Items tagged with 'Guilderland'
Fridays are so overrated.
In our youth, Fridays are the benchmark for excitement and prospects. Pizza lunches, sleepovers, sleeping in... maybe mom will even bring home takeout for dinner.
As adults, Fridays are exhausting. We build up in our heads what Fridays should be, built partially on the ideals and projections we concoct in our younger days. But the obligations and efforts of "functioning adult human" status leaves few of us with much energy to do, well, anything on a Friday night. We might meet up with friends, but we're still so wiped from the week prior that we just mill about in a fog of longing to please just get me into my bed.
Takeout on a Friday is a near necessity as we (and our list of responsibilities) grow.
The final first round matchup in the 2014 Tournament of Pizza, sponsored by Keeler Mini is last year's tournament runner up, DC's of Albany, against the 2012 tournament champ, Marisa's Place of Guilderland.
This year's clash-of-champions format includes first round matches consisting of two pizzas. Highest aggregate score advances. And, again, the two types of the pizza for this first round: sausage and the deceptively difficult broccoli ricotta white pizza.
Can Western Ave handle the drama...
A lot of new buildings in this area are nice enough, but they don't really stand out.
So we've been keeping an eye on the new City Line Bar & Grill building as it took shape on Western Ave, constructed new from the ground up on the site of the former Sutter's Mill -- because it doesn't really look like anything else around it.
City Line officially opens Saturday. But it was operating Friday afternoon for a soft opening and we had a chance to get a look at the new restaurant and chat with one of its managers for a few minutes.
Here are a few bits and a handful of photos...
Greulich's Market in Guilderland, in business since 1949, has closed, according to its Facebook page. The Gazette's Bethany Bump reports the situation around the closing is unclear, and there was at least some indication that the store might still have a future.
Greulich's, near the border between Guilderland and Schenectady, was like something from another time -- a small, independent grocery store that focused on customer service. But the grocery business is a notoriously difficult industry with tiny margins. And as manager Robert Van Allen told Liz Clancy Lerner for AOA a few years back, Greulich's was feeling the pressure of staying small in a world of supermarket giants:
You gotta realize when you go into a big chain, their groceries are going to be cheaper; they'll always be cheaper because they buy railcar loads, where I buy one at a time. ...
The biggest change is that years ago Hannaford wasn't down here, the beverage center wasn't down here. So when the other places come in, probably our grocery business has gone down a little bit -- but our perishables are still way up there because we can offer a more personal touch to that. The beer business has gone down because that's gone to drugstores and discount beverage stores because they get a huge quantity.
But as Van Allen told Liz about managing a small, independent store: "You become tight knit and you're able to do things on your own [here] where in a chain you have to just follow the policy 'bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.'"
On a recent expedition to Sushi Tei in Guilderland to satisfy a sushi craving, I made an exciting discovery on the restaurant's specials menu: hamachi kama, or yellowtail collar.
This is the part of the fish just behind the head, and while it may sound like something that belongs on an episode of Bizarre Foods (it has, in fact, been featured on the program), there's nothing particularly strange about it. Hamachi kama is really just a piece of grilled fish.
Except it's a remarkably delicious part of the fish, one that's worth seeking out when it's available at Sushi Tei.
The leaves have turned, the sun's setting earlier, and the air grows colder. It's wine season, folks. Time to hide from the cold by crowding into a cozy winery and warming yourself with sips of Riesling.
And, as it happens, a winery might be closer than you think. The Altamont Vineyard & Winery -- llocated along the Albany/Schenectady county line -- is a small venue that's been in operation since 2006.
But its grapes were established long before that.
Fresh is a meaningless word, primarily because it can mean so many completely different things. Fresh is used for something that is brand new or has just arrived. In food it can differentiate a product from one that has been frozen. Or it can simply identify that something isn't spoiled quite yet.
Dora Swan and Pete Kenyon at Fin are not satisfied with just selling fresh fish. They are also committed to exclusively sourcing sustainable fish. Plus they are creating a community. And now, instead of just selling fish off the back of a truck, they have a brand new store in Guilderland.
So what does "fresh" mean to them? I asked them and was floored by the response.
This was Marisa's first tournament championship. And even though the shop has competed many times before -- and turned out some very good pizza (average score: 67.5) -- we didn't know much about the story behind Marisa's. So we stayed a few minutes to talk with owner Alfredo Musumeci.
From the the local troop of the New York State Police today:
On Sunday December 2, Trooper Christopher Maniscalco was answering a complaint in the town of Guilderland.
