, Cowan opened a $3.3 million brewery, the brand's first, in Clifton Park.

Clifton Park? It's a question Cowan gets a lot.

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The ladies who (prepare and serve) lunch

shen skano tesago cafeteria lunch line

By Casey Normile

On Fridays at Shenendahowa's Skano and Tesago elementary schools, the kids know what they want for lunch. The menu includes chef salad and fish nuggets, but those mostly go untouched. Because it's not just any Friday -- it's Pizza Friday.

The tiny students run in to the cafeteria, excited and hungry, lining up by class. Finally, when they're up, they turn shy and quietly tell the energetic lunch lady, Libby: "Pizza, please."

Principals and teachers get a lot of the attention when we talk about schools, and rightfully so. Lunch ladies? Even with a job that involves making sure hundreds of kids are fed, they don't come up in the conversation as often. Maybe it's the old "lunch lady" stereotype: a cartoonish character with a hairnet, a snarl on her face, and a ladle full of cole slaw.

But that image doesn't do the ladies at Shenendehowa's elementary schools any justice.

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And then Tim Tebow called

twitter trendsmap Albany tebowcallmatt

A screengrab of the Trendsmap for tweets in the Capital Region Monday night around 10 pm.

Remarkable: A hashtag campaign on Twitter Monday night -- #tebowcallmatt -- got Tim Tebow to call Matt Hardy, one of the teens seriously injured in the fatal crash this past Saturday on the Northway.

The campaign resulted in what was apparently a huge surge of tweets -- the hashtag was trending nationally for a while Monday night. There were also two related campaigns -- #MissyCallBailey and #DaleyCallBailey -- trying to get Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin and/or British Olympic diver Tom Daley to call Bailey Wind, the other teen seriously injured. (Wind is a diver planning to attend the University of Tennessee.)

Update: Franklin tweeted late Monday night that she called Bailey Wind and got her voicemail. "Would still love to talk to her."

The two other teens in the vehicle that night -- Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers, both Shen students -- died from injuries sustained during the crash. The Saratoga County DA's office says State Police are reviewing evidence from the crash, and waiting on a blood alcohol content test, as they consider charges against the driver of the other vehicle.

As we watched some of the tweets stream by tonight, one by Patti Gibbons seemed worth highlighting: "The challenge, #518Family, is to live what you're tweeting tonight for more than a few days. Make a life change for the better."

screengrab: Trendsmap / Google Maps

Pancakes at the Jonesville Store

jonesville store pancakes overhead

Crusty. In a good way.

By Daniel B.

Clifton Park is full of secrets. To the outsider, it may seem like a vast wasteland of chain restaurants and suburban sprawl. However, tucked out of sight, just a few minutes west of the Northway in the hamlet of Jonesville is a little restaurant with incredible pancakes. But unless you are a townie, you might not have heard about them.

That is, unless you have happened to stumble upon the comments of a woman who goes by the handle Kerosena. She seems to be on a mission to single-handedly bring these pancakes out of the shadows and into the light of day.

Her tales of these mythical pancakes got me thinking about a trip up to Exit 10. But when I found out they use only real New York maple syrup, I grabbed my keys and was on my way to the Jonesville Store.

As it turns out, their use of local maple syrup was just one of many delightful surprises.

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A neighborhood where (economically) everyone's just about the same

country knolls clifton park census map

Almost none of these things are not like the others.

The Country Knolls neighborhood in Clifton Park has the smallest income inequality of any place in the nation, according to the Census Bureau (with a handful of statistical caveats). That is, there's very little distance between the high and low ends of the income distribution there (Gini index of 0.214). Or, to put it simply, almost everyone there has just about the same level of household income.

Notes the Census Bureau in the report, U.S. Neighborhood Income Inequality in the 2005-2009 Period:

Country Knolls CDP NY, part of the Albany Urbanized Area about halfway between Albany and Saratoga Springs NY (see Map 2), has the lowest measured income inequality (though not different from the others in the table because of the small sample sizes)--0.214, or 46 percent of the U.S. figure.21 In these small places with low inequality, sorting is likely the source of the homogeneity in income. For example, in Country Knolls in 2005-2009, 96 percent of the people were White non-Hispanic; 85 percent of households are married-couple households; 97 percent of the people at least 1 year old were living in the same residence 1 year earlier; 26 percent of people 25 years and over had a graduate or professional degree; the median income of households was $107,589; and only 9 of 609 housing units were renter-occupied (1.5 percent).

That median income would put a household somewhere close to the 80th percentile for income in the Capital Region.

A tip of the hat to the TU's Chris Churchill for noticing this. And The Biz Review talked about it with Clifton Park supervisor Phil Barrett, who lives in that neighborhood.

[via @MickIAm]

Earlier on AOA: Capital Region income distribution

map: US Census Bureau

Mackenzie Cohn

Check it out: Shen senior Mackenzie Cohn singing Adele's "Right as Rain" at the school's annual "Shen Idol" competition this past weekend. She took the top spot -- and it's easy to hear why!

The Gazette has more about the competition. The second-place finisher also sang an Adele song. Kids these days and their appreciation of good music. Sheesh.

StarPups' Kylen Kline

Star Pups Kylen Kline Bulldogs

Kylen with two of her stars.

By Liz Clancy Lerner

Kylen Kline spent the last two years dealing with some real divas. She was on the road with stars from Legally Blonde the Musical driving from coast to coast in a van and working 8 shows a week. "It was exhausting work," she says.

Most of Kylen's time was spent catering to the stars' needs, but she didn't mind it because those stars -- two Chihuahuas and two Bulldogs -- showed their appreciation with wagging tails and sloppy kisses.

Now Kylen's back in her hometown (she went to high school in Clifton Park) and realizing her dreams. Kylen has created StarPups, an in-home boarding, dog walking and cat visit business that will be expanding to a doggie day-care, training facility and boutique in the fall.

I talked with her recently about life on the road with a Broadway show, her business plans and how little dogs can be big divas.

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Cohabit: two neighbors puzzle over an app

cohabit app game screengrabCheck it out: Axeva, a company in Clifton Park, has released an iPhone app puzzle game called Cohabit. From the press release:

Cohabit, the brainchild of neighbors Ken Malsan and Bryan O'Malley, challenges the player to "think twice" and is specifically designed to test a player's ability to solve two puzzles at the same time. Players must fill in a single board with numbers and colors without repeating any of them in the same column or row, similar to Sudoku. The additional challenge lies in the fact that every number/color combination must also be completely unique. Taking it one step further, the game's in depth scoring system rewards strategically minded players for placing a number and color in the same space at the same time - hence the name, Cohabit.

The release says Malsan came up with the idea and then pitched it to O'Malley -- the president of Axeva, and his next-door neighbor in Rexford -- and they often discussed the app while standing in their driveways.

The app works on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It's $1.99.

We downloaded the app and played it a few times on the iPhone. It is very much like Sudoku. The 3x3 puzzles are relatively easy, but it gets harder as the puzzle size increases. We could see this being a fun way to pass the time while you waiting for something.

Axeva released another iPhone app this past summer -- a color book app called Colortoons. The company's main business is building websites.

There are a few other local developers that have dipped their toes into the app pool. Both Ghost Hand Games in Saratoga and Spiral Design in Cohoes and have built apps alongside their regular businesses.

Earlier on AOA:
+ The CDTA iPhone app
+ Spiral Design's Split the check
+ Ghost Hand Games' Snow Brawlin'

image: Axeva

Clifton Park's Claudia Braymer -- World Cup rugby player

Claudia Braymer w:ball.jpg

She's 5'3" and can probably take you down.

Meet Claudia Braymer.

Claudia is a 5-foot-3, 28-year-old mom and attorney from Clifton Park.

