Items tagged with 'Rensselaer'

About that idea to connect the train station with downtown Albany via a gondola lift...

Capital District Gondola ESP rendering

Maybe you remember a while back the idea popped up of constructing a gondola lift to ferry people between downtown Albany and the train station over in Rensselaer.

Well, the engineering firm that floated the possibility -- McLaren Engineering Group -- released a feasibility study Wednesday that concludes the project is workable, and "retains the potential of being a transformational project that will create a spark of increased mobility, tourism, and economic development in two areas of the cities of Albany and Rensselaer that are currently underdeveloped."

Here's a quick overview and a few thoughts...

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French toast at Baking You Crazy

baking you crazy french toast

By Deanna Fox

Considering French toast is little more than eggs, milk, and bread, it can be surprisingly easy to screw up. The KISS notion (keep it simple, stupid) is one that evades most of modern society. Bigger is still better, more is still more, and pairing it down to the basics seems like a weakness or cop-out, not an ability to be admired.

Simple doesn't mean thoughtless, though: The opposite is true. Because there is less fluff to mask errors and subpar additions, all ingredients need to be of a particular quality and incorporated with consideration.

Baking You Crazy, the bakery and cafe that replaced a small Italian restaurant at the foot of the Albany-Rensselaer train station on Broadway, employs these ideas across its entire menu.

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Crailofest

crailo state historic site tile logoThe Crailo State Historic Site in Rensselaer has the opening day of Crailofest -- "a celebration of African culture in the New World" -- lined up for this Saturday, April 2.

The site's new exhibit, A Dishonorable Trade: Human Trafficking in the Dutch Atlantic World, will be open. And there will be other events and activities:

At 2:00 pm the First Presbyterian Church, at 34 Broadway in Rensselaer will open its doors for a talk by Donald Hyman entitled Land of the Blacks, a dance performance and musical selections by the First Israel AME Choir and a Hip Hop artist who has performed in the Netherlands. Dutch inspired treats will be served at the church by culinary students from the Abrookin Career and Technical Center. Following the conclusion of the program at the church, Crailo will remain open until 4:30 pm for viewing the exhibit.

There are two other Crailofest days planned -- May 7 and June 4 -- with performances, readings, dance, art, and food. Admission is $6 for adults / $1 for kids under 12 (tickets for all three days are $15 / $3).

The Crailo site was once a home for the Van Rensselaer family and now serves as a museum of colonial Dutch history in the Hudson Valley. It was named after the Van Rensselaer's estate in the Netherlands -- Crayloo or Cralo -- which meant "crows' wood" in Dutch.

Waiting on the arrival of Lincoln's ghost

ghostly abe lincoln rensselaer train station

By James Greene, Jr.

The Rensselaer Amtrak Station: to me, it was always just an air conditioned waiting room with a post office, a relatively empty (though aesthetically pleasing) open space where I could leech wifi and stare at silent Charmed reruns on the wall mounted televisions whilst waiting for a ride back to New York City.

That changed when I learned this depot might be haunted by the esteemed ectoplasmic residuals of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train. You mean there's a chance my latte sipping could be interrupted by a gh-gh-ghost?

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Schumer on board with walkable, bikeable Livingston Ave Bridge

chuck schumer livingston ave bridge

Chuck Schumer near the Livingston Ave Bridge today.

Chuck Schumer was in town today to push for the inclusion of a pedestrian walkway on the Livingston Ave Bridge -- regardless of what direction the project takes (rehab or total replacement).

Said New York's senior senator in a press release:

"For decades, people could easily walk over the Livingston Avenue Bridge and its sister, the old Maiden Lane Bridge, providing an important link between downtown Albany and the Rensselaer waterfront. ... Then all of that stopped, and the gates went up, shutting down the pedestrian link between these great cities. When the new bridge is built, we have a fresh chance to reconnect these two downtowns [Editors: Albany and Rensselaer] and funnel more visitors to key areas on both sides of the river. Failing to include a pedestrian component in this bridge would be shortsighted, and we can't make that mistake. That's why I'm urging everyone from CSX to Amtrak to NYSDOT to climb aboard with this plan, so that every design going forward will link up the biking and walking paths on both sides of the scenic Hudson."