While completing the call, Trooper Maniscalco was approached by a woman who asked if he was busy.
Trooper Maniscalco responded that he had a few moments and the woman proceeded to tell him, "Trooper I always see you around, doing a good job and wanted to say Merry Christmas and thank you."
The woman handed him a holiday card, Trooper Maniscalco thanked the woman and went back to his call.
After his shift, Trooper Maniscalco remembered the card and opened it.
Inside, was a quote and $1,000 cash.
As you're probably guessing right now, State Police aren't allowed to accept such a gift. (And of course, as everyone knows, 15% is the standard tip on a police call.) So they're trying to figure out who the woman was so the money can be directed as a donation to a charity.
Details post jump.
By the way: Here's the NYS law for state officials and public employees for outside compensation and accepting gifts. It's 18 pages long.
After 28 pizzas from 16 pizza places, we're now down to just two pizzas and two shops.
DeFazio's (Troy bracket) vs. Marisa's Place (Albany bracket)
How we got here: DeFazio's blew the roof off during its semi-final match with Amore (Saratoga), scoring a TOP-record 82 with its Buffalo chicken pizza. And Marisa's posted a solid score of 69 in its matchup with Mario's of Niskayuna.
Despite posting a string of excellent scores, and two previous appearances in the final, DeFazio's has never won the Tournament of Pizza. With its huge score in the last round, the Troy shop has to be the heavy favorite in this final match. But Marisa's is a formidable opponent -- with a set of its own strong performances.
Can DeFazio's finally claim the crown? Or will Marisa's Place take the title?
Bring on the pizza!
DeFazio's (Troy) vs. Amore (Saratoga)
Mario's (Niskayuna) vs. Marisa's (Guilderland)
How we got here: DeFazio's topped its fellow downtown Troy shop, I Love | Amore gutted out a win against Pope's | Mario's represented for Niskayuna in beating Schenectady's Nico's | and Marisa's held off a tough tavern challenge from The Fountain.
Now these four face a challenge never before taken on in the TOP: Buffalo chicken pizza.
Yep, things just got real. Ready, set, pizza!
The pizzerias in this head-to-head matchup of veggie pizzas (green peppers, mushrooms, onions, black olives):
The Fountain vs. Marisa's Place
How we got here: Marisa's posted a huge number in Round 1 -- an 81, the highest ever in the TOP. And The Fountain represented for taverns, putting a very respectable 68.
Tavern pizza hasn't had the best track record in the TOP, but The Fountain turned out quality in the opener. Could this be the year a tavern pizza breaks through?
Let's. Eat. Some. Pizza.
The pizzerias in the Round 1 pool competition of sausage pizzas:
Returning champ: Marisa's Place - Guilderland
Crowd pick: The Fountain - Albany
Tough luck: Pizzeria Sapienza - Albany
Marisa's Place has turned out a series of high quality pizzas in the Tournament of Pizza -- though it's never won the championship. The other shops are facing a formidable competitor.
The judges gathered for the tasting...
The town of Niskayuna's drinking water took the top spot today in the taste test at the New York State Fair. Eau de Niskayuna narrowly beat out the drinking water from... Guilderland. (Niskayuna and Guilderland were both competing because they tied in this year's Capital Region competition.) [NYS Department of Health]
From where is Niskayuna is getting this tasty water? According to the town's 2011 drinking water report:
Our water source is groundwater from two aquifers. In 2011, 57% of our water was drawn from wells located near the Mohawk River in the Town of Niskayuna. 43% was drawn from the City of Schenectady wells located in the Town of Rotterdam near the Mohawk River.
Guilderland's primary water source is the Watervliet Reservoir -- which is in Guilderland, but owned by the city of Watervliet. (It also gets water from a trio of wells in the town, and the city of Albany system). [Town of Guilderland annual water quality report 2011]
The Capital Region has a pretty strong claim on the best-tasting drinking water in the state. In addition to the strong showing this year from Niskayuna and Guilderland, the city of Albany took the took spot in the statewide competition in 2010 and 2007. And Albany's water finished in the top 5 of a national competition last year.
(The photo on the right is Albany water. Just so that's clear. It's drinking water, so it should be.)
Earlier on AOA:
+ Ravens Head Brewing -- which is hoping to set up at St. Joseph's in Albany -- has cited the quality of the local water as one of the reasons for wanting to come here.
Owner Peter Kenyon says they're finalizing details and aiming for a mid-November opening.