She enjoys running, teamwork and tackling people much larger than herself.

And in two weeks, she's off to England to represent the US on the Women's World Cup Rugby Team.

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Colortoons

colortoons app screenshots

It's like a coloring book for the iPhone.

Check it out: a local software company in Clifton Park has built a coloring book app for the iPhone. Colortoons includes 20 animal cartoons that kids (or, you know, the young at heart) can "color" by tapping or painting with a finger.

We downloaded the app this afternoon and tried it out. The cartoons are very cute -- they include collections of dinosaurs, farm animals, woodland creatures and savannah animals. (There's also a blank canvas.) The finger coloring is a little like using a blunt crayon. You can save the works after they're finished (alas, there's no virtual refrigerator).

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Fantastick proposal

Matt and Alana

Matthew Streifert and his lovely and talented fiance Alana Sangiacomo.

Update: We talked with Matt and Alana about how it all came together.

If Matt Streifert isn't the most romantic guy in the Capital Region, he's certainly a leading contender.

The Albany Academy music teacher and local actor pulled off one of the sweetest proposals
ever at Sunday's performance of The Fantasticks at Clifton Park's Not So Common Players.

Matt played "The Boy" and his girlfriend Alana Sangiacomo played "The Girl." After the curtain call Matt...

You know what -- we're just going to show you.

(Yes, there's video!)

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On2 merger with Google approved

google logoOn2, the Clifton Park video compression company, announced late this afternoon that its shareholders have approved its merger with Google. The company says it expects to close the deal on Friday.

The original deal had been held up because some shareholders had protested the price Google was paying. Google then upped its offer to $133 million.

So, why is Google buying a company that makes software for encoding video? You may have heard of a site called YouTube.

Rumors swirl about Paterson, Bruno bacon not delivered, clerk and robber crash through window, a Schenectady gift basket for Stephen Colbert

The big news at the state Capitol is... a NYT story about David Paterson... that hasn't been published yet... and no one seems to know when it will be. The story is rumored to include some sort of bombshell -- though that, too, is currently a mystery (Gawker commenters had some ideas). The governor reportedly met with Democratic party leaders over the weekend to discuss whether or not he will follow through on his vow to run for election this fall. And there are rumors about serious discontent within his administration. A spokesman for Paterson called all the recent rumors "a new low even by the standards of planet Albany." [TU] [Gawker] [AP/Post-Star] [NY Post] [CBS6]

Harold Ford accused Kirsten Gillibrand of using "underhanded tactics" in her attempt to gather early endorsements from county Democratic Party leaders around the state. Gillibrand is calling for Ford to disclose whether he got a bonus from Bank of America. [NYT] [NYO]

Much of the $75 million in state money promised by Joe Bruno just before he left office hasn't made it through. [TU]

The chairwoman of an inspector general's panel charged with tracking stimulus money says much of the federal funding distributed to New York State has yet to be spent. [TU]

The man accused of stabbing three people near the intersection of State and Henry Johnson following LarkFest last year was convicted on Friday on three counts of assault. He could get 25-50 years in prison. The victims said the man ran at them, shirtless, and yelled "I live for this, this is what I do!" during the attack. The man had been up for trial in 2008 for another alleged stabbing in Troy in 2007, but a judge tossed the case for procedural reasons. [CapNews9] [Troy Record] [CBS6] [Troy Record] [TU]

A Schenectady man died from carbon monoxide poisoning in his apartment after turning on his stove to keep warm because the apartment's thermostat was malfunctioning, keeping the heat down. [Daily Gazette $]

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Schenectady man accused of torturing dogs, soda tax falling flat, proposal for prayer before common council meetings, family raises $1 million for research

A Schenectady man has been charged with felony animal cruelty after police say he killed two dogs and burned another. Thomas Hendricks is also accused of assaulting his wife -- and police say the alleged violence against the dogs was the an attempt to hurt his wife. Hendricks has denied the allegations. [WTEN] [TU] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

During his state of the city speech last night Saratoga Springs mayor Scott Johnson criticized the "dysfunctional" state legislature for stripping the city of $4 million in VLT money. He said the city would fight new plans to keep the racino open 24/7. Johnson also said that paid parking downtown would start in May. And floated the idea of sharing services with surrounding municipalities. [CapNews9] [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Saratogian]

There was some flooding in Schenectady's Stockade neighborhood yesterday as ice jams broke the Mohawk. People in the neighborhood seemed unimpressed. [WTEN] [WNYT] [TU]

The woman who died after apparently jumping from the Berkshire Spur overpass on the Hudson this week was an Albany High School teacher. The interim Albany schools superintendent says the woman was "an excellent teacher." She had been teaching math in the district since 1984. [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

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Thruway tolls increase, Albany schools to use lottery, the weekend in crime, the first baby of 2010

Thruway tolls went up five percent on Sunday, for both cash and EZ-Pass. State comptroller Tom DiNapoli criticized the increase, calling it "the last thing New Yorkers need now." [AP/Saratogian] [Fox23] [NYS OSC] [WNYT]

A 78-year-old woman was killed in Schenectady Saturday night after she was struck by a pick-up truck while crossing State Street near Proctors. The woman had been volunteering at the theater. The SPD says it's investigating the accident. [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

Troy police say a man stole an idling SUV -- with two kids in it -- from outside a grocery store Friday morning. The TPD says the kids were found 45 minutes later, unharmed, along with the SUV. They say the suspect was arrested later that day. [Troy Record] [TU] [Troy Record]

Officials from the YMCA will be holding a meeting with the public this week to talk about what might be done to save the Washington Ave location in Albany. [Troy Record]

The Albany school district will be switching to a lottery system for filling slots in its pre-k programs. The old system was first-come-first-pick-wait-all-night. [TU]

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Delmar house burns to ground after explosions, DA says city worker chased down alleged mugger, gun buyback out of money, mansion a bargain?

An explosion badly burned a teenager in Delmar and burned his house to the ground on Saturday (map). Firefighters say they heard two explosions after arriving at the scene. Neighbors say they could feel the explosions. Bethlehem police say they're investigating the possibility that rocket fuel was involved in the explosion. The teen was taken to a burn unit in Westchester County -- an EMT says the teen lost a hand in the explosion. A web site has been set up to help organize aid for the family. [TU] [Fox23] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU] [CapNews9] [CBS6]

David Paterson says New York would be "punished" under the health care reform bill moving through Congress. [Daily Politics]

The jurors in the Joe Bruno trial say the experience convinced them that the state needs stronger ethics laws. [TU]

Saratoga Springs' outgoing public safety commissioner is calling for the city attorney to resign after the attorney allegedly threw a folder full of resignation notices at the head of the public works commissioner. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

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Day six in Bruno trial, marriage equality vote protest, details in Colonie soldier's death, residents weigh in on APD chief, Albany in-flight

Gay Marriage Protest.JPG

Last night's marriage equality protest at the NYS Capitol

Day six of deliberations is underway in the trial of former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. Yesterday jurors heard a three hour read-back of testimony from former Senate attorney and current judge Francis T. Collins. Collins testified early in November that he had sparse information on Bruno's outside business dealings when he was asked to give an ethical opinion about them. The jury has reached a verdict on two counts, but is still considering six counts. Bruno was optimistic enough about his own situation yesterday to comment on someone else's problems. [TU] [News9]

About 150 people showed up last night to protest the senates vote against gay marriage. Eight Democrats joined all the Senate Republicans in voting against the Marriage Equality Act this week. Governor Paterson is a strong proponent of marriage equality, but there's some question as to how involved he was in lobbying Senators to pass the act. Paterson's sagging popularity may be the reason same-sex marriage advocates did not seek his support for a final push. [AOA] [NYT]

