Items tagged with 'SPAC'

New York City Ballet back at SPAC


The New York City Ballet opens its 2015 residency at SPAC Tuesday evening. It's the start of a two-week run for the company at SPAC.

Opening night is an all-Balanchine program. Among the other highlights from the schedule: the annual ballet gala is this Saturday, July 11; and next week, on Friday, July 17, there will be a performance of La Sylphide.

Justin Peck
The SPAC schedule also includes of two works by rising star choreographer Justin Peck, this Wednesday and during the gala performance on Saturday. Peck and his work to create a new ballet were the subject of a recent documentary called Ballet 422. The Bow Tie theater in Saratoga Springs will be screening the doc Monday, July 13 -- and Peck will be there for a post-screening Q&A. The screening starts at 7 pm.

photo via SPAC website

Saratoga Jazz Festival 2015 lineup includes Erykah Badu

erykah badu

Erykah Badu

The Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival returns to SPAC June 27-28. And this year's line-up includes Erykah Badu, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Cassandra Wilson, Sheila E., Al Di Meola Electric Band, and Snarky Puppy. The full announced lineup is after the jump.

Tickets for the general public go on sale on March 24 -- day tickets are $60 and up.

(there's more)

Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC 2015

yo-yo ma, megan hilty, joshua bell

Yo-Yo Ma, Megan Hilty, Joshua Bell

The Philadelphia Orchestra will be returning to SPAC this summer, August 5-22. The lineup of concerts is out -- it includes notable names such as Yo-Yo Ma, Bernadette Peters, Joshua Bell, and Megan Hilty. (There's also a Pixar night this year.)

A condensed version of the schedule is post jump.

Tickets go on sale to SPAC members today (March 3), and to the general public March 24.

(there's more)

Dave Matthews Band back at SPAC for 2015

dave matthews band bw 2012

The Dave Matthews Band will be making its seasonal migration back to SPAC July 3-4 this summer. Tickets to observe the Spa City stopover go on sale February 13 -- they're $40.50 for a lawn position, $75 and $85 for seats in the indoor blind.

Spotters last year reported that DMB performed two sets during its stops on the summer migration. Experts are predicting a similar display this year, along with the usual flocks that accompany Saratoga stop.

Live Nation advertises on AOA.

photo: Danny Clinch

Drawing: Saratoga Wine & Food Festival

chef marc murphy

Chef Marc Murphy is one of the headlining personalities for this year's festival.

Drawing's closed! Winners have been emailed!

The Saratoga Wine & Food Festival is coming up this weekend at SPAC. And we have tickets for two of the festival's events. And we're giving them away. Maybe to you. The tickets included in this drawing:

+ Two tickets to the new BBQ, Blues & Brews event Friday evening. ($170 value)

+ Two tickets to the Grand Tasting on Saturday ($170 value)

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:

What's something memorable that you ate locally this summer?

Could be a dish you had a local restaurant, could be some really excellent corn from a farmstand, could an ice cream cone on a perfect summer night, could be whatever.

We'll draw two winners at random. The first drawn will get the BBQ event tickets, the second will get the grand tasting tickets.

The festival's schedule of events runs Friday through Sunday at SPAC. The festival's headline food personality -- chef Marc Murphy (maybe you've seen him on the Food Network show Chopped) will be at the BBQ, Blues & Brews event, which is Friday evening from 7-10 pm. It's a "a competition-style grill off in which the Capital Region's top chefs face off against Manhattan Grill masters." The grand tasting, the festival's main event, is Saturday from 1-4 pm. Tickets for those events, and all the festival's events, are available online.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 5 pm on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 10 pm on Wednesday and must respond by noon on Thursday, September 4.

photo: Cedric Angeles Photography

Saratoga Wine & Food Festival 2014

chef marc murphy

Chef Marc Murphy

The annual Saratoga Wine & Food Festival is coming up September 5-7 at SPAC. The headlining "personalities," and a new event, this year:

+ NYC chef/restauranteur Marc Murphy, who's also one of the judges on the popular Food Network show Chopped.

+ Wine expert/educator Kevin Zraly is returning.

+ New event: BBQ, Brews & Blues: "Hosted by Food Network 'Chopped' star Marc Murphy, this BBQ bash will serve as the kick-off event with six (6) of the Capital Region's finest restaurants competing against six (6) Manhattan Grill masters."

The list of events with blurbage is after the jump.

Tickets for the various events go on sale today (as of this morning it appears they haven't yet been made available through SPAC's online ticketing system).

(there's more)

Kings of Leon at SPAC 2014

kings of leon

Rock band Kings of Leon will be at SPAC August 10. Tickets go on sale this Friday, April 25 -- they're $40 and up. (There will also be a lawn four-pack for $89, not including fees.)

For whatever reason, Kings of Leon seems like one of those bands that just sort of slowly, perhaps improbably, really, really popular -- "arguably the biggest band in the world" at one point, as a Rolling Stone article declared. They've sold something north of 16.5 million albums. Along to the way to becoming really popular they've gone from critically praised, to the sort of band some people like to not like. So it goes.

Anyway, Kings of Leon were last at SPAC in 2010. (They were set to play a show there in 2011, but that tour ended up being canceled after a show that went the wrong way in Dallas.)

The openers for the August 10 show at SPAC are Young the Giant, and Kongos.

Live Nation advertises on AOA.

photo via Kings of Leon Instagram

Drawing: Sarah McLachlan at SPAC

sarah mclachlan closeup

Drawing's closed! Winner's been emailed!