What Colonie is to cupcakes, Guilderland is becoming to frozen yogurt: Yeh! -- a Montreal-based chain -- is opening soon in Crossgates, between the Apple Store and Burlington Coat Factory. (We have an email in about the date.) [Crossgates Facebook]
It will be the third froyo shop in that area -- there's a TCBY across from Stuyvesant Plaza and a 16 Handles mysteriously being sited somewhere in McKownville. Is there such as a thing as froyo over-saturation -- peak froyo?
photo: Crossgates Facebook
Back in the middle ages of the web -- you know, 2006 -- when online video was still a bit of novelty, a guy named Ze Frank did something that was crazy for that time: he produced a short online show every weekday for a year. The result -- The Show with Ze Frank -- was weird/entertaining/goofy/thoughtful/collaborative/funny and covered everything from current events to the creative process. It helped define the "person looking into a camera, jump cut, quick cut" online video genre. And it was great.
As it happens, Ze is from Guilderland. He went to Guilderland High School. As he mentioned in one of the episodes of the show: "I was very popular in high school and very good at the sports. Just thinking about how popular I was makes me want to throw up." After graduating, Ze went to Brown, studied neuroscience, played in a band, and became wildly internet famous for a series of video clips of him dancing (including a form of dance "first explored by yours truly at the Senior Prom in 1989 in Guilderland, NY"). So, pretty much like everyone else you went to school with.
Anyway, the point of all this is that Ze Frank has decided to produce another show. And after posting a Kickstarter project yesterday to help fund it, he raised more than $60,000 in about 12 hours.
He's says he's planning to start posting episodes around the end of March. We can't wait.
One of the classic episodes of The Show is embedded after the jump -- "Brain Crack"...
Arielle sent along this holiday light display from the yard of a house on Western Ave in Guilderland.
Yep, that's Santa being abducted by aliens.
When we saw the sign go up a few weeks ago for a new TCBY next to the Five Guys across from Stuyvesant Plaza, our first thought was: "There is still such a thing as TCBY?"
The idea of a TCBY made us think of the 80s, leg warmers, and the non-fat craze (and that episode of Seinfeld). But frozen yogurt got a makeover during the last decade and somehow became popular again thanks to places such as Pinkberry and Red Mango. Last year TCBY re-tooled its image and approach, switching to the self-service model.
So, with that in mind -- and because we do love ourselves some frozen dessert -- we stopped by the new TCBY here to check it out.
The weather is warming up, let's have soup.
No, seriously. I can't be the only one who has been stricken with a spring cold. And when you get sick, there is nothing better than soup.
There are two paths you can take when trying to eat your way out of a head cold. You can attack your ailment and try to make it flee your system with wave upon wave of fiery delights; pouring additional chili oil into a lip-numbingly spicy bowl of hot and sour soup has served me well on many occasions.
Alternatively, you can opt for something soothing. Thankfully, one of the world's most soothing and comforting soups is available at a little Japanese restaurant in Guilderland.
And the tanuki udon at Sushi Tei isn't just good for those who are under the weather; it's just plain good.
It's Supermarket Week -- all this week AOA will have posts about grocery shopping. Because we all have to eat.
If you want to understand how Greulich's, an independent market, has made it since 1953 at its current location in Guilderland -- start with the people:
+ Edna Greulich, now 84, opened the market with her husband Arthur -- and is still at the store on a daily basis.
+ Eddie Lysiak, a butcher, recently received a thank you note and package of chocolate drumsticks from a customer thanking him for serving her family for 50 years.
+ And manager Robert Van Allen takes only three days off a year.
Greulich's can't offer gas cards or the absolute lowest prices on most items, so they offer service. And after six decades in business, it's still working for them.
Jeff emailed us the other day: "I just wanted to let you guys know that my neighbor built a snowman that is about a 1 1/2 stories high in his front yard."
Uh, what? We have to see this.
So we took a swing through Jeff's neighborhood in Guilderland. And, yep, that's a huge snowman -- easily the biggest we've ever seen.
As it happens, the Gazette also heard about the frosty giant and talked with the builder. As Scott Leininger said in the story published today: "We just decided to build a snowman bigger than anyone else in town."
There are more photos after the jump.