The debate over how to close the NYS budget gap continues. Governor Paterson claims the legislature's efforts to close the gap this week don't go far enough. Paterson continues to claim he'll cut spending further, saying "I'm going to do it even without their permission, and if they want to take me to court, they can sue me, but I will not let this state run out of money on my watch." [WXXI via DailyPolitics]

Former State comptroller Alan Hevesi may have accepted bribes from a California investment banker who pleaded guilty in Andrew Cuomo's Pension Fraud investigation. Hevesi is believed to have taken 75 thousand dollars in luxury vacations for himself and his family while he was in office. Also named in the investment banker's confession -- former "Mod Squad" actress Peggy Lipton. [NYP]

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Paterson addressing budget gap by himself, Porco appeal expected today, glut of apples this year, Salvo has to hire bell ringers

David Paterson said yesterday that he's decided to act unilaterally to save the state $1.6 billion through a series of cuts, transfers and accounting maneuvers. He also continued to blame the state Senate for the lack of progress on a deal that would close the state's $3+ budget gap. Paterson might also be considering declaring a "fiscal emergency," a move floated by John Faso. The legislature is expected to be back for a another budget gap special session today. The state is projected to have just $36 million in cash by the end of the year (the state comptroller says even less). [NYO] [Daily Politics] [NYDN] [TU] [CapNews9] [NYT] [NY Post]

Joe Bruno Trial: Jury is back for deliberations today after a break for the holiday. [CapNews9]

Christopher Porco's appeal is expected to be heard today before a state appellate court in Brooklyn. Porco's attorney recently said prosecutors in the case "took a blow torch to the constitution." [CBS6] [CapNews9]

Kirsten Gillibrand, in the area to announce an initiative aimed at protecting seniors against fraud, said the Army has not been forthcoming about details surrounding the death of Colonie soldier Amy Seyboth Tirador. [WNYT] [TU]

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Human skull fragments in Saratoga County, flu hitting some schools, school board hears Whalen appeal, Rensselaer stations Amtrak's 10th busiest

State police say fragments of a human skull were found in a wooded area in Greenfield (map). They say it appears the skull belonged to a child 10-12 years old. The state police lab will be testing the fragments for DNA. [TU] [Fox23] [Saratogian] [CapNews9]

The Empire Center reports that 1.5 million New Yorkers have moved out of the state since 2000. The one area to show a population gain: the Capital Region. [Empire Center] [CapNews9] [Post-Star]

A spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration says judges are leaving the bench because "they can't make ends meet" on their $136,700 salary. The state's judiciary has been pushing for a pay raise for years. [TU]

Albany police say four men, armed with guns, invaded a house on Washington Ave yesterday (map). Police say the it appears the house was targeted. They say the robbers used zip-ties to tie up seven people in the house. [Fox23] [CapNews9] [TU]

Some Capital Region schools are reporting higher than usual rates of absenteeism because of the flu. Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons cancelled classes yesterday because so many students were sick. [TU] [WTEN]

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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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Finger pointed at "chief finger pointer," Luther Forest reportedly beat out Brazil and China, Schumer and Gillibrand hedge on Paterson, microloans in Watervliet

chester arthur birthday

A ceremony commemorating the 180th birthday of President Chester A. Arthur yesterday at his grave in the Albany Rural Cemetery. (Photo: Matt Ryan)

Democrats in Rensselaer County have hit back at allegations of absentee ballot fraud by accusing Republicans of similar electoral wrongdoing. The Dems are focusing their attention of Republican Bob Mirch, who they're calling -- we kid you not -- the "chief finger pointer." [TU] [Troy Record]

Brian Stratton's proposed Schenectady budget includes an almost 6 percent tax increase. Stratton says the city is facing "challenging times," which include big increases in pension and healthcare costs. [TU] [Fox23]

Albany police say a 16-year-old girl reported being temporarily abducted on Second Street yesterday. It's the second reported abduction attempt in the city in a week. [CBS6] [Fox23]

GlobalFoundries chairman Hector Ruiz told the National Press Club that Luther Forest beat out sites in Brazil, China and Russia for the new chip fab. [TU]

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Voters testify about alleged ballot fraud, man arrested for shooting dogs, Troy police set trap for suspected muggers, live poultry market opens

A string of Troy residents testified in court yesterday that that their absentee ballot applications contained fraudulent information. And the voters mentioned that a handful of Troy city and Democratic officials had approached them with absentee ballots. A state Supreme Court judge will decide whether the ballots should be tossed from the recent Working Families primary election. [CapNews9] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU]

The allegations of ballot fraud spilled over into last night's Troy city council meeting. Democrats and Republicans squabbled over a proposed resolution that would suspend two city marshals who have been accused of being involved with the alleged scheme. [CBS6] [Troy Record]

And handful of local municipalities released proposed budgets: Jerry Jennings' Albany budget keeps the tax levy the same, but shifts more of it onto residential tax payers; Harry Tutunjian's proposed Troy budget includes a 4.25 percent property tax increase; the proposed Colonie budget keeps the tax levy the same, but shifts a little more on commercial property owners; Clifton Park's proposed budget uses $900k from its reserve fund to balance the budget. [TU][Troy Record] [TU] [TU]

The Albany County sheriff's department announced yesterday that it had arrested a man for shooting those two dogs in Berne. Police say the man told them he killed the dogs because they were killing his chickens. The man's attorney says the dogs also killed two calves and threatened the man's family. The sheriff's department says the man isn't being charged under Buster's Law because he didn't kill the dogs in a "depraved or sadistic manner." [TU] [WNYT] [CapNews9] [Fox23]

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Source says alleged Bailey shooter talked about crime, Paterson says he's still running, big tax increases looming for Saratoga, police say isotopes point to local crime connection

A "person familiar with the investigation" says the alleged shooter in the Richard Bailey murder had been telling a bunch of people about his alleged involvement in the crime -- and that led investigators to him. [TU]

Police say a Saratoga Springs man stabbed his mother multiple times yesterday. A city court judge has ordered a mental health evaluation of the man. Police say neighbors came running to the woman's aid after hearing her scream -- and probably saved her life. [Saratogian ][TU] [Post-Star]

After the drama with Obama on Monday, David Paterson said yesterday: "Clearly I'm running for re-election." [PolitickerNY]

After yesterday's Court of Appeals ruling affirming Richard Ravitch's appointment as lieutenant governor, a top Republican in the legislature says the state's constitution should be changed to address LG succession. Now that Ravitch's job is official, he says "my golf game is going to go to hell in a basket." [CapNews9] [Daily Politics]

Rick Lazio officially declared that he's running for governor -- even Rudy Giuliani jumps in the race. Lazio said yesterday that it's time to "replace state government with a government that this state needs." [Daily Politics] [PolitickerNY]

Filming on that Will Ferrell movie starts in downtown Albany today -- here's a list of street closings and parking restrictions. [AOA] [AOA]

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Jennings and Ellis spar over vacant buildings, state Senate paying lease on empty offices, Joe Bruno still alive, socialite's tiny dogs on display

Jerry Jennings and mayoral candidate Corey Ellis went back and forth yesterday over vacant buildings and the city's plan to paint boarded up windows to look like real windows. At a press conference on Henry Johnson, Jennings said the painted boards will help deter crime. At his own presser nearby, Ellis said "There's not enough paint in this city to solve these problems." [TU] [WNYT] [CitizenAction YouTube via PolitickerNY]

A former state Senate employee has alleged that David Paterson was having an affair with a staffer while he was lieutenant governor. That prompted a lawyer for the alleged mistress to call the former staffer "a lying weasel." [NYT]

The state Senate is paying $1.5 million on a lease for empty office space near the Capitol. [TU]

The Schenectady Free Health Clinic is on the verge of closing after its state funding didn't get renewed. [TU]

Saratoga public safety commissioner -- and mayoral candidate -- Ron Kim says the Saratogian has been too lax in allowing what he calls racist comments to be posted on its web site. (Kim is part Korean and apparently some of the comments make references to him being like Kim Jong Il). The Saratogian says Kim didn't report the offensive comments to the paper. [TU] [Saratogian]

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What evil lurks in the heart of Clifton Park?

clifton park evil poll

Hmm...