Sarah McLachlan will be at SPAC July 16. Tickets go on sale this Saturday. But we have a pair of tickets -- and you could win them now.

Between the millions of records she sold, the Lillith Fair tour, and her spot on so many dorm room mix tapes, Sarah McLachlan was a big part of music in the 1990s. So, to enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:

What was your favorite thing about the 90s?

It could a person, a band, a movie, an event, an attitude, flannel, whatever. We'll draw one winner at random.

The Sarah McLachlan show at SPAC is a pavilion-only show -- no lawn seating. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, March 15 at 10 am. They're $40.50 and up.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 8 pm on Friday, March 14, 2014 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by noon on Monday, March 17 and must respond by noon on Tuesday, March 18.

Live Nation advertises on AOA.

photo via Sarah McLachlan FB

Phish at SPAC 2014

phish spac 2009

Phish at SPAC a few years back. / photo: Flickr user hlkljgk (cc)

A sure sign of summer: Phish is headed back to SPAC for a multi-day run -- July 3, 4, and 5. Tickets go on sale March 28 at noon -- they're $45 (lawn) and $60 (pavilion).

March 28 is the public on-sale time. The band also has a pre-sale ticket request system. The deadline for entering that is March 23.

July 4 is a Friday this year, so the usual weekend run starts on a Thursday this time around.

Other pop acts announced for SPAC this summer so far...

(there's more)

Sarah McLachlan at SPAC

sarah mclachlan Announced today: Sarah McLachlan is lined up to play SPAC July 16. Tickets go on sale March 15 -- they're $40.50 and up.

It seems like a long time ago now (because it was), but McLachlan was one of the music industry's biggest figures during the late 90s because of her efforts to organize the Lilith Fair concert tours. And McLachlan herself sold millions of albums.

The tour that's stopping at SPAC is in support of a new album she has coming out in April.

By the way: You know those commercials McLachlan did for the ASPCA -- the ones that make you want to change the channel the second they come on because they're so sad? As of the end of 2008, they had raised more than $30 million for the animal org. (McLachlan parodied the ad in a car commercial during the Super Bowl this year.)

Live Nation advertises on AOA.

photo via Sarah McLachlan FB

Drawing: Tickets to the SPAC Winter Ball

SPAC winter ball 2014 logo

Drawing's closed! Winner's been emailed!

SPAC is gearing up for its annual Winter Ball on February 22 at The Hall of Springs in Saratoga Spa State Park. This year they've gone with a "Russian Whiteout" Olympic theme, complete with ice sculptures, martini ice luges, a Russian vodka bar, a blizzard photo booth, costume contests, and prizes.

The SPAC Junior Committee has passed on a pair of tickets to AOA -- and they could be yours. To enter the drawing, please answer the question below in the comment section of this post:

This year the ball has a Russian Olympic theme. What would be a fun Capital Region Olympic event?

Maybe it's bobsledding down Madison Avenue, or skiing down State Street, or turning a 787 ramp into a luge course. Maybe it's dodging double parked cars on Central Avenue. Have fun.

The Winter Ball is a fundraiser for SPAC's classical and educational programming and is presented by SPAC's Junior Committee. Tickets are $75 in advance, and $80 after February 19.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 8 pm on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 5 pm on Wednesday, February 12 and must respond by 8 pm on Thursday, February 13.

Jack Johnson, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at SPAC

jack johnson with guitar

Jack Johnson

Announced today: Jack Johnson is set to play a show at SPAC May 24. And with an opener that will draw a fair amount of people: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. Tickets go on sale this Friday (January 31) -- $34.50 (lawn) and $64.50 (pavilion).

Jack Johnson has ridden the wave of gentle folk/acoustic/surf pop to wide popularity over the last decade. He played at SPAC last year as part of the sold-out Farm Aid.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros don't actually include a person named Edward Sharpe. Rather the indie folk rock group is centered around singer Alex Ebert and revolving cast of players. You know their song "Home" ("Alabama, Arkansas /
I do love my Ma and Pa / Not the way that I do love you...) -- it's played been everywhere.

The May 24 show at SPAC is on a Saturday, which happens to be Memorial Day weekend.

Earlier on AOA: Dave Matthews Band back at SPAC for 2014

Live Nation advertises on AOA.

photo via Jack Johnson FB

Dave Matthews Band back at SPAC for 2014

Thumbnail image for dave matthews band bw 2012

Continuing its annual tradition, the Dave Matthews Band will be back at SPAC this summer for two shows: May 30 and 31. Tickets go on sale February 7 at 10 am -- they're $40.50 (lawn) and $75 (pavilion).

This year's shows are being billed as "A Very Special Evening with Dave Matthews Band." Tour blurbage:

"A Very Special Evening with Dave Matthews Band" will feature the group delivering two sets per evening, performing songs from throughout its career. Dave Matthews Band will wind through numerous configurations - from electric to acoustic, from full-throttle numbers featuring the entire band to more intimate moments featuring small groups of band members - including a stripped-down pairing of Matthews with guitarist Tim Reynolds, performing as an acoustic duo, as they occasionally do when the band is off the road. A variety of guests will join the band throughout the summer.

As in previous years, there's also a ticket pre-sale involving the band's fan club.

Other non-classical acts announced for SPAC so far: Journey and Steve Miller Band (June 14), Fall out Boy and Paramore (June 24), Chicago & REO Speedwagon (August 19).