Attorney says hit-and-run suspect feared for his life, possible development in decades-old arson case, GloFo looking for more state money, warm spring tough on maple syrup producers
The attorney for Travis Carroll, the man who allegedly drove the car involved in the fatal hit-and-run on Henry Street in Saratoga, says his client was fleeing the situation because he feared for his life after a fight. Carroll's attorney says his client had been beaten with a belt buckle and threatened with a knife. Saratoga Springs police and Carroll's attorney differ on the amount of time that separated the fight and the car collision. Police alleged that Carroll removed the damaged windshield from his car shortly after the collision in attempt to hide the evidence. Carroll's been charged with two felonies -- leaving the scene of an accident and tampering with evidence. [Post-Star] [Fox23] [Saratogian] [TU] [WNYT] [YNN]
Local investigators are reportedly in Washington State to pursue leads in a suspected case of arson that killed seven children and a father in Cohoes in 1978. The lone survivor of that fire -- the mother and wife of the victims -- now lives there and says she was questioned by investigators. The woman, Virgina Utigard (formerly Virginia Gratto), told a Spokane television station KXLY that she was pressured into a signing a confession. Utigard reportedly told KXLY that her relationship with her first husband had been abusive. [TU] [Daily Gazette archive] [Troy Record] [KXLY] [WTEN]
Steven Raucci trial Day 18 A state police forensic scientist testified that DNA found one of the unexploded bombs matched DNA collected from Steven Raucci. And FBI employees testified that devices allegedly used by Raucci were much more powerful than firecrackers. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]
David Paterson reportedly was involved with drafting a statement the he hoped would be issued by the woman who accused his former aide of domestic abuse. The woman reportedly refused to go along with the statement, which indicated the incident was non-violent. [NYT] [NYDN]
GlobalFoundries is reportedly asking New York State for $300 million more in incentives so it can add extra capacity to the Luther Forest chip fab. [TU]
Snowfall total way behind, Republicans lining up behind Lazio, shooting in north Albany, Brunomobile still parked
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]
After seeing the tweets, noticing Kristi mention it and hearing the word-of-mouth, there were very few plausible scenarios that didn't involve us ending up at the Bettie's Cakes double-decker bus this afternoon.
So, we figured, why fight fate?
Pension system for new state workers adjusted, NYRA aims to stop horse slaughter, another bank robbery, Albany Institute scraping financially, dog rescued with help of plumbing camera
David Paterson signed legislation that creates a new tier -- "Tier V" -- for the state employee pension system raises the retirement age and requires workers to contribute more. It's being touted as the biggest change to the pension system in 25 years. Paterson says the change will save New York State $35 billion over the next 30 years. [TU] [Fox23] [Paterson op-ed in TU]
The federal officials who handled the investigation and prosecution of Joe Bruno say they will continue to focus on ethics violations at the state capitol. [TU]
The state is no longer limiting distribution of the H1N1 flu vaccine to people in priority groups. Albany County has scheduled times next week for residents to get the jab. [AP/TU] [Albany County]
According to court documents obtained by the TU, the three teens accused of murdering Richard Bailey allegedly gave police detailed -- and different -- accounts of the night of the murder. [TU]
NYRA announced yesterday that any horse owner who sells their horses to slaughter -- "either knowingly or for lack of due diligence" -- will have their stalls revoked at Saratoga and the other NYRA tracks. [Saratogian] [CapNews9] [Post-Star]
Bruno trial Day 3, shouting over post office closures, seasonal flu still on the way, "water celery" snags development plans, school lunches go local
Joe Bruno trial Day 3: a former official with a Connecticut investment firm testified called Bruno an "introducer" and said the senator brought $140 million worth of investments to the firm. And an attorney for the investment group, testifying with an immunity deal, said Bruno relationship with the firm wasn't vetted by the ethics committee because it was "commonplace." Yesterday also included testimony by NY Daily News columnist Bill Hammond and SPAC president Marcia White, who was once Bruno's spokesperson. [TU] [CapNews9] [Fox23]
Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that his office has filed an anti-trust suit against Intel for allegedly abusing its monopoly power to keep AMD down. Any penalties assessed against Intel could help AMD, which is the biggest customer of GlobalFoundries -- Cuomo says the GloFo chip fab project in Malta had nothing to do with the suit, though. [NYO][NYT][TU]
The man accused of being the shooter in Troy's Second Street homicide was released on his own recognizance yesterday after the Rensselaer County DA's office wasn't ready for a preliminary hearing. [TU]
More than a hundred people showed up for the public info session about the potential closures of the Pine Hills and Delaware Ave post offices. The crowd included Jerry Jennings, and Common Council members Shawn Morris and Cathy Fahey. The exchanges between the crowd and USPS officials apparently got a bit heated at times. [TU] [CapNews9] [Fox23]