Check out this poll that appeared on CliftonPark.org last Friday. Alas, it doesn't specify the type of evil. Maybe they're worried about zombies.

@techcommdood pointed out the poll. As he tweeted: "My town (Clifton Park NY) wants to know what my family & I would do if confronted by evil (creepy question). I'd make evilade."

Anyway, there's a new poll up now. We captured a screenshot from Friday.

Google buying Clifton Park company

google logoGoogle announced today that it's buying a Clifton Park company for $106.5 million.

On2 Technologies develops video compression technology. The acquisition is expected to help YouTube better deliver high-def video (remember, Google owns YouTube). It could help Google save money by saving on bandwidth (better compression = smaller files). And better compression would probably make it easier to send video to mobile devices like the iPhone (On2 bought a company that developed video software for mobile devices two year ago).

On2 was already working with a handful of high-profile clients, including Adobe, Amazon, Netflix, Skype and Brightcove.

While this is surely a big deal for On2, the cost of the acquisition is barely a drop in the bucket for Google. The market cap for the owner of the world the search giant was more than $142 billion as of this morning.

[Google press release] [Bloomberg] [PaidContent]

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]

(there's more)

State Senate gets back to work, Biden in Clifton Park, Salvation Army says it didn't blow the whistle, chip fab has 20 year lifespan, good year for apples

The state Senate, with Pedro Espada caucusing with the Democrats, had a real session last night -- 135 bills were passed. The session was not without drama. Republicans held things up for about two hours because they said Democrats weren't supporting agreed-upon reforms -- Dean Skelos called Democrats "a bunch of phonies." The session got back on track shortly before midnight when both sides announced they had agreed to "a framework" for reform. [Biz Review] [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette] [Daily Politics]

The session also included Espada's installation as majority leader, though it wasn't by a vote because apparently some of the Democrats refused to directly vote for him. [Daily Politics]

David Paterson's appointment of Richard Ravitch to lieutenant governor is basically on hold until the courts review it. The first hearing is today. [TU]

Joe Biden touted the Obama Administration's stimulus program yesterday during his speech to about 600 people in Clifton Park. The VP announced that New York was getting another $275 million for unemployment insurance. And he said 6,800 jobs would be coming to the state. Among Biden's comments: he would never take the job of Mayor of Albany because it's too hard. (video from the event) [Post-Star] [Troy Record] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star]

(there's more)

Senate drama twists again, small plane crashes into Mohawk, firefighters pull unconcisous girl from fire, Whole Foods reportedly scouting area

The state Senate drama took another twist over the weekend when Hiram Monserrate -- one of the Democratic switchers -- said he's returning to caucus with the Democrats. Apparently one of Monserrate's demands for returning to the Dems' caucus was that Malcolm Smith had to go as majority leader. Brooklyn senator John Sampson is reportedly going to take over as head of the Democratic caucus -- but Smith might stay on as leader-in-name-only so the Democrats can pursue their case arguing that the Republican takeover was illegal. [NYDN] [NYDN] [NYP] [TU]

If Monserrate really does switch back, it would leave the Senate split 31-31 -- and that could mean epic gridlock. Dean Skelos and Pedro Espada -- the (new, former?) Senate leaders -- would stay in charge of the body. Typically in a 31-31 split the lieutenant governor would cast the deciding vote -- but New York is currently without a lt governor. Republicans are apparently arguing that Espada -- who's the Senate pro tem -- should get two votes. That's not going over well with the Democrats. [Buffalo News] [NYDN]

By the way: Espada still hasn't settled his numerous campaign disclosure violations, as he promised to do. [TU]

Two people are dead and another missing after a small plane crashed into the Mohawk shortly after take-off from the Mohawk Valley Airport in Glenville yesterday afternoon. Witnesses say it appears the plane didn't get enough speed to take off. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Troy pizza shop worker who thwarted a robbery last month was shot four times Saturday in another hit on the shop -- he's expected to live. Police say the man confronted the shooter(s) in front of the store because he thought something was up. The shop is a Domino's -- the company is offering a $5000 reward for info. [TU] [Troy Record] [CapNews9]

(there's more)

Senate drama staggers forward, calls for Tuffey to be fired, APD starts rewards for tips program, it's DMB weekend in Saratoga

The state Senate -- or, at least, part of it -- went into session yesterday... for about 20 minutes. Hiram Monserrate -- one of the Democratic switchers -- walked out, bring the session to a halt. Monserrate said he's trying to bring more Democrats into the coalition -- but other suspect he's playing both sides in an attempt to the score the best deal. [TU] [NYT] [NYDN] [NYP]

Another hold up in the Senate yesterday: Democrats locked the cabinet that holds the bills.

Most of the action yesterday was in court, where Democrats tried to challenge the overthrow. The didn't win much -- and they'll be back in court today. However, they did get an order blocking Pedro Espada, who's (maybe?) the new Senate president pro tem, from becoming acting governor were something to happen to David Paterson. Apparently some are concerned that Espada could issue pardons if Paterson traveled out of state -- even a pardon to... himself. [AP/Daily Gazette] [Daily Politics] [TU]

Espada is apparently trying to pull other Democrats into the coalition by pushing for a vote on the same-sex marriage bill. [Daily Politics]

The big issue in the background of this whole struggle: redistricting. [Newsday]

Now that Albany police chief James Tuffey is back at work in an administrative role, Shawn Morris and Corey Ellis -- both mayoral candidates -- are calling for him to be fired. Tuffey said he's not going anywhere. Jerry Jennings says he still supports Tuffey: "I run this city. They don't run this city. I made this decision, I'll stand by it." [TU] [Fox23]

(there's more)

Woman killed in Schenectady deli stick-up, Tonko endorses Morris, Paterson reaches out to Bruno on same-sex marriage, Price Chopper alleges grocery espionage, plane lands on Route 9

A woman was shot and killed in a deli on Eastern Ave in Schenectady Friday night (map). Police say it appears the woman got caught up in the middle of a robbery -- but they're not sure whether the she was intentionally shot. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A Troy man has been arrested for the death of his girfriend's three-year-old daughter. Police haven't said yet how the girl died. [TU]

Paul Tonko has endorsed Shawn Morris in the Albany mayoral race. Responded Jerry Jennings: "... the people behind me are the people that live in this city, that work in this city, and that will vote in this city." [TU] [CapNews9]

David Paterson has reached out to Joe Bruno to help him lobby Republican state Senators to support to the same-sex marriage bill. [Liz Benjamin]

The Obama Administration has found many of its appointees in New York State. [TU]

Another New Yorker the Obama team has leaned on heavily -- whether they like it or not: Chuck Schumer.