Live Nation advertises on AOA.

photo: Danny Clinch

Bolshoi Ballet at SPAC tickets on sale

bolshoi SPACTickets went on sale today for the Bolshoi Ballet's string of dates at SPAC next July. Tickets start at $34 and they're available online (use the code "SPACROCKS" for a discount). When we checked this morning around 10:30 am, SPAC's website reported that it was "experiencing an unusually high volume of requests" for tickets.

The performances at SPAC will be a production of Don Quixote including not just dancers, but also the Bolshoi's 80-piece orchestra. The run includes four performances, from July 29-August 1.

As you know, the Bolshoi is based in Moscow and is one of the most famous ballet companies in the world. And, um, they take ballet very seriously in Russia -- perhaps a bit too seriously.

Saratoga Wine & Food Festival 2013

mo rocca cooking channelThe annual Saratoga Wine & Food Festival is coming up September 6-8 at SPAC. The headlining "personalities" this year:

+ Funny person Mo Rocca: He'll be co-hosting the live auction and the "Culinary Tent experience." Rocca is one of the best panelists on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, appears on CBS Sunday Morning, and hosts My Grandmother's Ravioli on Cooking Channel. (That's him on the right.)

+ Chef Zak Pelaccio: He'll be part of the demonstrations in the Culinary Tent. Pelaccio made a name for himself in New York City, and recently opened Fish & Game in Hudson.

+ Wine expert Kevin Zraly: He's co-hosting the auction and will doing a "One-Hour Wine Expert" seminar. Zraly is an award-winning wine expert, author, and educator -- and in 2011 received a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award.

The festival includes a bunch of different events, some of which require different tickets. But the big event of the festival for most people is the grand tasting on Saturday -- tickets are $85.

photo: Cooking Channel

Farm Aid 2013 lineup (it's a SPAC this year)

jack johnson with guitar

Jack Johnson

Update July 3: Farm Aid at SPAC is sold out.

The rest of the lineup for Farm Aid 2013 -- which is at SPAC this year -- was announced this morning. Joining headliners -- and Farm Aid board members -- Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews:

+ Jack Johnson
+ Amos Lee
+ Kacey Musgraves
+ Toad the Wet Sprocket
+ Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
+ Bahamas
+ JD & The Straight Shot
+ Carlene Carter
+ Pegi Young & The Survivors

Also: Guitarist Tim Reynolds will be joining Dave Matthews (they're frequent collaborators).

Farm Aid 2013 is September 21 at SPAC (as mentioned). Tickets go on sale this Friday -- they're $45 and up. (There's also a pre-sale.)

The SPAC show will be Farm Aid's 27th concert -- the first one was in Illinois in 1985. The org says it's raised $43 million to help family farms.

Live Nation advertises on AOA

photo via Jack Johnson FB

Farm Aid 2013 is at SPAC

farm aid nelson young mellencamp matthews

Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp.

Update July 3: Farm Aid at SPAC is sold out.

Farm Aid announced overnight that its 2013 concert will be at SPAC September 21. Tickets go on sale June 28 -- they're $45 and up. (There's also a pre-sale that starts June 18.)

The headliners for this year's show are Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews. (All four are on the org's board of directors.) More acts will be announced later on.

The SPAC show will be Farm Aid's 27th concert -- the first one was in Illinois in 1985. The org says it's raised $43 million to help family farms.

photo: Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve, Inc. / Farm Aid

Bon Jovi at SPAC

bon jovi bw

At the intersection of rock anthems and the willing suspension of irony, there is a guy with really great hair.

Bon Jovi is scheduled to play at SPAC July 22. Tickets go on sale June 10 (there's also a pre-sale) -- they're $35 and up (there's also a lawn four-pack for $99).

Back when "Livin' on a Prayer" and "You Give Love a Bad Name" were atop the charts in the 80s, it's probably safe to say Bon Jovi wasn't a lock to become a mainstay of pop music. A Rolling Stone review of Slippery When Wet was scathing: calling the lyrics cliche, the band "barely functional," Jon Bon Jovi's voice "bland," and the whole thing a "a smudgy Xerox of Quiet Riot." Burn. (Or were people saying "snap" back then? Maybe it was something else.)

But the band has gone onto sell 135 million records -- and hit the #1 spot on the US album chart in three different decades.

Tom Petty + Wallflowers
The Wallflowers have been added to the Tom Petty show at SPAC June 23. Tickets are $39.50 and up.

Live Nation advertises on AOA.

photo via Bon Jovi Facebook

Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket at SPAC

bob dylan


The Americanarama Festival of Music -- featuring Bob Dylan, Wilco, and My Morning Jacket -- is slated to make a stop at SPAC July 21. Tickets are $40 and $96 -- presale starts this Wednesday (April 24), general sale starts May 3.

This would be Dylan's first stop in the area since 2008 -- he played at SPAC in August that year.

Wilco, of course, will also be at the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA June 21-23.

photo: Alberto Cabello (Flickr user Diario de un pixel) (cc)

Phish at SPAC 2013

phish spac 2009

At SPAC, a few years back.

Summer really must be just a few months away: the announcement arrived today that Phish will be playing three shows at SPAC this July 5, 6, 7 (Friday-Sunday). Tickets go on sale March 29 at 10 am -- they're $45 (lawn) and $60 (pavilion).

March 29 is the general public sale date. The band also has a ticket request system for a "limited number of tickets."

SPAC will be the second stop on Phish's tour this summer.