Public voices concerns about Troy crime, questions about Paterson's budget cutting plan, supervisor race includes accusations of illiteracy, high demand for flu vaccine
More than a hundred people showed up last night at Troy City Hall for the public forum about a recent streak of crime in the city. Both mayor Harry Tutunjian and police chief Nicholas Kaiser stressed that crime is down for the year. Citizens said they were concerned about gangs in Lansingburgh and a lack of officers walking beats. [Troy Record] [CapNews9] [CBS6] [Fox23]
Saratoga Springs police say they're investigating a report from a Skidmore student that she was nearly assaulted by a taxi driver early Saturday morning>. The student says she was able to escape when the cab stopped near campus. The SSPD says it hasn't identified the company that owns the cab. [Saratogian] [Fox23] [TU]
Critics of David Paterson's proposed $3 billion in budget cuts say the list includes a bunch of one-time shots and some questionable assumptions. It appears that Democrats in the Assembly are leaning toward along with Paterson's plan. It doesn't look like the state Senate is all that interested, though. [TU] [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics]
Both Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand released statements yesterday calling for state senator Hiram Monserrate to resign. Gillibrand said Monserrate doesn't leave soon, the state Senate should bounce him. State Senate majority conference leader John Sampson is expected to announce the formation of a committee that will look at what to do about Monserrate. [Daily Politics] [CapNews9] [NYO]
That was a lot of rain, state Senate will meet on 4th, RPI disputes fire department accusations, Rudy Giuliani wants to motivate you, ALB says show up earlier
Yesterday's severe thunderstorms dropped more than three inches of rain in some places (the official NWS tally of 2.76 inches was a local record for July 1). Latham and Cohoes seemed to get the worst of it. There were reports of flooding all over the area. [TU] [NWS] [Fox23] [Twitter]
The state Senate held another of its "extraordinary" in-and-out sessions yesterday. The big issue of the day seemed to be the question of whether the Assembly would accept the bills "passed" by the Senate in Tuesday's V8-fueled session. It looks like the senators will be spending the Fourth of July at the Capitol -- David Paterson has ordered them into session every day through Monday. [TU] [Daily Politics]
Both Senate factions are expected to turn in per diem requests for the last two weeks today -- though whether they'll be paid is apparently up in the air. [NYDN]
Guilderland's supervisor says the town will be pulling its garbage business from the Albany landfill because of concerns about the facility's expansion into the Pine Bush. [TU]
RPI says that its public safety office called the Troy Fire Department just 32 seconds after the first report of a fire at one its chem labs this week -- not 12 minutes as the department has alleged. The TFD says RPI's delay created a more dangerous situation for firefighters. [Troy Record]
Feds recommend smaller landfill expansion, advocates say budget process too opaque, unions upset about chip fab jobs, bank robber injures teller, call it a reverto
Two federal agencies are urging the Army Corps of Engineers to scale back the proposed expansion of Albany's landfill. The recommended smaller addition would only add 2.5 years worth of capacity to the dump. It's projected that the landfill will be full by the end of this year. [TU]
Good government groups say this year's state budget process is one of the most opaque since the 1980s. [TU]
Behind those closed doors, leaders are trying to cover a $14 billion budget gap -- and new taxes on households making more than $250,000 is apparently on the table. Opponents of the new tax have argued that the higher taxes will cause rich people to flee the state, but a demographer from Princeton says there's little evidence that would actually happen. [NYT]
A survey of CEOs ranks New York among the worst states in which to do business. Among the reasons: high taxes. [Biz Review]
Schenectady's bid to fire some of its cops could end up being very expensive -- the city's had to hire outside counsel to pursue the termination cases. Mayor Brian Stratton says the city has now added a sixth officer to the list. [Daily Gazette]
The Schenectady School Board has accepted the retirement of Steven Raucci, the district employee accused of arson and terrorism. The board's president said firing Raucci was not an option. [Daily Gazette] [TU]
Timmons found guilty, Gillibrand says she is a candidate for Clinton's seat, Jackson talks with RPI faculty about recent layoffs, local foreclosures up in 2008
Note: the TU's site was down this morning
A jury found Jermayne Timmons guilty yesterday of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas. The teen could now get 15 years to life. Timmons' lawyer says they plan to appeal. Thomas' mother says she hopes Timmons is sent away for life. Charlie Muller, who runs the Albany gun buyback program, says both Thomas and Timmons are victims of the situation. [AP/Daily Gazette] [Fox23] [CapNews9]
Kirsten Gillibrand said yesterday that she is a candidate for the Hillary Clinton's Senate seat and she has interviewed with David Paterson about the job. [CBS6] [Post-Star]
The City Mission of Schenectady says demand for meals and a place to stay was up signficantly last year. And the recent cold weather is also increasing demand -- the shelter laid out mats for extra people last night. [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]