(there's more)

Chip fab construction could start soon, bottle bill postponed, new principal for Albany High, fee going up for flying out of ALB

GlobalFoundries and labor unions have reportedly worked out a deal that includes the payment of union wages at the construction site of the Luther Forest chip fab -- whether workers are union or not. GloFo has been waiting to close on the land for the fab until it had such a deal in place. The agreement is apparently not officially a done deal -- though both the company and the unions say they're "very close." If the agreement does comes together, the initial stages of construction at the site could begin in a few weeks. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star] [Biz Review]

The emergency preparedness drill involving that low-flying helicopter started yesterday in Albany County. The drill's scenario includes the "detonation" of two radioactive "dirty bombs" in downtown Albany. About 600 people from local, state and federal governments are involved in the training. [TU] [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette] [Fox23]

A federal judge has postponed the start of New York's "better bottle bill" (which adds bottled water to list of beverages that require a 5 cent deposit) until next April. The judge also tossed the bill's New York State-specific bar code provision. [AP/TU] [NYT]

It sounds ethics reform for the state legislature is going to stall because Sheldon Silver is not on board. [NYT]

The two largest state worker unions say they're in "discussions" with the Paterson administration about the planned layoffs. [CBS6]

(there's more)

State ethics panel slammed for being unethical and ineffective, UAlbany gets new president, Saratoga Springs mayor running for re-election, giant sinkhole opens in street

After a report from the state inspector general blasted the state Commission on Public Integrity -- an ethics panel -- for leaking info about its investigation of the Spitzer Administration, David Paterson called on all of the commission members to quit. The commission's response: no. Leaks or no leaks, there no indications the commission might not have exactly been doing a great job. [NYT] [TU] [NYDN] [NYDN]

UAlbany has a new president: George Philip, who's been serving as the school's interim president. The university's presidential search took three years and cost $300,000. The selection of Philip -- who had been there all along -- had at least a few students scratching their heads. [TU] [ASP]

GlobalFoundries says the EU's fine of Intel for anti-competitive practices will help the Luther Forest chip fab project -- because Intel's main rival, AMD, is currently GloFo's only customer. An Intel spokesperson says the ruling won't be sorted out for years and probably won't have any impact on the Luther Forest project. (some broader perspective) [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TU] [Post-Star]

The week in murders and shootings: Two brothers have been charged with the murder outside a former night club in Schenectady last month. A man was indicted for the stabbing murder on Bradford Street last week in Albany. And federal marshals in Georgia picked up the guy accused of shooting a woman outside the Playdium in March. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TU]

(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)

Special election vote totals shifting, Morris says Albany treasurer lied, arrest in Barnes assault, Shen coach suspended after old accusations come to light, state budget leading to Saratoga paid parking?

The vote totals for the 20th Congressional District special election keep shifting as voting machines and emergency ballots are "re-canvassed." What appears to be the latest tally has Jim Tedisco now ahead of Scott Murphy by 12 votes. The election will ultimately be decided by the count of the absentee ballots -- which won't start until Monday at the earliest. Both campaigns continue to express confidence that they'll come out ahead. [Troy Record] [PolitickerNY] [TU]

The Saratogian reports that Jim Tedisco will be stepping down as state Assembly minority leader on Monday so he "can focus on this congressional district." The TU reports that Tedisco is facing a no-confidence vote on Monday because members of his caucus are annoyed that he's spent so much time on his Congressional campaign during the state budget process. [Saratogian] [TU]

The state Senate has continued its debate of the budget bills, though a vote could be coming soon. The Senate voted to allow Democratic Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, who's been in and out of the hospital with pneumonia, to vote "yes" on all the budget bills ahead of time. The majority Dems didn't have enough votes to pass the bills without Hassell-Thompson. [TU]

Albany Common Council president Shawn Morris says she thinks city treasurer Betty Barnette "flat-out lied" when Barnette testified earlier this week that her office doesn't "fix" parking tickets. The Common Council is now seeking copies of every parking ticket dismissed in 2008. [TU]

Guilderland police have arrested a mixed-martial arts fighter for the assault of the TU's Steve Barnes and a friend last year in the parking lot outside Creo. According to the TU, the police are investigating "connections" between the fighter and an unnamed Albany restaurant that Barnes wrote about. [TU]

(there's more)

Former state advisers charged with taking kickbacks, string of robberies in Albany, mother accused of knocking kids off car, the word is "geogenous"

Two advisers to former state comptroller Alan Hevesi were indicted yesterday on charges that they received millions of dollars in kickbacks for directing state pension funds to various investment companies. State AG Andrew Cuomo said the case was one of the "grossest examples of pay to play." [NYT] [TU]

Sheldon Silver says The Three Men in the Room will take budget negotiations to public conference committees "if we have differences." Of course, it could be hard to know if there are differences because all the details are being worked out behind closed doors. [TU]

Albany police say there's been a string of robberies or attempted robberies over the last week. The latest: two teens have been charged with sticking up a St. Rose student and ripping off his iPod. [Fox 23]

Regardless of whether state school aid is restored, it looks like there will be job cuts in the Schenectady School District. The worst-case scenario includes the elimination of the athletic program. [Daily Gazette]

(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]

(there's more)

School district employee accused of arson and intimidation, first homicide of 2009 in Albany, crowds gets testy at "super" sale, looking for council candidates on Craigslist

The Schenectady County DA says investigators think a Schenectady school district employee engaged in "systematic acts of intimidation" -- including arson -- against people who had "crossed" him. The man has been charged with arson for blowing the door off a Rotterdam home in 2001. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A body was found in an abandoned building on Broadway in Albany over the weekend. The APD says it's treating the case as the city's first homicide of 2009. [TU] [Fox23]

The president of the Schenectady police union only worked for the city 13 days last year -- yet the city paid him $129,908. Mayor Brian Stratton says the arrangement is "crazy." [TU]

A stun gun, tucked in a stroller, made it through the security checkpoint at ALB a week ago. A gate worker found the stun gun as he was putting the stroller into the baggage hold. [TU]

David Paterson and his entourage charged the state more than $23,000 for their trip to the inaugural. [TU]

(there's more)

Paterson to appoint Gillibrand to Clinton's seat, unemployment rate jumps, state employee accused of loan sharking, woman profits from lucky mistake

An aide to David Paterson has confirmed that the governor will appoint Kirsten Gillibrand to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. Paterson's office has been contacting local elected leaders to assemble them for a press conference this afternoon. And Gillibrand returned to the Capital Region last night. [AP] [TU] [CBS6]

Names are already surfacing of people looking to take over Gillibrand's seat in the House. Sandy Treadwell says he'll run again. State senator Betty Little is apparently interested, as are Jim Tedisco and John Faso. Former Saratoga Springs mayor Val Keehn and current city public safety commissioner Ron Kim also say they're interested. [CapNews9] [NCPR] [TU] [Saratogian]

The Capital Region's unemployment rate in December hit 5.9 percent, that's up almost two points from the same period a year ago. It's now at its highest point since 1991. An analyst with the state Labor Department says the region's unemployment rate could surpass 7 percent by the end of this year. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Albany County Sheriff's Department busted a handful of prostitution operations around the area yesterday. Four of the people arrested were 19-years-old or younger. One of the operations was based in Colonie right near the Crossings park -- cue the "we never thought it would happen here" soundbite from the neighbors. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Fox23]

(there's more)

Budget drama in Troy, charges against Schenectady cops dismissed, Smith's leadership of Senate off to weird start, NYRA forecasts finish in the money

Troy mayor Harry Tutunjian has vetoed the 2009 budget passed by the city council. He says the council unlawfully shifted money into a contingency fund at the last moment. The council president says the shift was made to provide "oversight" of the contingency money. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany County legislature approved its 2009 budget, which includes a four percent tax increase. [TU]

A Schenectady County Court judge dismissed official misconduct charges against three Schenectady police officers yesterday. The trio had been charged with not turning on their patrol car's video camera and failing to fill out the proper paperwork following a DWI stop last December in which the suspect accused the officers of using excessive force. The officers have been on paid leave since then. [Daily Gazette]

A grand jury found that two Albany police officers were justified in firing their guns during a chase in September. Police say the suspect in the case pointed a gun at them. [TU]

(there's more)

Former Schenectady police chief to plead guilty, chip fab clears another hurdle, Paterson "disturbed" by list, Jumpin' Jacks waterfront to get makeover