Dave Matthews Band: As previously announced, DMB will be at SPAC May 25 and 26. General public tickets go on sale March 22.

Live Nation advertises on AOA.

photo: Flickr user hlkljgk (cc)

Saratoga Jazz Fest 2013 lineup

tony bennett

Tony Bennett

The lineup for this summer's Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC is out -- and the headliners include: Tony Bennett, Buddy Guy, David Sanborn and Bob James, the McCoy Tyner Quartet with John Scofield, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Kevin Eubanks, Gregory Porter, and Rudresh Mahanthappa's Gamak. The lineup and schedule is post jump.

The Saratoga Jazz Fest is June 29-30. Tickets go on sale March 18. They start at $55.

(there's more)

Dave Matthews Band at SPAC 2013

dave matthews band bw 2012

Dave Matthews Band will be back at SPAC this summer for two shows: May 25 (Saturday) and 26 (Sunday). The pre-sale through the band's fan club starts this Thursday (February 21), and tickets will be available to the general public March 22.

Rush: Speaking of dedicated followings -- Rush will be at SPAC June 25. Tickets are $36 (lawn) and up. They go on sale February 25 (a pre-sale started today (February 19)).

photo: Danny Clinch

Drawing: Tickets to SPAC's "Dallas" winter ball

spac winter ball 2013 dallas

The drawing is now closed. The winner has been emailed.

SPACs Winter Ball isn't the kind with poofy gowns, glass slippers, and a pumpkin coach pulled by white mice. This year's version is the kind with stetsons, cowboy boots, a bourbon bar, and mechanical bull rides.

The Dallas-themed winter ball at The Hall of Springs on February 23 will have Tex-Mex food, an open bar, a Tuthilltown Spirits bourbon bar, a champagne reception, live music, a western photo booth, and a costume contest for best dressed "Texas Beauty Queen" and "JR" Oil Baron.

We have a pair of tickets to the ball, and we're giving them away.

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:

The theme of the ball this year is "Dallas: Everything's Bigger in Texas." What's the biggest thing in the Capital Region?

We'll draw one winner at random.

Tickets for the SPAC Winter Ball are $65 before February 20, and $70 at the door. It's from 8 pm-midnight. Proceeds help underwrite the classical programming and educational activities for SPAC's summer season.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 5 pm on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. Regular commenting guidelines still apply. The winner will be notified via email by noon on Wednesday and must respond by 9 am on Thursday, February 14.

Drawing: Hattie's Mardis Gras Party

hatties mardis gras spac by heather bohm-tallman

Drawing's closed!

The annual Hattie's Mardis Gras Party at the Canfield Casino in Congress Park is January 19. This year's beneficiary of the fundraiser is the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. And thanks to SPAC, we have two tickets for the event -- worth $200 -- to give away. Maybe to you.

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:

Mardis Gras is about relaxing to "let the good times roll." What's something people in the Capital Region should relax about, or let go?

We'll draw one winner at random.

The Mardis Gras Party is from 6-10 pm on January 19. It includes New Orleans-inspired food from Hattie's, live music by Garland Nelson and Soul Session, Mardis Gras masks and beads, a photobooth from Heather Bohm-Tallman, and a raffle ($20) for a two-year lease on a new Toyota Prius.

Tickets are $100 each and available online. Funds raised from the event will go toward supporting the NYC Ballet residency at SPAC.

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Friday, January 11, 2013 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 5 pm on Friday and must respond by noon on Monday, January 14.

photo: Heather Bohm-Tallman

Tickets to take friends to SPAC's Wine, Food & Ferrari Fest Grand Tasting

saratoga wine and food festivalThe drawing has been closed! Thanks for entering!

The Saratoga Wine & Food and Fall Ferrari Festival returns to SPAC September 7-9. One of the highlights of the weekend is the "grand tasting" on Saturday, September 8, billed as "the crown-jewel" of the festival:

200 international wineries including an unparalleled Italian Pavilion that features a myriad of wines, spirits, and authentic products; the region's top restaurants; world-class seminars and a live and silent auction of luxury items. A day dedicate to the epicurean in all of us; a celebration of all things fine.

AOA has 5 four-packs of tickets for the grand tasting, and we're giving them away. Yep, the winners get to take three friends along. To enter, please answer this question in the comments:

What are you looking forward to doing, eating, experiencing in the Capital Region this fall?

We'll draw 5 winners at random from the entered comments.

Tickets for the grand tasting are $75 each, so this is a sweet prize. The tasting is Saturday, September 8 from 1-5 pm on the SPAC grounds. And heads-up, you and your guests need to be over 21.

There are a bunch of other events involved in the festival -- including an after party, a road rally and a Ferrari show.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 5 pm on Friday, August 31 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by noon on Saturday and must respond by 10 am Tuesday, September 4.

Yep, the Saratoga Wine & Food Fesitval does advertise on AOA.

Saratoga Jazz Festival tickets

A- Maceo Parker Photo By - Ines Kaiser_8x10 .jpg

Maceo Parker, this weekend at the Friehoffer Jazz Festival at SPAC

The Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival is this weekend at SPAC, and we've got two pairs of tickets good for the entire weekend. Among the lineup this year: Maceo Parker, Diana Krall, Esperanza Spalding, the Mingus Band, The Yellowjackets and more.

We have two pairs of tickets to give away. To enter the drawing, please post a comment answering this question:

What's your favorite band name? It can be the name of a band that exists, or you can make up one of your own --like a Swedish folk band called No Liquidos Calientes or whatever. That counts.