In a Soapbox piece last fall, Martin Daley explained why local transportation planners are pushing for a pedestrian walkway on the bridge -- and the obstacles the idea has encountered:

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Good lunch spots in Rensselaer/East Greenbush?

albany skyline from RensselaerMelissa asks via Twitter:

In serious need of good lunch take-out suggestions in Rensselaer/East Greenbush. I was spoiled working down the street from the Iron Gate [in Albany]! I'd love a place with soups and salads and interesting sandwiches.

We are reasonably certain people in East Greenbush eat lunch. So there have to be at least few spots Melissa should try.

Got a suggestion? Please share!

Earlier on AOA:
+ Where to have lunch in downtown Troy?
+ Good lunch spots in downtown Albany?

Winners in Capital Region's non-win: lofts, mushroom packaging, Troy riverfront

andrew cuomo REDC grantsThe Cuomo administration announced the winners of the Regional Economic Development Council competition today -- and the Capital Region did not win. The "best plan" awards went to Western New York, Central New York, the North Country, and Long Island -- they all got about $100 million in funding.

But the Capital Region wasn't exactly a loser, either. The region scored $62.7 million in grants. So, call it a non-winner.

A total of 88 projects in this region are getting funding. Some of it looks pork-ish (of course, all in the eye of the beholder). There are handful of grants that caught our eye. The full list, with highlights, after the jump.

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

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

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

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

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

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Bruno speaks out about case, dog found duct-taped and bagged, another student mugging in Pine Hills, Albany High production prompted by protests

Joe Bruno called into Talk 1300 yesterday to complain about the federal case against him. During the segment, Bruno said of the federal investigation of him: "I wasn't a terrorist.... I never abused the public trust that people put in me. I never, never used politics to make money. I just didn't do that." Bruno's comments may not go over well with the judge presiding of his case, who has warned both sides in the trial about speaking outside of court -- and just the day before said scolded them in court: "This is not an election campaign." [NYDN] [TU] [TU] [NYT]

About Gary Sharpe, the judge in the Bruno trial: An op-ed in the Troy Record this past weekend questioned whether the judge had a conflict of interest because his son works as a prosecutor in the Albany US Attorney's office -- the same office that's prosecuting Bruno. The head of that office told the NYDN yesterday that Sharpe's son has had no involvement with the case. [Troy Record] [NYDN]

David Paterson said he will pull the $25 fee for the new "EmpireGold" license plates -- if someone can come up with a way to replace the $129 million the fee is projected to contribute to the state budget. [NY Post]

The Paterson Administration projects that increases in the fee that retailers pay to be sellers of tobacco products will reduce the number of tobacco retail outlets by 40 percent. [TU]

A group of hunters in Saratoga County say they found a dog wrapped in duct tape and stuffed in a garbage bag. [WNYT]

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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]

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

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

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

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

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

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Fight over funds for homeless in Troy, Ellis to continue mayoral run, attempted abduction reported in Schenectady, Cohoes goes flashy

A spokesman for Harry Tutunjian says the Troy mayor's move to turn down $845k in federal money aimed at helping the homeless was "politically courageous." The mayor's administration has said the city doesn't have the money necessary to hire someone to administer the funding -- though critics have suggested the move is political payback. [TU] [Troy Record]

It appears that Corey Ellis will continue his Albany mayoral campaign on the Working Families in the general election. Ellis lost the Democratic primary to Jerry Jennings 56-44. [TU]

Leif Engstrom has come out as the winner the Democratic primary for the newly created job of Albany city auditor. There's no general election opponent, so the job is his. [TU]

A Marist poll reports that a majority of New Yorkers don't want David Paterson to run for governor -- but they also would rather not have Barack Obama be the one to push Paterson out. [Marist] [Daily Politics] [PolitickerNY]