Both former Schenectady police chief Greg Kaczmarek and his wife are expected to plead guilty today to drug charges. The former top cop is expected to get two years in prison as part of the plea deal. [Daily Gazette]

State police incorrectly identified the victim in a fatal car crash over the weekend in Clifton Park. The mix-up led to the wrong family being notified. The situation was resolved after the grandmother of the man who actually did die noticed something was wrong. [TU]

Super Steel is closing its plant in Glenville. The manufacturer of train cars says it's seen "a steep decline in orders." The shutdown will put 175 people out of work. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Malta chip fab project cleared another hurdle yesterday. The Empire State Development Corp. approved the transfer of $1.2 billion in state incentives from AMD to the new spin-off company that will run the plant. [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Unions scoff at Paterson's suggestion, SUNY tuition increased proposed, cop accused of threatening to kill ex-wife, state holds back stem cell research funding

A trio of the state's most powerful public employee unions scoffed at David Paterson's suggestion that they might open their contracts for re-negotiation. A Paterson spokesman says "no area of state spending can be off the table." [AP/Newsday]

More than two dozen SUNY campus presidents have called for a 25 percent tuition increase ($1,090 tacked onto the present $4,350), half of which would be charged during the spring semester. SUNY's finance committee also approved a three percent cut in each campus's budget . [TU]

Schenectady mayor Brian Stratton approved the city council's 2009 budget, even though he called unachievable and irresponsible. The council had cut Stratton's proposed budget, which included a 2.9 percent tax increase, against his objections. The new budget does not include a tax increase. [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Paterson warns Congress of "impending calamity," police say soph threatened school with data release, Stratton asks for raise, CDTA increasing swiper prices, fares up at ALB

David Paterson told Congress yesterday that New York needs federal assistance to "stave off an impending calamity." The Gov also invoked The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. [NYT] [NYP]

Sales tax data indicates that local consumers are continuing to spend. Sales tax revenue during the first three quarters of this year for Albany, Schenectady and Saratoga counties was up 5 percent over the same period last year. [Daily Gazette]

The company hired by the state to test its new voting machines has been suspended by a federal oversight board. That won't affect things this year, but it could mean the old lever machines will hang on through 2009 and possibly into 2010. [TU]

State Police say the Shen sophomore who discovered unsecured employee data on a district server had uploaded the data to his own web account -- and issued vague demands to the district for its return. "He knew exactly what he was doing when he did it," a state police investigator said. [TU]

(there's more)

No leads in UAlbany student shooting, probable safety violations at site of ditch death, Paterson dials wrong number, spellcheck blamed for Obama/Osama mixup

Richard Bailey, the UAlbany student shot in the head Monday night, died yesterday afternoon. He was from Long Island and planned to become a cop. The APD hasn't identified a motive for the shooting. It says it's looking for two people who were riding bikes past the intersection of South Lake and Yates at the time of the shooting. Police say the two bike riders aren't considered suspects, but a woman who was driving past the same point that night says she thinks the they were involved. [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Gazette] [CBS6]

Kirsten Gillibrand and Sandy Treadwell met for their first debate / candidate forum last night in Poughkeepsie. The main exchange between the seems to have been of the "Yes, you did/No, I didn't" variety on tax increases. [TU] [Fox23]

OSHA says the death of a construction worker after a ditch collapse in Clifton Park this week was "preventable." An official says a complete investigation could take several weeks. An attorney representing the contruction contractor says it appears the man who died did not follow instructions on how to properly dig the ditch. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Leaders of the state worker unions met yesterday with David Paterson to talk about ways the state could cut costs. Layoffs did not come up in the discussion, though the Gov reportedly did say "there are no sacred cows." [TU]

(there's more)

Local economy OK... for now, Gillibrand talks about tobacco industry work, bridges described as "structurally deficient," neighbors fight over tree

How's the local economy? Not so bad, say business owners and other experts. But the future may be another thing. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Kirsten Gillibrand addressed her time as a lawyer representing tobacco company Philip Morris yesterday. Campaign finance records indicate she's received at least $16,700 from executives connected to the company (which is now called Altria) -- Gillibrand says she wasn't aware the company had contributed. Gillibrand's history with the company has been publicized recently by a former Pataki aide on a blog and in comments on other blogs (including here on AOA). Gillibrand's opponent in this year's election is Sandy Treadwell, who served as NY secretary of state during the Pataki administration. [TU] [OpenSecrets]

Those 4-foot by 8-foot Treadwell campaign signs are OK as long as they're on private property, according to Clifton Park's director of building and zoning. Democrats there had complained the signs violated zoning rules. [Daily Gazette]

A memo released by federal prosecutors alleges that former state assemblyman Chris Ortloff said "... honestly I don't have a moral problem with this ... " about his desire to have sex with tween girls. The now former member of the state parole board was arrested in Colonie this week after a sting operation. [TU]

(there's more)

Former state assemblyman nabbed in Colonie in sex sting, new steroid rules for horse racing, campaign signs too big?, hiring freeze at RPI

State police say former state assemblyman Chris Ortloff tried to set up a sexual encounter with two tween girls at a motel in Colonie on Monday (there were no girls -- it was a sting). The police say Ortloff was "buck naked" when they nabbed him. Ortloff had been serving on the state parole board. [TU] [AP/DG]

Police say two men robbed a bank in Schaghticoke yesterday afternoon. The pair then led a high-speed car chase through Clifton Park, which ended in a five car wreck. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [Saratogian]

The proposed 2009 budget for Cohoes includes an almost 4 percent tax increase. Water and sewer fees would increase 8 percent. [TU]

New York is tightening the rules for steroid use in race horses. "Steroids are no better for four-legged athletes than they are for two," said the chairman of the state's racing and wagering board. [Saratogian] [AP]

(there's more)

Colonie facing a lot of red ink, smoking ban proposed around hospitals, Schenectady looking at slick solution for graffiti, chowderfest winners

Auditors for the Town of Colonie report the town is facing a $19.5 million deficit -- that's even bigger than the previous estimates that prompted finger wagging by the state. Town supervisor Paula Mahan says the town is still looking to collect a one-time deficit reduction tax next year. A plan to do that earlier this year was blocked by the state legislature. [TU]

John McCain said last night on 60 Minutes that Andrew Cuomo, who's currently the New York attorney general, would make a good head of the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. [Daily Politics]

Capital Region colleges say they're seeing jumps in enrollment and financial aid requests, possibly because of the state of the economy. [Daily Gazette]

An Albany common council member says he's going to propose a ban on smoking within 100 feet of hospitals. It's not the health effects that have him bothered -- it's the litter. [TU]

(there's more)

Schenectady's seventh homicide, Clifton Park tightens leash, Clinton and Schumer both in town, Troy firefighters irked, stripclub gets timeout

The 20-year-old shot in Schenectady over the weekend died Sunday night. Police say they have few, if any, clues about why he was shot. It's Schenectady's seventh homicide of the year. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Clifton Park town board approved a measure that requires all dogs in the town to be on leashes except on private property and in two town-managed parks, Mary Jane Row Dog Park and Kinns Road Park. To let dogs off leash at the those parks, owners will have to buy a $30 permit (which covers all of a person's dogs) . Only Clifton Park residents will be allowed to buy permits for the Mary Jane Row. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

David Paterson says the ongoing implosion among Wall Street firms could force the state re-evaluate its budget -- again. The Gov says 20 percent of New York State's revenue comes from taxes paid by Wall Street. [TU] [TU]

A Siena poll reports that Barack Obama is leading John McCain in New York by just five points. The Democratic nominee had been up by as many as 18 points earlier this summer. [Biz Review]

(there's more)

Albany HS still working on schedules, did Paterson "spitzerfy" himself?, Saratoga Lake park plans revealed, talk of Troy Proctor's rebirth, meeting Sarah Palin