We'll draw two winners at random. The deadline to enter is Friday, June 29 at 10 am.

Very, very important: One entry per person. You must answer the question to be eligible. You must post your comment by 10 am on Friday June 29, 2012. You must include a working email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by noon Friday (June 29) -- and must respond by 5 pm Friday.

photo: Ines Kaiser

Florence + The Machine at SPAC

florence from florence and the machine

Not pictured: The Machine.


Florence + The Machine posted the slate for its fall tour today -- and it includes a stop at SPAC on September 16. Tickets go on sale this Friday (May 11). They start at $39.50. It's a pavilion-only show.

We're guessing this will be a rather popular show, if only because of the ubiquity of that song (you know which one).

By the way: Florence has a last name -- it's Welch.

Openers for the SPAC show: another English band, The Maccabees. (Not to be confused with the 2nd century BCE Jewish rebels of the same name.)

[via @beam_record]

photo via Florence + The Machine website

Drake at SPAC

DrakeHip hop star Drake is playing SPAC June 14. Tickets go on sale this Friday (March 30) -- they start at $35.75 (lawn) and $55.75 (inside).

Drake has been tearing it up the last few years, with a couple of platinum albums that have included collaborations with Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, and Lil Wayne. He's now a huge star, both in and out of the hip hop world (with that has followed coverage in places like NYT proclaiming that he's pushing rap "toward the gothic").

He's also -- gasp -- Canadian. And started out as a TV actor. On Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Updated price info because of a typo in the original press release announcing the show.

photo: Brennan Schnell via Wikipedia

Phish back at SPAC this July

phish spac 2009

Phish at SPAC in 2009.

Phish will be playing three shows at SPAC this summer -- July 6, 7, 8 -- Live Nation announced today. Tickets go on sale March 16 at noon. They're $45 (lawn) and $60 (inside).

The SPAC shows are part of a summer tour that starts at Bonnaroo in Worcester, Massachusetts in June. As currently posted, Saratoga is the last stop on the tour. The band last played SPAC in 2010, for two nights.

Dave Matthews Band: It's returning to SPAC this summer, too -- June 8 and 9. Tickets are on sale March 9.

photo: Flickr user hlkljgk

A facelift for SPAC

SPAC facade replacement rendering

And, theoretically, better sound, too.

Instead of telling everyone it's going on "vacation" and coming back with a new face, SPAC has decided to be upfront about the fact it's getting work done.

The performance venue announced it's in the process of replacing the facade on its amphitheater. The old facade was looking worse for wear -- "significant warping, fading, wood rot and disintegration," in the words of the press release. Also: "The poor condition of the façade has compromised the amphitheatre's aesthetics and created safety concerns surrounding the integrity of the aging materials." Heads up.

There's a rendering above of what the new facade will look like (large-format).

Not all the changes are cosmetic, though. Again, from the press release:

The project will also include replacement and repositioning of the speakers currently mounted on the façade that project sound to the lawn. Upgraded speakers will be integrated within the shield façade and positioned at a higher level to provide better audio coverage and quality on the lawn. The current speakers sit too low in the enclosure for the acreage that needs to be reached, resulting in audio gaps in some areas of the lawn.

The project is expected to be finished by early spring. The cost is being covered by a gift from the Susan and Bill Dake (whose family you might know as the Stewart's people).

SPAC has been trying to replace the facade since at least 2008. The design floated back then -- which included panels carved to looks like waves stretching horizontally across the facade -- was criticized for looking like a stack of pancakes. [TU 2008] [Saratogian 2008]

The new design appears to steer clear of breakfast.

(there's more)

Dave Matthews Band coming to SPAC

Dave Matthews band.jpgThe Dave Matthews Band's summer tour will make a two show stop at SPAC this summer -- June 8th and 9th. Tickets go on sale March 9th. Opening for Matthews will be the funk band, Lettuce.

Photo: Dave Matthews, Facebook

Tickets to Saratoga Wine & Food Fest tasting

SPAC Wine and Food Festival.jpgUpdate: The drawing's closed, the winners have been emailed!

The Saratoga Wine & Food and Fall Ferrari Festival is this coming weekend at SPAC. One of the highlights of the weekend is the "grand tasting" on Saturday:

The crown-jewel of the weekend: 200 international wineries including an unparalleled Italian Pavilion that features a myriad of wines, spirits, and authentic products; the region's top restaurants; world-class seminars and a live and silent auction of luxury items. A day dedicated to the epicurean in all of us; a celebration of all things fine.

AOA has 10 pairs of tickets for the grand tasting -- and we'd like to give them away. Maybe even to you. To enter, please answer this question in the comments:

What does it mean to live the good life in the Capital Region?

We'll draw 10 winners at random from the entered comments.

Tickets for the grand tasting are $75 each, so this is a rather sweet prize. The tasting is from 1-4:30 pm on the SPAC grounds. It's age 21 and up.

There are a bunch of other events as part of the festival -- including the Ferrari show at the Saratoga Automobile Museum.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 10 am on Wednesday (September 7, 2011) to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by noon on Wednesday and must respond by 10 am Thursday (September 8, 2011).

Yep, the Saratoga Wine & Food Fesitval did advertise on AOA.

SPAC orchestra tickets + Putnam Market picnic

Orchestra on the lawn at SPAC.jpg


Update: We have a winner! Congrats Ellen.

One of the best ways to enjoy the Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC is on the lawn with a picnic and a bottle of wine. It's a relaxed, fun, classy way to spend a summer evening.