In a radio interview yesterday David Paterson basically said that Andrew Cuomo would have bad poll numbers, too, if he were governor right now. [PolitickerNY]

PEF -- one of the two biggest state worker unions -- says it will be lobbying David Paterson to approve more $20k buyouts for its members. [TU]

RPI says it now appears five students have come down with the H1N1 influenza. The school has set up 90 isolation rooms to handle a potential flu outbreak. In an email, the school's medical director said "the number of cases could change very quickly." Sage also reported this week that two of its students have H1N1. [CapNews9] [Troy Record] [RPInsider] [CBS6]

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Obama to visit Capital Region, man accused of carjacking in Troy, pilot hailed for emergency landing, he's a LEGO weirdo

President Obama will be speaking about the at HVCC on Monday about the economy. He's expected to highlight the college's role in training workers for high tech jobs. HVCC has a special program set up to train workers for the GlobalFoundries chip fab. There had been rumors Obama would appear at the GloFo site, but apparently time constraints ruled that out. (The president has to make it NYC later that afternoon so he can appear on Letterman.) Apparently Paul Tonko and Scott Murphy have been lobbying for Obama to make a visit here. There are no details on tickets for the event, yet. [TU] [TU] [Troy Record] [Post-Star] [CBS6] [Fox23] [WTEN]

Kirsten Gillibrand is catching criticism for her vote to continue federal funding of ACORN. The org has been in the spotlight after its employees were caught telling people how to cheat the tax and mortgage systems. A pundit says Gillibrand's support of the org is probably intended to help her win votes in New York City. [TU] [NYDN] [Fox23]

In a new Marist poll, 70 percent of respondents said David Paterson was not a viable candidate for governor in 2010. [Daily Politics]

Troy Police say a man fleeing from a thwarted home robbery hijacked a car from a woman at a car wash in Brunswick. A resident of the house where the alleged incident began said he chased the suspect off with a baseball bat. The suspect then allegedly ran to the car wash, told the woman -- who was vacuuming her car -- to get her young son out of the back, and then sped off. Police say they caught him in Troy. [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU] [CBS6]

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Not much has changed in state Senate, Gillibrand cut off at Sotomayor hearing, judge admonished for not getting work done, pair accused of using kid to aid burglaries

Now that the state Senate leadership mess has been resolved, the chamber can move on to the really important stuff: staffing budgets. Oh, and Pedro Espada says was made majority leader because senators "trust" that "I can lead that house." [AP/Troy Record] [CapNews9]

Already bolstered by the state Senate's "extraordinary" sessions, downtown Albany restaurants are pulling for a special session. [CapNews9] [TU]

Chuck Schumer (video) and Kirsten Gillibrand (video) introduced Sonia Sotomayor at her Supreme Court nomination hearing yesterday. KG went on so long that she had to be cut off by Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (the first gavel comes at 6:25 in her video). Gillibrand does have a reputation for being loquacious. [SchumerTube] [GillibrandTube] [TU] [NYT]

Joe Bruno has already spent more than $450k on lawyers this year as part of his defense against federal corruption charges. [Daily Politics]

CSEA members showed up at last night's Albany County Legislature meeting to protest the planned five-day furloughs of county workers. The union says workers found out about the furlough via the media. Albany County exec Mike Breslin says the county is facing a $20 million budget gap. [Fox23] [CBS6]

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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]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dalai Lama visits, murder in Albany, too many recyclables in landfill, Friday's says it's investigating snakehead, Sage graduation won't shake on it, fiddlehead rustlers

dalai lama nys senate

The Dalai Lama speaking in the New York Senate.