Albany High was still trying to straighten out scheduling issues yesterday, its second first day of the school year. [TU]

David Paterson called some state legislators "bloodsuckers" yesterday. Dean Skelos called the comment "Spitzeresque." Richard Brodsky, an Assemblyman, said he's worried Paterson is trying to "Spitzerfy" himself. [TU] [NYDN] [NYT]

The company that owns the Lafarge Cement plant in Coeymans, the state's single largest emitter of mercury, thinks it should get a million dollar tax cut because it's pledged to reduce its emissions. [TU]

The City of Saratoga Springs released plans for a new public park and beach on Saratoga Lake. There are currently no public beaches on the lake. [Daily Gazette]

Bethlehem police are investigating whether a woman was assaulted Friday night for wearing an Obama button in Delmar's Four Corners neighborhood. [TU]

(there's more)

Legislature back for special session, Clifton Park residents want dog park to themselves, charter high school opens, woman wins $1 million from scratch-off, Crazy Legs buffaloed in hot dog eating contest

The State Legislature is back today for its special "holy moly, the state is going broke" session. There isn't a whole lot of consensus about how to make cuts, though. [TU]

The Route 9P bridge that goes over Saratoga Lake has been narrowed to one lane after inspectors found that two of the bridge's floor beams had been falling apart. Repairs are expected to take two weeks. [TU]

Judging from the comments made at a public hearing last night, it sounds like Clifton Park residents aren't so keen about sharing their dog park with people not from Clifton Park. [Daily Gazette]

The City of Troy would like turn the site of the Rensselaer Iron Works, which burned down earlier this year, into a park. It would use pieces of the old iron works in the landscape and call the place Artifact Park. The city needs about $300,000 from the state to make it happen. [TU]

The Green Tech Charter School opened this week in Albany. Green Tech is an all-boys, college prep school. It's only the nation's third all-boys charter school. [TU]

(there's more)

Paterson proposes $1 billion in cuts, more flooding, track season all wet, principal arrested, permits for off-leash dogs, Giants coming back

David Paterson has proposed a plan to cut $1 billion in spending from the state budget. Half of that would come from Medicaid funding, $250 million from aid to local governments, and $100 million from legislative pork projects. As you might expect, legislators and lobbyists are already protesting. Local governments are also worried -- for example, Schenectady figures Paterson's plan could cut $700,000 in funding for the city. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

North Greenbush and Rensselaer were the latest parts of the Capital Region to get swamped by rain. The Amtrak line between Hudson and Rensselaer had to be closed for a while because the tracks were underwater. The 74-year-old mayor of Rensselaer said yesterday's flooding was the worst he'd ever seen in the city. A Rensselaer County legislator says the drainage systems there just haven't been able to keep up with the pace of development. [TU] [Troy Record]

Both attendance and the amount bet at the Track are down from last year at the season's midpoint. Attendance is down more than 16 percent and the "handle" is down 8 percent. [Saratogian]

(there's more)

Will IBM follow through, pile up at the ER, eyes for Schenectady Big Brother, more people biking to work, enormous houses on Lake George

You know that big deal the state recently announced with IBM to invest in research capacity and new jobs? It appears that Big Blue doesn't always follow through on its word. [TU]

The merger between Ellis and St. Clare's hospitals has led to long waits at the Ellis emergency department. The hospital is planning to expand, but in the meantime it's encouraging people with minor injuries to go to emergency department at the former St. Clare's (now Ellis McClellan Campus), which is still open. [Daily Gazette]

The head of the Albany Convention Center Authority has quit. George Leveille says it was a good time to leave because there's a "lull" in the action. That lull would be uncertainty about whether there will be enough state funding to complete the project. [Biz Review] [TU]

Schenectady's crime surveillance cameras now have people watching the feeds from them, at least part of the time. [Daily Gazette]

An Albany County legislator wants to pass a law that would make adults responsible when they knowingly allow minors to consume alcohol on their property, even if they didn't serve it. [TU]

The rewards for information about the two recent cat abuse cases in Troy have grown again. [TU]

Cycling groups and bike shops report that more people are biking to work because of high gas prices. [Daily Gazette]

There's a gas price war going on just off the Northway at Exit 10 in Clifton Park. [TU]

Yep, those were two F-15s flying over the area this past weekend. They were on a training mission from Massachusetts. [CBS6]

A breeding program is helping to prop up the local population of Karner Blue butterflies. [Daily Gazette]

The rich are different from the rest of us. One more reason: they have bigger houses on Lake George. [TU]

Changing it up at Clifton Park Center

clifton park center exterior

It's inconspicuous from the outside, like an Indiana Jones cave.

By Heather Lumb

So is Crossgates feeling too corporate for you? Colonie Center just a bit too deja vu (except for the heaven that is Sephora)? Then maybe it's time you head on over to Clifton Park Center.

(there's more)

School tax cap recommended, cigarette taxes jump today, truckers want to roll through Albany, pothole for paychecks

A state commission has recommended capping school tax increases at four percent a year. It also suggested that the STAR exemption be linked to income so that high earners wouldn't necessarily get a break on their property taxes. NYSUT, the politically powerful teachers union, opposes the tax cap (that's what those NYSUT billboards with kids in graduation caps are referring to). New York property taxes are 79 percent above the national average. [TU]

New York's cigarette tax jumps $1.25 today to $2.75, the highest in the nation. [AP]

A group of truckers wants to ring the capitol with big rigs to protest rising Thruway tolls and high diesel prices. The City of Albany hasn't decided yet whether to issue the protest a permit -- though one organizer says the truckers will roll into town regardless. [TU]

A plan is coming together to reshape the intersections around Northway Exit 9 in Clifton Park. Among the goals: to put some "there" there. [Daily Gazette]

The Van Dyck will be going up for auction July 2. It's estimated to be worth about $1 million. A bank foreclosed on the building last year. [Daily Gazette]

KEM Cleaners has bought a new, somewhat more environmentally friendly cleaning machine -- and is changing its name to Greener Cleaners. It seems that "environmentally friendly dry cleaning" is a relative term, though. For example: there's nothing really organic about "organic" dry cleaning. [TU]

The pay check process at the Saratoga Springs Department of Public Works has hit a pothole. The DPW's office manager retired last week -- and with no replacement, there's now no one who can legally process the payroll. [Saratogian]

Gambling joint knocked over, texting while driving ban proposed, MoveOn in town, nanoeconomics

A couple of things about the local gambling scene have to come to light over the past month. The first: people have been playing poker at illegal clubs around Albany, including a "members only" club on N. Allen. The second: it looks like a group is knocking over these clubs, in robberies like something out of a movie. [TU]

The state Senate has passed a bill that would make it illegal to text while driving. The bill now heads to the Assembly. [Daily Politics]

MoveOn will be in Albany and Saratoga Springs today campaigning in a somewhat unusual way against John McCain. [Saratogian]

A road reconstruction project has downtown Chatham closed to traffic, maybe for months. [TU]

RPI is moving toward letting students use their school IDs to spend their "Rensselaer Advantage Dollars" at off-campus businesses. UAlbany, Siena and St. Rose already such arrangements. [Troy Record]

UAlbany recently awarded the world's first PhD in "nanoeconomics." [Daily Gazette]

Clifton Park is looking at opening a second the dog park -- and hiking fines for not leashing dogs in its other parks. [Daily Gazette]

Housing market stable, pork off-limits, manhole cover mystery continues, dramas over water and hot dogs, warm weather beats Rats like a rented goalie

The median sale price for houses in the Capital Region rose in March compared to the same period last year. The number of sales was way down, though. [TU]