We're giving away four lawn passes for the orchestra at SPAC this season, and to class up the experience even more we're throwing in a picnic for four from Putnam Market, plus a bottle of red wine and a bottle of prosecco (courtesy of SPAC). Oh, and you'll also get VIP parking behind the Saratoga Auto Museum.

The winner gets to choose one of these performances:

+ Thursday July 28: "Casablanca Night" (screening of the classic movie with live orchestral accompaniment
+ Friday July 29: David Hyde Pierce / Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
+ Saturday, July 30: Celebration of an Artist Night with Emmanuel Ax
+ Thursday, August 4: "All Beethoven" with violinist, James Ehnes
+ Thursday, August 11: "From Russia with Love" with pianist, Gabriela Montero

To enter the drawing, answer this question in the comments:

What's the classiest thing about the Capital Region?

Maybe it's a really classy person. Maybe it's a piece of great architecture, a garden or a museum. Maybe it's a great restaurant or a way to enjoy the summer (or winter).

We'll draw one winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 5 pm on Wednesday (July 27, 2011) to be entered in the drawing. One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 10 pm on Wednesday and must respond by noon on Thursday (July 28, 2011). When responding, the winner must specify which night they will attend.

Yep, SPAC does advertise on AOA.

Elton John at SPAC

elton johnLive Nation announced today that Elton John will be playing SPAC September 4 (that's a Sunday).

Tickets go on sale next Monday (June 27) at 10 am. They start at $35.50 (with fees), up to $205.50 (with fees).

Other boomer-tastic acts coming to SPAC this summer: Barry Manilow (August 25), Stevie Nicks (August 30), Journey (September 2).

Yep, SPAC does advertise on AOA, but this concert series does not.

photo: David Shankbone via Wikipedia

Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC

Update: the winner has been notified!

We have two passes for the Saratoga Jazz Festival this weekend at SPAC. We're giving them away to someone. That person might be you.

To enter, answer this question in the comments:

Today is the longest daylight of the year -- if you could do whatever you wanted, how would you spend that sunlight?

We'll pick one winner at random from the comments.

The Saratoga Jazz Festival is this Saturday and Sunday at SPAC. The lineup includes Sharon Jones and Dap Kings (embedded above), Michael McDonald, George Wein and the Newport All Stars, Angelique Kidjo, and bunch of others. One day ticket start at $45.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 10 am on Wednesday (June 22, 2011) to be entered in the drawing. One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 5 pm on Wednesday and must respond by 9 am on Thursday (June 23, 2011).

Crackdown on alcohol this summer at SPAC

Many layers of law enforcement announced today that they will be cracking down on illegal alcohol consumption in Spa State Park this summer during Live Nation concerts at SPAC. Among the points of emphasis: the park is an alcohol-free zone before, during and after concerts. From the release:

"... uniformed and plainclothes police officers and investigators will be looking for violations of the law and taking strong enforcement action which will include making arrests, issuing tickets, impounding vehicles, confiscating and discarding alcoholic beverages and ejecting violators from the park and concert venue."

Officers will also be using alcohol sensors to detect alcohol in unmarked containers.

(Thanks, Erik)

Disclosure: Yep, SPAC's classical series advertises on AOA

OK Go to play Tulip Fest

ok go

OK Go. And a pony.

OK Go will be headlining the music slate at this year's Tulip Festival. You've probably seen their now-famous treadmill video -- or their latest, Rube Goldberg-inspired video. As it happens, they also play fun music.

The Tulip Festival is May 8 and 9 this year. OK Go will be playing Saturday afternoon. Like all the Tulip Fest shows, it's free.

Also: SPAC announced today that Kings of Leon will playing there June 6. Tickets go on sale this Saturday.

photo: OK Go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

Shooting in uptown Albany, Paterson lashes out at media, concerns about pollution at Cohoes factory, GloFo tapping local firms

Albany police say man was shot outside his apartment on Manning Blvd in uptown Albany last night (map). The man reportedly was sitting in car when he took multiple shots in his upper body. A neighbor drove him to the hospital. The APD says it hasn't identified a motive. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

The Albany cop car involved in last week's crash that killed a man in a civilian car on Madison Ave did not have an installed video camera. In fact, none of the APD's cars have cameras even though chief James Tuffey said more than a year ago that the squad's fleet would be getting them. [TU]

The median price for single family homes in the Capital Region was down 10 percent in July compared to the same month last year (median prices are down 5 percent for the year). The number of closed sales was about the same, though. That has real estate agents speculating that the market has reached its bottom. [GCAR] [TU]

David Paterson said on Friday that media has treated his administration unfairly because of his ethnicity. Later in the day Paterson said he hadn't accused the media of being racist, but rather said "certain media outlets have engaged in coverage that exploits racial stereotypes." In his original comments, Paterson the press would next go after Barack Obama for the same reason -- and apparently that assertion didn't go over well with the White House. [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics] [NY Post]

A Democratic state senator from Staten Island says David Paterson's impaired vision is making it hard for him to be an effective governor. [SI Advance]

(there's more)

Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC 2009

yo yo ma

Yo, Yo-Yo.

This summer's Philadelphia Orchestra run at SPAC starts Wednesday. It looks like there are some good performances lined-up -- even a few things that might appeal to those who are not normally orchestra fans.