The Dalai Lama spoke -- very softly -- to a crowd of about 2500 people at the Palace Theater yesterday afternoon. About the controversy surrounding his off-then-on visit, the Tibetan spiritual leader said: "I had an invitation, so I accepted." -- he also implied that negative media reports about the World Ethical Foundations Consortium, the event's sponsor, were not truthful. Earlier in the day, the Dalai Lama spoke before the state Senate and joked that he felt an affinity with Republicans at the Capitol because he knows what it's like to be in the minority. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record] [NYS Senate YouTube]

The Albany County budget is facing a $20 million gap because of falling sales tax income and cuts in state aide. County exec Mike Breslin called the gap -- which represents about 30 percent of the county budget -- "an emergency." [TU]

Police say a man was stabbed and killed on Bradford Street in Albany yesterday evening (map). A suspect is in custody. Another man was shot twice on Third Street later in the night. [CapNews9] [TU] [CapNews9]

A Schenectady County grand jury handed up a 26 count indictment against Steve Raucci, the former Schenectady School District employee accused of arson and terrorism. The indictment alleges Raucci was involved in 14 separate incidents. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Sloop Clearwater's in town

Sloop Clearwater.jpg

The Sloop Clearwater --docked in Rensselaer

By Jim Cronen

Just in time for Earth Day, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater is docked at Riverfront Park in Rensselaer.

The 106-foot wooden replica of a 19th Century Dutch Sloop travels the Hudson between NYC and Albany to spread the word about fighting pollution and remind people of the beauty of the river.

Every once in a while the sloop drops anchor near Albany and gives Capital Region residents a chance to see what it's all about.

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Paterson under fire from every direction, Gillibrand says guns no longer under her bed, job cuts at GE Research, Rensselaer waterfront developer says if they come -- they will build it

David Paterson is catching criticism from what seems like every direction right now. State worker unions are wailing at the news that many aides in the Paterson administration have gotten pay raises since last summer's hiring freeze and spending cuts. The proposed "iTax" on digital downloads is being criticized by conservatives because it potentially could tax pornography downloads (they say taxing it legitimizes it). And in response to the barrage of TV ads criticizing his proposed healthcare cuts, Paterson said this past weekend: "I don't care how many blind people in wheelchairs you roll out. I'm going to get this budget balanced and I'm going to get it balanced by April 1." [NYP] [NYDN] [AP/TU] [Newsday]

A spokesperson for Kirsten Gillibrand says the senator has moved the guns out from underneath her bed now that everyone knows that's where she stored them (because, you know, she told everyone). Also: Gillibrand says her mom has eight guns. [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette] [AP/Troy Record]

Chuck Schumer endorsed Scott Murphy yesterday in the race to fill Gillibrand's former House seat. He and Murphy also made pretzels. [Saratogian]

Roy McDonald (the guy who replaced Joe Bruno in the state Senate) says Saratoga County's share of money from a state road maintenance fund could be cut more than 25 percent in the next state budget. Saratoga County got more than $2 million from the fund last year (as did Albany County). [Saratogian] [NYDOT]

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State facing even bigger budget gap, politicians fight over printer, food bank demand up, garbage workers told to take it easy,

A budget analysis from the state Assembly projects that the state's budget gap for the next fiscal year is actually a billion dollars bigger than originally thought. Sheldon Silver says the growing gap increases the need for higher taxes on high-earning households. David Paterson says he's still resistant to the idea. [Biz Review] [NYDN] [TU]

Jonathan Lippman was confirmed yesterday as the new chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. Lippman says getting state judges a pay raise will be among his first priorities. Also: he apparently looks a little like Bernie Madoff to some people. [TU] [CapNews9]

A city attorney has told the Albany Common Council that its subpoena powers probably do not allow it to question the head of the police officers' union about the ghost ticket scandal. Councilman Corey Ellis has been pushing for the council to directly investigate the matter. [TU]

The woman police say hit a pedestrian along Western Ave near St. Rose and then drove off was charged yesterday with leaving the scene of an accident. The family of Stanley Brown, the man hit and killed in the accident, says he loved to walk. [Troy Record] [TU]

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Special election candidates could spend $4 million total, state worker says he gets $95k for nothing, new baggage scanners at airport, ice cream recall