Shootout on I-90, Paterson meets with Kennedy, four day state work week?, former police chief admits to gambling, recession means red sauce
A traffic stop on I-90 in E. Greenbush on Saturday turned into a shootout. Police say Darryl Brown, who's from Hartford, opened fire on police with an AK-47 after the taxi he was riding in was stopped for speeding. The incident closed the interstate and sent as many as 100 motorists "running down I-90 for my life." Apparently the only person hurt in the exchange was the gunman himself, who's now in critical condition with at Albany Med with multiple gunshot wounds. (Video from the scene.) [TU] [WTEN] [TU] [Troy Record] [WTEN/CNN]
David Paterson met with Caroline Kennedy on Saturday for a formal discussion about her interest in Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. [NYT]
An assemblyman from Queens has proposed that non-essential state employees start working four-day weeks to help the state save money. [NYT]
A economics consultancy projects that prices in the Capital Region's housing market will fall by three percent this year. Compared to other places, that's actually pretty good -- and it's landed the region on a Forbes list of the 25 strongest real estate markets. [TU] [Forbes]
Standoff ends in suicide, vote today on bus fare increase, Saratoga recreation center drama continues, a low-key bank robbery
US marshals say a man accused of multiple rapes in Pennsylvania killed himself in Cohoes yesterday after a standoff with police. The man, who had once run for Congress, jumped bail last month after he was accused of posing as a cop in order to take advantage of prostitutes. His had recently been featured on America's Most Wanted. Police say they aren't sure what brought the man to the Capital Region. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [Troy Record]
The CDTA board is scheduled to vote on the proposed 50 cent per ride fare increase today. A coaltion of riders, advocates and politicians is protesting the increase, arguing that that increase would disproportionately hurt low-income people. The transportation org recently scaled back the proposed fare hike for commuter lines that run along the Northway. [CapNews9] [TU] [Daily Gazette]
Local economy OK... for now, Gillibrand talks about tobacco industry work, bridges described as "structurally deficient," neighbors fight over tree
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]
APD reviews shooting, Schenectady getting a new police chief, luxury condos planned for Union St, SPAC still trying to revise stack of pancakes, legendary Cohoes restaurant sold
The two Albany police officers who fired three shots at a suspect Tuesday night are now on administrative leave while the APD investigates the episode. The department says a loaded gun and some crack were found in the alley where the shooting went down. Police chief James Tuffey says it appears the officers followed protocol. It's the first time the APD has fired shots on duty since a bystander was killed by a stray police bullet on New Year's Eve in 2003. [TU] [CapNews9]
A report from the Troy Police Department has criticized a "no-knock" police raid that busted down the door of an innocent women this summer and tossed a "flash bang" grenade into her apartment. The woman's attorney says the raid "scared the hell out of her." The report recommends re-organizing the unit that conducted the raid. [Troy Record] [Troy Record]
Mark Chaires will reportedly become the next police chief in Schenectady. He'll be the first African-American to hold the post. His father, Arthur Chaires, was the city's first African-American officer. The soon-to-be chief has a masters in criminology and is working toward a PhD. [Daily Gazette] [TU]
The principal of Guilderland High School has resigned. He had been on leave after accusations he had made inappropriate jokes about sexual-orientation and race. He'll be paid through the end of the year. [TU]
Primary election results, state police show off a bunch of weed, SUNY officials get swank stays for cheap, another horse sculpture vandalized in Saratoga
Paul Tonko won the Democratic primary yesterday for NY's 21st Congressional District (McNulty's seat). He'll face James Buhrmaster, who won the Republican primary, in November. Tracey Brooks was the runner-up to Tonko by about 3,000 votes -- she said "The glass ceiling got a little bit thinner today but not quite thin enough this time." Phil Steck finished third among Democrats and Darius Shahinfar fourth. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]
Roy McDonald won the Republic primary for Joe Bruno's state Senate seat. He'll face Mike Russo, who beat out Brian Premo in the Democratic primary. [Daily Gazette]
Incumbent Neil Breslin easily won the Democratic primary for the state Senate's 46th District. There are no Republicans up for that spot. [Daily Gazette]
Elections officials said local voter turnout yesterday was moderate. [TU]
Kaz, a company that makes vaporizers, says it will be closing its plant in Hudson and letting 300 people go. The company is outsourcing its manufacturing to another company with plants in Mexico. [TU]
Here's something different to do if the kids in your life have gotten a little bored with the usual summer lineup of activities. The Butterfly Station at Farnsworth Middle School in Guilderland is a student-run butterfly house, native plant garden, and organic community garden. Here's how the school describes it:
Besides walking among butterflies, visitors can watch how butterflies are raised in the metamorphosis room or make free butterfly projects in the craft room. Community members of all ages will enjoy the many interactive butterfly exhibits in the museum room.