Here are a handful of dates that caught our eye:

(there's more)

Ravitch appointment temporarily unblocked, Schenectady woman set on fire, New York State owes back taxes on The Track, man saved by Pork Chop

A state appellate judge has temporarily blocked the injunction that blocked Richard Ravitch from acting as lieutenant governor. Republicans get a chance on Monday to argue that Ravitch should be re-blocked. The fight over the constitutionality of Ravitch's appointment could drag on for months -- and will probably end up in the Court of Appeals, New York's highest court. [AP/CapNews9] [NYT] [NYDN]

Schenectady police say a woman was set on fire last night during what appears to have been an argument. Police say the woman was in so much pain that she wasn't able to give them any details about the attack. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [CBS6]

Said Ron Kim during his announcement yesterday that he's running for mayor of Saratoga Springs: "There is nothing wrong with this city that can't be fixed." Kim says his administration would focus on open government, fixing the city budget and a new public safety building. Kim, a Democrat, will face Republican incumbent Scott Johnson. The two candidates were already doing some trash talking yesterday. [Saratogian] [TU] [CapNews9]

The three Democrats running for mayor of Albany will be at a candidate forum tonight at St. Sophia's. The forum will focus on senior citizens issues and will include a Q&A session. [TU] [CapNews9]

(there's more)

Attorney calls ESP man cave allegations overblown, SPAC ticket surchage floated, Tedisco proposes "Madoff Bill," DEC building urinals criticized for backsplash

An attorney for one of the men accused of setting up a "man cave" in the ESP for smoking pot instead described the space as "a break room" and called the allegations "overblown." One of the accused men has a criminal record -- and there are some questions about whether the state knew that before hiring him. [TU] [CBS6]

The Albany Common Council has passed a resolution that calls on public agencies to not ask a person about his/her immigration status if that person is "not posing a threat." The resolution is non-binding. [TU] [CBS6] [Fox23]

Saratoga Springs' finance commissioner has floated the idea of tacking on a $2 surcharge to rock and pop concert tickets at SPAC. The fee could bring in as much as $500k. SPAC's executive director said the venue is "firmly opposed" to the proposed fee and called it "an onerous tax." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

The Troy Fire Department says mayor Harry Tutunjian has asked it to tour the RPI campus -- EMPAC in particular -- to get a better sense of the layout of campus buildings. The TFD has been lobbying for RPI to pay a public safety fee to fund additional fire coverage of the campus. [TU]

(there's more)

Paterson threatens state Senate, landfill expansion needs another permit, Troy dog park controversy, another pizza person mugged, gourmet market coming to Latham

The state Senate was in session for all of five minutes yesterday -- and the Republicans weren't even there. [Daily Politics]

David Paterson has called another "extraordinary" session for today. If senators don't show, he says he'll move to withhold their pay. He's also threatening to send the State Police after missing senators. A Brooklyn senator responded to Paterson's threats by calling him a "coward" who "will not be returning as governor." Leaders of both caucuses say their memberships will be at the Capitol today. [TU] [Daily Politics] [NYT] [Buffalo News]

A business run by Pedro Espada, one of the senators who set this whole circus in motion, owes almost $350k in back taxes. In 2007, Espada made almost $460k at the org, which gets funding from the state. [TU]

Even if the DEC approves the Albany landfill expansion, the project will still have to get the OK from the Army Corps of Engineers (though it won't stop the landfill from being piled higher). [TU]

(there's more)

State Senate frozen with no end in sight, local orgs lack pandemic plans, abandoned high-end homes in Saratoga, DEC hoping for hot turtle action

The state Senate is basically frozen right now. Yesterday a judge dismissed the Democrats' suit seeking to void last week's takeover by the Republicans + Pedro Espada. The Republicans claimed victory and tried to go into session -- but with only 31 senators present, they couldn't form a quorum. [NYT] [Daily Politics]

David Paterson again called on the Senate to work out some sort of power sharing deal, perhaps bringing someone such as former chief judge Judith Kaye to preside over the chamber. He also said the line of succession to the governorship is in dispute. [TU]

If the state Senate ever does back into session, Espada is arguing that he should have two votes -- his regular vote plus one as acting lieutenant governor. Apparently there's no precedent for that, though. [NYP]

By the way: the Assembly has been working while all this has been going on. [Daily Politics]

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

State worker unions talk trash about Paterson, special election absentee ballot count starts, big new contract for Siena basketball coach, Troy dog park become partisan issue

The heads of the two biggest state worker unions, CSEA and PEF, met with David Paterson yesterday about the planned layoffs and it appears not much happened -- except for some trash talking. CSEA president Danny Donohue said the governor "needs a good psychiatrist or at least he should share the drugs that he's on because he's not making any sense to any of our members." Paterson's people called Donohue's remarks "inappropriate" and said they "reflect a lack of respect for the taxpayers of New York." The two unions are also upset that Paterson tried to go over their heads by sending a letter directly to state workers. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23] [Biz Review]

The "long, tedious" count of the absentee ballots in the 20th Congressional District special election has started. Every ballot is being examined by an election worker and observers from both campaigns. An elections commissioner says the process could take as long as three weeks. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Post-Star]

State police and animal protection groups raided a horse farm in Coxsackie yesterday and found 177 malnourished horses. The animals belong to trainer Ernie Paragallo, whose horses have won more than $20 million in purse money over the last 12 years. The condition of Paragallo's horses has been a concern of animal groups since at least 2007. [TU] [NYT] [NYT]