One expert predicts each candidate in the special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's former House seat could end up spending $2 million on the race. The chairman of the Republican National Committee was in Albany yesterday to meet with Jim Tedisco about the race. Scott Murphy, the Democrats' candidate, was in DC earlier this week to meet with Nancy Pelosi and Kirsten Gillibrand. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

The Siena Research Institute reports that consumer confidence in New York State was up a bit last month. The state's consumer confidence is a little lower than the national mark. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

CDTA could get about $14 million over two years from the stimulus bill that's passed the House of Representatives. But the transit org says it's experiencing a "revenue crisis" and the stimulus money would only be a short-term help. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A state worker with the State Insurance Fund says he's been relegated to a do-nothing $93,803-a-year job because he sued the Pataki Administration 10 years ago. The man says he sued because he was being discriminated against for being a Native American. [TU]

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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]

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Former judge indicted for alleged shakedown, thousands of ghost tickets issued, police say dog starved to death, car smashes into florist

A former state Supreme Court judge from Albany County has been indicted on charges he tried to shake down attorneys appearing before him. Federal prosecutors say Thomas Spargo threatened to "harm" an attorney if the attorney didn't give him $10,000. Spargo was removed from the bench in 2006 after allegations of this behavior surface. He's recently been doing work for the City of Troy. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

An attempted murder case in Schenectady could be retried after one of the jurors told a prosecutor he based his decision on the defendant's race. The juror also told the prosecutor he was distracted during the trail by the prosecutor's "captivating beauty." The juror now says he was drunk when he made the statements. [Daily Gazette]

APD chief James Tuffey told the Albany City Council yesterday that 40 percent of the parking tickets given out in the city over the last two years have been "ghost tickets" (that is, the recipients didn't have to pay). [TU]

The Troy City Council now says it won't challenge the mayor's veto of its changes to the city budget. [Troy Record]

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Unemployment rate up over a year ago, Soares looks to crack down on DWI, Troy stores will be on Oprah, DiNicola has a brain tumor

The Capital Region's unemployment rate in October was 4.9 percent, up from 3.6 percent a year ago. [TU]

A Siena poll reports that a majority of New Yorkers are planning to spend less this year on holiday presents. [Daily Gazette]

A Thanksgiving food bank in Schenectady says requests are up about 20 percent this year. [Daily Gazette]

Albany County DA David Soares says his office will be cracking down on drunk drivers and will push to seize the cars of DWI suspects. [TU]

The mayor of Rensselaer says the city will not be prepared to handle snow removal this winter after the city council voted down a plan to use state money to replace equipment damaged during summer flooding. The council president says the city hasn't adequately documented what was lost. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Blue Fiddle Gifts

Blue Fiddle gifts

Some of the items at Blue Fiddle Gifts in Rensselaer.

By Amy Brozio-Andrews

A few months back, a commenter here at AOA recommended Blue Fiddle Gifts so I decided to check it out. I had the address but still drove up and down Columbia Turnpike three times. I finally had to call home to double-check -- directly from their website: "The store is across the street from the Price Chopper and Columbia Plaza, in the Rensselaer Appliance shopping center."

And there it was.

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Father to be charged with murder of child, Rensselaer DA watching money evaporate, neighborhood wants to go after negative news coverage, where's Beboy?

A four-month-old baby, who was beaten by his father in Troy, has died. Authorities said yesterday they would charge the father with murder if the child died. [TU]

A replica of a WWII plane crashed yesterday afternoon at the Schenectady County Airport during a test flight. The test pilot, who's from Saratoga, is in critical condition. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The New York State comptroller's office has extended its OpenBook New York database to local governments. [Biz Review]

George Amedore, the Republican incumbent in the 105th state Assembly district (Tonko's old seat), says his opponent, Democrat Mark Blanchfield, has unfairly taken his words about how he views his Assembly job out of context in a radio spot. Blanchfield's sticking by the ad. [WNYT]

The Rensselaer County District Attorney's office is watching almost half of its budget disappear as grants it's relied on run out. The $1 million in grants fund the salaries of five ADAs and four investigators. [Troy Record]