Even as the state goes looking through the couch cushions for extra cash, the money assigned to legislative member items -- you know, pork -- is still off limits. [TU]

National Grid still isn't sure what caused the manhole-cover-shooting underground explosion in Troy. [CapNews9]

A full-on political soap opera has emerged among Clifton Park Republicans over... the water board. [TU]

Speaking of melodrama... Saratoga Springs is watching one of it own. The center piece of this plot: hot dogs. [Saratogian]

The city of Schenectady says it can't afford a Big Brother, so one resident says he'll do it for free. [Daily Gazette]

Seniors riding scooters and their "accident-prone" behaviors have prompted Saratoga officials to get the word out about safer scootering. Among the tips: slow down, don't scooter while sleepy. [Daily Gazette]

In a face off with sunshine and warm weather, it seems the River Rats lose almost every time. [TU]

Budget looking like its done, ethics commission not following rules, mobile police station, surfing in Waterford

It looks like the state budget will be wrapped up today. The last hang-up was a measure pushed by NYSUT that prevents teachers from being denied tenure because of their students' performance on standardized tests. The final version also includes $53 million for the planned AMD chip fab project in Malta. Money for a new UAlbany football stadium didn't make the cut. [AP/Newsday] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The state commission set up to reform ethics in the legislature is -- surprise -- not doing what it's supposed to. [TU]

A plan to shut down the New York City OTB this summer would hit Saratoga County and the city of Saratoga Springs, which both share in money from the betting operation. [Saratogian]

South Broadway in Saratoga is getting a face lift, which officials hope will smooth the transition from the park into downtown. [Saratogian]

The Albany Police Department unveiled its new mobile police station in Arbor Hill. Local reaction seems to be something along the lines of: "Oh, great... you've parked a trailer here." [CapNews9]

The Doane Stewart School has a deal to buy the Van Rensselaer school building (the one right off I-90) in Rensselaer and hopes to move in a year. [Troy Record]

Apparently you can surf in Waterford. Sort of. [TU]

A Shenendehowa 9th-grader is mathmaticious and now everyone knows it. [Fox23]

How walkable is your neighborhood?

There's this interesting site called Walk Score, which tries to assign walkability scores to neighborhoods. So, we decided to drop 10 Capital Region locations into the site. Here's how they ranked:

(Scale is 1 to 100, the larger number, the more walkable)


10. Guilderland: 25

9. Clifton Park, Clifton Park Center: 25

8. Ballston Spa: 63

7. Delmar, Four Corners: 69

6. Albany, uptown: 71

The top 5 after the jump...

(there's more)

Congressional race field still changing, challengers for Silver, Spitzer's shine dims, a bus full of teddy bears, Ed O'Brien to head for warmer climes

Republican Chris Callaghan says he will not run for the 21st Congressional seat. But Schenectady County legislator James Buhrmaster might. There are currently no Republicans officially in the field. [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette]

For the first time in more than 20 years, Sheldon Silver will have challengers in the Democratic primary for his state assembly district. [TU]

Eliot Spitzer is catching criticism for violating the spirit, if not the exact letter, of his campaign finance pledge. Spitzer's people say he's just doing what's necessarily to flip the state senate, while good-government groups are starting to think the Gov is just like the rest of them. [NYT]

Albany Common Councilman Corey Ellis is pushing for the city to have a residency requirement for city employees. [CapNews9]

A Clifton Park woman has gained fame with her teddy bear factory on wheels -- and fortune may be just down the road. [Daily Gazette]

Channel 6 morning news guy Ed O'Brien will be leaving the station in August. He says he wants to pursue a different kind of job -- maybe one involving baseball or horseracing -- somewhere warm. [Business Review]

Troy city hall up for sale, Soares to run again, big mercury polluter just outside Albany, Halfmoon wants attention, sportmanship gets a timeout after UAlbany game

Troy's city hall could be yours -- it's now officially up for sale. [Troy Record]

Albany County District Attorney David Soares is expected to announce today that he's running for re-election. So far, he's the only candidate in the field, though Paul Clyne -- the incumbent Soares beat four years ago -- is apparently considering a run. [TU] [Daily Politics]

State auditors wagged their fingers (so to speak) at the Town of Colonie for turning a $12.5 million surplus into a $10 million deficit in four years. Recently elected town supervisor Paula Mahan called the situation "sad." [Troy Record]

The Lafarge cement plant on 9W in Ravena was the biggest emitter of mercury in New York in 2006. Its 400 pound output was one-third of the state's total. [TU]

A 16-year-old Albany girl has been arrested for taking part in a group assault of two UAlbany students last month. [TU]

Schenectady wants Habitat for Humanity to build a "green" house with bamboo floors and solar panels -- and it wants to put up money to make it happen. But Habitat's saying "Thanks, but no." [Daily Gazette]

Halfmoon has had enough of being lumped in with Clifton Park. [Daily Gazette]

A firefighter candidate got bounced from the Saratoga probationary program because he has a fear of needles, which doesn't work out so well for paramedic training. He's now suing. [Saratogian]

There was a shoving match last night between the coaches after the UAlbany men's hoops team topped Binghamton 74-52 on the road. [Daily Gazette]

College fund for girl has money -- but no girl, Northern Lights files for bankruptcy, The Police will play here, return of the flamingos

In 1997 a three-year-old girl saw her mother murdered in Troy. Shocked by how sad the case was, the Troy Police Benevolent Association started a college fund for her. The good news: the fund now has about $50,000. The unfortunate news: the PBA has no idea where the girl is now. [Troy Record]

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation is buying a big chunk of land in the Adirondacks from the Nature Conservancy. The preservation group bought the land last year from a paper company for $110 million. [Post-Star]

The hot amenity for new condos: indoor parking. (By the way, the Mooradian Lofts project -- which didn't have indoor parking -- has been put on hold.) [TU] [Troy Record]

Northern Lights has filed for bankruptcy. The Clifton Park music venue filed Chapter 11 (that's the "reorganization" bankruptcy), so presumably it will try to stay open. [Daily Gazette]

The Police will play a show at SPAC on August 1. The message in the bottle: send money. The cheapest ticket will be $93. [Saratogian]

The carousel has re-opened at the New York State Museum. Four-year-olds voice approval. [Daily Gazette]

The flamingos have returned to Schenectady's Stockade. [Daily Gazette]

The UAlbany men's hoops team topped Maine 74-60 on the road. [TU]

Overheard in the cookware section

An older couple is shopping in the cookware section of the Marshall's in Clifton Park:

Older Lady: (holds up smallish pot) Look, for pasta!

Older Man: You can't cook pasta in that, you need a big pot!

Older Lady: So, why do you cram it into that pot we have at home?!?

Older Man: Because I have more skill than most people.

Shopping Mecca in the 'burbs

Marshalls sign outdoors

Are the good deals a myth?

By Aja Lownes

I'm not a fan of bargain stores. I love a good deal, but I HATE the hunt. I don't consider
it a payoff to find $300 Theory pants for $40 if I had to spend two hours picking through the racks and fending off an equally interested shopper to get them. But if you live for the hunt, a trip is well worth it.

For a few years now, everyone's been telling me about how the Marshall's in Clifton Park is amazing; that you can find much better and/or higher-end merchandise than their stores directly in or around Albany.

I'm always skeptical when people say things like that to me. I mean, same company, same stuff, right? Mmm, not so much. A little birdy informed me that unlike sister store TJMaxx, Marshall's stores are stocked by zip code. So more affluent areas generally have more highly-coveted merch. This would explain how a former co-worker of mine got a cute Coach tote (non-logo, thank god) from the location a few years ago. My interest was peaked at the time, but not enough to make my way up the Northway.

Recently, I finally got the itch to go see what all the ruckus has been about. Here's the verdict:

(there's more)

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

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