We stopped by last week. We're guessing it's probably good for somewhere between a half-hour and hour with younger kids.
The Butterfly Station is open Monday-Friday 10 am to 1 pm until August 15. It's free.
A few more pics after the jump.
No consensus on how to fix budget gap, NY officially in a recession, Amedore to run again, Guilderland principal put on leave, plastic bag ban proposed, parking harder to find in Saratoga
While most public officials seemed to applaud David Paterson for emphasizing the state's fiscal problems, there isn't consensus about how to cover the budget gap. [TU]
And one more thing about the state fiscal situation: Paterson's budget director says the state is officially in a recession. [Biz Review]
The chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees says the state's financial problems are an opportunity for the university system to "secure a rational tuition policy." And by "rational tuition policy," he means being able to raise tuition regularly. [TU]
George Amedore has officially announced he's running for re-election in the 105th state Assembly District (the city of Schenectady and surrounding areas). The Extreme Makeover home builder, a Republican, replaced Paul Tonko, a Democrat, last year in a special election after Tonko left to head up NYSERDA. [TU]
The woman who accused Albany police of conducting a cavity search on her during a traffic stop earlier this year has been charged with lying about the incident. The woman's friends and family say the APD's story doesn't match up. [TU]
What's going on at Guilderland High School? First the "culture climate inquiry" that led to two popular teachers being re-assigned. And now the school's principal has been put on administrative leave after he allegedly made racist and homophobic comments. [TU]
An Albany Common Councilman has proposed a ban on plastic shopping bags in the city. [TU]
Security cameras recently installed at a soup kitchen in Troy have made some of the regulars nervous. The org that runs the kitchen says the cameras became necessary after attendees were seen passing something other than the salt at meals. [Troy Record]
The number of parking spaces in downtown Saratoga is decreasing -- and it doesn't look like a trend that's going to stop anytime soon. [Daily Gazette]
Three guys were arrested in Cohoes for trying to sell stolen manhole covers and sewer grids for "a lousy $54" at a scrap yard. [Troy Record]
Earthly Delights Natural Foods on Jay Street in Schenectady is closing. The store has been open since 1974. The owners say they can't compete with larger food stores. [Daily Gazette]
Big investments for research facilities, Guilderland teachers' transfers upheld, gun buyback in Troy, Tedisco getting married
An IBM plan to invest $1.6 billion toward chip fab facilities in New York State will reportedly include at least 325 new jobs at the UAlbany nanotech center. [TU]
UAlbany and Albany Med are teaming up to build a new research center in E. Greenbush focused on cancer, cardiology and neurological disorders. The two institutions hope the new center will enable them to attract more money from the National Institutes of Health. The center will be funded by a $42 million slab of pork secured by Joe Bruno. The headed-for-the-door state Senator says another $25 million in state money will go toward building a new neonatal intensive care unit at AMC. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
The Guilderland School Board voted yesterday to uphold the transfer of two popular teachers from the high school to a middle school. The board also released a copy of the "culture climate report" that led to the transfer, though one board member described the released report as "useless" because it had been stripped of many details. One of the two transferred teachers says she's still not sure exactly what she's been accused of doing wrong. The board president says the district will be conducting more such inquiries. [TU]
Prompted by cases such as that of Jermayne Timmons -- the 15-year-old accused of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas -- advocates are arguing that New York State should require that any suspect under the age of 16 have an attorney present during questioning by police. Timmons reportedly confessed to the shooting without representation. [TU]
The Knicks are looking at the possibility of moving their training camp to Skidmore. [Daily Gazette]
The new Hampton Inn on High Rock in Saratoga opened yesterday. Apparently "new hotel smell" is that of "freshly cut lumber." [Saratogian]
Jimmy Tedisco is marrying his long-time lady friend, Mary Song. [Daily Gazette]
Guilderland "culture climate inquiry" to go public, Congressional candidate stops to help, Paterson rakes it in, mega-mansions in Saratoga, urination leads to struck pedestrian
The Guilderland School Board will release the "culture climate inquiry" today that led to the re-assignment of two popular high school teachers to a middle school. The situation has prompted protests by parents and students -- and even led to the school board walking out of an earlier meeting when the topic came up. [TU]