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Wall Street meltdown could hit NYS even harder, local unemployment rate up, bomb threat at supermarket, graduation crasher writes more sincere apology letter

A not-officially-released projection concludes that the Wall Street meltdown could now cost New York State as much as $3 billion in revenue over the next two years. David Paterson had predicted earlier this week that the hit could be as much as $1 billion over the next year. [AP]

With Wall Street institutions crumbling, local Capital Region banks say they're seeing an influx of deposits as people look to keep their money closer to home. [Daily Gazette]

The total number of jobs in the Capital Region is at its highest-ever point, but the unemployment rate still hit 5 percent last month. The highest the rate has been here in 16 years (it was 3.7 percent a year ago). Analysts say the picture isn't really all that bad and the area is doing better than a lot of other places. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Among the recently unemployed: eight Daily Gazette staffers. It's the second job cut this year for the paper. [Daily Gazette]

CDTA is facing a budget gap and a 50 cent fare increase might be one of the ways to cover it. [TU]

(there's more)

Unscheduled days off for Albany High, Rensselaer gets money for flood recovery, auto dealer closing because of high gas prices, RPI kicks retired prof's email because of criticism

Classes have been canceled this week at Albany High School after a computer problem messed up students' class schedules. [TU]

The state Senate is giving the City of Rensselaer $1.1 million to help with recovery from the flooding in August. Mayor Dan Dwyer says "hardly anything has been fixed" since the heavy rains. Residents say they're worried about the water rising again. [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

The City of Troy is considering the purchase of a system that can listen for gunfire and then triangulate the point from which the shots were fired. It costs $200,000 for the system to cover one square mile. [TU]

A Rensselaer police car was rear-ended on the Dunn Memorial Bridge while it was stopped to issue a traffic violation. The collision pushed the cop car into the back of the car that had been pulled over. [Troy Record]

(there's more)

Local counties won't get flood money from feds, fingers already pointed in DA race, pit bull ordred put down and another banished, horse betting on the Blackberry

It looks like local counties will not be getting money from FEMA for recovery after the flooding late last month. Apparently area wasn't damaged quite enough -- the region's tally of $18.2 million fell about $5 million short of FEMA's cut-off. The mayor Rensselaer, which suffered $3.5 million of damage, says he's "heart-sickened" over the situation. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

One of the workers overcome by toxic fumes earlier this week in Schenectady has died. His co-worker's condition has been upgraded to good. [Daily Gazette]

The almost-race for Albany Count DA has already descended into finger pointing and cries about conflicts of interest. [TU]

Funding for the much argued about new Saratoga Springs police station was taken out of the city's capital budget during a closed-door meeting yesterday. [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Legislature cuts $1 billion, many in Rensselaer didn't have flood insurance, rider dies at The Track, Troy official's ability to spell questioned, adults argue over basketball hoop, OMG! Brian Stratton loves texting

The state legislature has agreed to cut about $1 billion from the state budget over the next two years, including a little more than $400 million from this year's budget. That falls short of David Paterson's $600 million goal. The cuts include $50 million in member items (that would be pork). [TU]

Paterson will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention next week in Denver. [NYT]

FEMA maps indicate that most of the City of Rensselaer is in a flood zone, but only six of the 60 homes and business affected by the recent flooding have flood insurance. One resident says no one told them they were in a flood zone. [WNYT]

An exercise rider at The Track died yesterday after being thrown from a horse Monday. [Saratogian]

Local colleges and universities are facing a housing crunch. Students are being forced to live in lounges and tripled up in rooms intended for doubles. [TU]

(there's more)

Rensselaer flood damage adds up, Dare gets five years in prison, unemployment rate up, horse escapes from The Track, big year for mushrooms, Larkfest grows

The mayor of Rensselaer says the city suffered more than $20 million in damages during the flooding on Monday. He says the city doesn't have the money to cover the damages and it's looking for help from the state and federal governments. [TU]

One-time Albany community leader Aaron Dare was sentenced to more than five years in prison yesterday for his involvement in a string of fraudulent real estate deals. [TU]