Congressional candidate Michael Rocque was one of a group of people who stopped Saturday night on the Northway to help two people get free from a flipped-over car. Rocque is a Republican in the running for the seat currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand. (Earlier on AOA: A resumé that reads like a character from an action movie.) [CapNews9]
A state legislator is floating the idea of a four-day school week to help school districts save money on heating and transportation costs. Local school officials don't appear to be warm to the idea. [Daily Gazette]
David Paterson has already raised more than $3 million for a potential re-election campaign. Observers say the the haul is a good indicator that Paterson does intend to run in 2010. [AP/TU]
The City of Saratoga Springs is trying to figure out how to tax two "mega-mansions." For at least one of the properties, there's a bit of a gap between the city's assessment and the owner's number -- the city says $25 million, the owner says $6 million. [Saratogian]
See if you can keep this straight: police say a Rotterdam man hit a pedestrian with his car while fleeing from a group of men that had attacked him because he yelled at them for urinating on his grandmother's house. The alleged urinator is still on the lam. [Daily Gazette]
The US Water Ski Show Team (the team that practices by Jumpin' Jacks in Scotia) has had to cut back on the number of boats it uses because of high gasoline prices. The team says it uses about $500 of gas during each show. [Daily Gazette]
Field for Bruno's seat coming together, Pataki snubbed, local bankruptcies up, dude - where's her car?
Mike Russo, who works for Kirsten Gillibrand, has officially announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination in the race for Joe Bruno's state Senate seat. He joins Brian Premo and Saratoga Springs supervisor Joanne Yepsen. The Republicans still don't have any official candidates, but that should change tomorrow when Wilton assemblyman Roy McDonald is expected to officially announce. Ray Seney, a councilman from the town of Nassau, is also circulating petitions in a bid to run. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
George Pataki will not be a delegate at the Republican National Convention later this year, even though the former governor was on John McCain's list of preferred delegates. The dis is apparently payback from state Republican committee chair Joseph Mondello after Pataki pushed to replace him. [AP] [NYDN]
Bankruptcy filings in the Capital Region are up from the same period last year and local bankruptcy lawyers report they're swamped with cases. [TU]
Three weeks ago, Kerri-Ann Vincent drove a stabbing victim to the hospital in Troy. And she hasn't seen her car since. Troy police are holding the vehicle as evidence. Vincent says she can't get to work without her car. The TPD has basically told her to deal. [CBS6]
Two apparently popular Guilderland High School teachers have been relegated to the middle school after a "culture climate inquiry" inquiry. The two teachers, one of whom is out on maternity leave, are accused of contributing to a "locker room" and "boys' club" atmosphere within the school's social studies department. [TU]
The stock of Feldman Mall Properties, one of the co-owners of Colonie Center, has been delisted from the NYSE. The company lost $17 million last year. [Daily Gazette]
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...
Political antics on the web, probation for pharmacy college, eviction for Golden Fox, the guy in the picture didn't actually do it
Phil Steck, one of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination for the 21st congressional district, is accusing one of his fellow Democrats of "cybersquatting" domains that include his name. Steck says consultants connected with Tracey Brooks have snapped up PhilSteck.org and other similar urls. Apparently Brooks' people have also done this for variations on Paul Tonko's name, too. [WNYT]
Republicans in Guilderland have accused the town's economic development director of "fraud and abuse." Why? They say he posted comments to a TU blog while on the clock. (TU Local Politics has background -- it sounds a little like an outtake from the movie Mean Girls.) [TU]
The amount wagered at Capital OTBs was down about four percent last year from the year before. [TU]
The Albany College of Pharmacy has been put on probation after an accreditation organization said the school isn't moving quickly enough toward an interactive curriculum. (Apparently traditional lecture-type classes are, um, old-school.) [Daily Gazette]
The 10-story office building at 100 State in Albany sold for $3.5 million. The investors behind the deal plan to spend $1.3 million on renovations, including restoration of the building's clock tower. [Business Review] [Daily Gazette]
An eviction notice is on its way to the owner of the Golden Fox restaurant in Troy. The city says the owner is $27,000 behind on his taxes and it wants to secure the building's furnishing to help cover the debt. Apparently the plasma TVs have already found the exit, though. [TU]
A man convicted this week of burglary and menacing in Schenectady County Court tried to pass off the picture that came with a frame as a photo of the "real" perp. Prosecutors were suspicious of the photo, but weren't sure until an employee in the DA's office noticed the exact same picture on the shelf at a Wal-Mart. [TU]