The Capital Region's unemployment rate hit 5 percent in July, that's up from 4.1 percent over the same period last year. The area has had a net loss of 1,000 jobs over that period. [TU] [Biz Review]

The Governor's state police security detail will now be allowed to stop supervision of the Gov only after getting a signed order from him. The new rule was prompted by Eliot Spitzer's verbal dismissal of his security detail during his rendezvous with a prostitute in DC. [NYP]

(there's more)

Too much rain in Rensselaer, Bruno will be interfacing with officials, YouTube vigilante, tunnel found in Stockade, Curlin owner issues challenge to Big Brown

State DEC officials say it looks like the recent flooding in Rensselaer was just the result of too much rain in too short a period of time. Rensselaer city leaders had been questioning whether development in the Greenbushes had overwhelmed the area's drainage system. The National Weather Service in Albany estimates Rensselaer got up to 6 inches of rain on Monday. [TU]

Joe Bruno has registered as a lobbyist with New York State. By law, he's not allowed to lobby the legislature for two years, but he says he will be "interfacing" with officials in the executive branch for his job as CEO of a computer services company. [TU]

Time on the $100 million Blue Gene supercomputer at RPI will be available free to New York State businesses -- if they can figure out how to use it. [Biz Review] [Daily Gazette]

(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)

Keehn not running for Bruno's seat, whither all the Bruno pork?, new high school has leaky roof, live grenade found

Val Keehn is now saying that she will not run for the Democratic nomination in the race for Joe Bruno's state Senate seat. The former mayor of Saratoga Springs will instead support Joanne Yepsen, who's currently Saratoga Springs town supervisor. Keehn says she decided not to run after hearing that Mike Russo, who currently works for Kirsten Gillibrand, is considering a run. Russo has not officially declared yet. There's already one Democrat who has -- Brian Premo. [TU] [Saratogian]

Now that Bruno's no longer leader of the state Senate, will the Capital Region go back to getting pretzels (Joe Bruno's word) from the state. Dean Skelos, the new majority leader, says no. Others aren't so sure. What is certain: Joe Bruno brought home a lot of pork -- and his name is on a bunch of stuff. So many things bear his name that his staff has lost track. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Sixteen hours after a community anti-violence meeting in the neighborhood, two men were shot on the north end of Lark Street in Albany. [TU]

The new Rensselaer High School, just six months old, already has a leaking roof. And it smells weird. [Troy Record]

A construction worker found a live grenade while sifting top soil at a construction site in Milton Friday afternoon. The bomb squad destroyed it. Officials aren't sure where the grenade came from. [Daily Gazette]

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (the big church at Madison and Eagle in Albany), will soon be closing for 18 months of renovations. [WNYT]

Get your hands in the air, Duanesburg. Snoop Dog is coming to town. [Daily Gazette]

Lots of illegal guns, corroded wires caused manhole cover explosions, water stays on for Rennselaer, damaged apples, a really big wind turbine

According to federal stats from last year, the number of seized illegal guns per resident in Albany and Schenectady was higher than that of New York City. There are two ways to look at this. Half-full: police here are getting better at finding illegal guns. Half-empty: there are a lot of illegal guns on the streets. [TU]

Prosecutors say Jermayne Timmons, the 15-year-old accused of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas, wrote an apology letter to Thomas' mother. From the letter Timmons allegedly wrote: "I am so sorry that the gun I shot is the gun that could have takeing your baby girl away from you." [Daily Gazette]

An aide at a state facility in Schenectady has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly punching a blind autistic woman after the woman spilled the aide's salad. [Daily Gazette]

The Troy city engineer says the manhole-cover-popping explosions earlier this year were caused by arcing underground cables that had been corroded by road salt and water. [TU]

The City of Rennselaer has paid Troy for its water use over the last two years, and Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian is no longer threatening to cut off Rennselaer's water supply. Still at issue: years of unpaid water bills from before 2006. [TU] [Troy Record]

Saratoga Springs is renovating its jails cells and needs someplace to put prisoners while the work is being done. The current solution: handcuffing the arrested to hooks in the booking area. [Daily Gazette]

Thomas D'Ambra, the CEO of Albany Molecular Research Inc, was the Capital Region's highest paid CEO last year. [TU]

The hail storm this week damaged apple crops. One farm in Columbia County says it suffered $1 million in damage. [Fox23]

GE wants to build a 400-foot-tall wind turbine just of I-890 in Rotterdam. [Daily Gazette]

It looks like Saratoga Springs will not be getting its first roundabout just yet. [Saratogian]

Congressional race drama for Albany Dems, Troy mayor says Rensselaer's all wet, something's rotten in Clifton Park, the neighborhood where you gotta pick up your own pizza

The race for the 21st Congressional District (McNulty's seat) has Albany County Democrats divided. The party committee endorsed Phil Steck last night, but only after about half of the members walked out of the meeting. The walk-outs, most of them from the City of Albany, didn't want to endorse anyone ahead of the primary. There are eight Democrats running for the nomination. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The mayor of Rensselaer is offering to settle the city's water deb with Troy by sending a check $1.59 million and $150,000 each year for the next seven years. Troy mayor Harry Tutunjian says Rensselaer owes a lot more than that and called the neighboring city "deadbeats." [TU]

It seems that a composting facility in Clifton Park really stinks -- in more ways than the obvious (though the obvious seems pretty bad). [TU]

Sections of Spa State Park will be allowed to grow wild in an effort to reduce costs and "improve sustainability." A member of a park advocacy group called the plan "ridiculous," though a park naturalist contends the wild areas will be pretty. [Saratogian] [TU]

The Mont Pleasant neighborhood in Schenectady is apparently the Bermuda Triangle of pizza deliveries. Many pizzerias have stopped delivering there after multiple robberies and weirdness. Just this week a delivery guy was robbed at taser-point (taser-prong?). [Fox23]

Thumbelina, the world's smallest horse, and her Thumbymobile visited the Children's Hospital at AMC yesterday. [Daily Gazette]

APD hot water continues to boil, Breslin gets a challenger, Big Brother looks to build cell tower in Rensselaer, principal duct taped to wall

More questions for the Albany Police Department... If a complaint is filed but no one else hears about it, does it really count? And, how long does it take for a cop to sober up before he punches the clock? [TU] [TU]

A state assemblyman has introduced a bill that's been dubbed "the Snowball's Chance in Hell Bill" -- it would require state legislators to disclose any source of income greater than $100. [NYT]

The former general manager of Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs (themselves formerly a baseball team) says he'll challenge Neil Breslin in the Democrat primary for the 46th State Senate district. [TU]

Rensselaerians (Rensselaerers? R-Towners?) are miffed that the city seems to be trying to use a new cell phone tower to connect surveillance cameras from around the city. [Troy Record]

Students at Troy High School duct taped an assistant principal to a wall yesterday -- with his permission. (It was a fundraiser for a family whose house was destroyed in a fire.) A dollar bought an arms-length piece of duct tape. [Troy Record]

Morning Blend: Troy cops taking heat, Rennselaer looking up, Wiiiiiii!

The Troy PD is investigating a claim that two of its officers used excessive force while arresting two men after a chase into Menands Friday night. The police say the men were considered dangerous, but people who witnessed the arrest -- including Albany-famous publicist Libby Post -- say the officers' treatment of the suspects appeared extreme. [TU]

The pastor of a Troy Catholic church has been accused of abusing a teenager in the 1980s. The priest has served at a handful of churches around the Capitol Region. [TU]

There's a sense in Rensselaer that things are looking up in the city... and not just because people are craning their necks to look at the Albany skyline. Of course, the view doesn't hurt. [Record]

Guitar Hero III was the best selling game of 2007, according to its publisher. Vicarious Visions, a game studio based in Menands, developed GH3 for the Wii. [Business Review]

The Scoop

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