David Paterson says he's planning to introduce legislation that would make same-sex marriages legal in New York. Previous bills have passed in the Assembly, but stalled in the state Senate. [Gannett/TU]

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

Paterson aide: staff is a disaster, Albany County moves toward texting while driving ban, teacher accused of selling pot, modern dance at SPAC

With poll numbers sliding, David Paterson says he will be addressing "structural problems" on his staff. A "a source close to the governor's staff" tells the TU that Paterson's office is currently a "disaster." Adds an ex-aide: "Under David there was a 'Lord of the Flies' environment where you claim your territory and hold on to it." [AOA] [TU]

The state's leader all agree: the budget gap could top $14 billion. [Biz Review]

Yesterday during the course of a trial for an unrelated case, an Albany police officer testified that he had bought one of the infamous (and illegal) APD machine guns from the head of the Albany Police Officer's Union. [TU]

Albany police say they've id'ed the body found in an abandoned building on Broadway this past weekend as Ruel Torak of Schenectady. Police are treating the case as a homicide -- they say they're not sure if Torak was murdered at the location or taken there afterward. [TU] [Troy Record]

Steven Raucci, the Schenectady School District employee accused of arson and intimidation, was released on bail yesterday -- and then picked by Schodack police on new arson charges related to a separate incident in 2007. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Tens of thousands still without power, Paterson to propose "obesity tax," friend says Bruno indictment likely, SPAC renovation on ice

As of this morning, 75,000 homes in the Capital Region were still without power. National Grid says homes are being returned to the grid "every minute of every day." The utility company says it could be Wednesday before all the repairs are made -- and now there's concern that high winds today will set things back. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [TU]

A married couple in Glenville died this weekend from carbon monoxide fumes produced by their generator. At least 15 other people around the region were taken to hospitals for carbon monoxide poisoning caused by using grills inside. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

With no power at home, people flocked to stores and restaurants this weekend. An Italian restaurant in Schenectady was so busy it ran out of spaghetti. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

Many of the Amtrak trains running between Rensselaer and NYC are still canceled. [CapNews9]

(there's more)

Record voter turnout expected, ballet season shortened, flooding in Monument Square, airport getting new eateries

Boards of election around the region say they're expecting record voter turnout today. One of the Albany Count election commissioners says he expects between 75 and 88 percent of registered voters to cast a vote. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

David Paterson says he's worried that if Barack Obama becomes president, he will ignore the needs of New York because he coasted to such an easy victory in the state. [AP/TU]

Paterson says borrowing money to cover the state's $12.5 billion project budget gap next year is "off the table." [Newsday]

An Albany man has pleaded guilty to torching two apartment buildings he owned this past summer in order to get the insurance money. But wait, there's more -- the guy is a former Trustco bank manager who needed the money to pay restitution on $40k he had stolen from the bank. [TU]

The New York City Ballet's residency at SPAC next summer will be two weeks long, instead of the usual three weeks. The shortened schedule is expected to save about $800,000 -- SPAC and the ballet lost a combined $2.3 million on the three week schedule last summer. Officials hope the shortened schedule will increase attendance at each performance. SPAC says another dance company might be brought in for what would have been the ballet's third week. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

(there's more)

Investigation into Obama-Osama mixup, enrollment surges for local community colleges, fire wood in high demand, opossum knocks out power in Troy

The Rensselaer County legislature has decided to investigate how absentee ballots in the county ended up listing Barack Obama as Barack Osama. [TU]

Albany County's proposed 2009 budget includes a 4 percent property tax increase, the first in four years. [TU]

Malta, Malta, Malta:
+ The transfer of AMD's state incentive package to its spinoff depends on a vote by the Empire State Development Corp. And that spin-off company will be organized in the Cayman Islands -- though it will pay US taxes on operations in this country. [TU]
+ AMD doesn't think its technology sharing agreement with Intel will pose any problem. At all.
+ The new chip fab won't be turning chips until 2012. [Daily Gazette]
+ Malta has a couple of "new urbanist" developments in the works for its downtown -- but some, including the town supervisor, worry the developments will be too dense. [TU]

Both HVCC and SCCC are reporting surges in enrollment, probably because of the weakening economy. Hot program of study at HVCC: overhead electric line worker. [TU]

(there's more)

Money reportedly missing from DA's safe, Malta roundabout accidents up, mystery illness killing off local bats, libraries are hot

An audit by the Albany County comptroller has reportedly concluded that as much as $7,000 is missing from a safe in the Albany County DA's office. A 2005 audit of this same safe reported $25k missing -- but it later turned up in a safe deposit box. [TU]

A survey of residents in Albany's West Hill neighborhood, where Kathina Thomas was shot earlier this year, reports that more than half of the people there believe the area is unsafe and growing more violent. Seventy-five percent of the people surveyed had lived in the neighborhood less than three years. [TU]

The number of accidents along the stretch of five roundabouts in Malta is up, according to the state department of transportation. The number of serious injuries is down, though -- and rush hour travel times are a third of what they had been. A DOT official attributed the rise in accidents to people adjusting to the circles. [Daily Gazette]

Attendance for the ballet and orchestra at SPAC this past summer was down 9 percent, leaving the org $375,000 short of its budgeted goal for those performances. (Pop music attendance was up 27 percent.) Ticket sales for the ballet and orchestra don't even cover half the expense of hosting the two series. SPAC did end the season in the black, though, thanks to advertising and endowments. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Track numbers a little damp, two homicides over the weekend, Live Nation blames the fans, Rt 7 construction gearing up, Albany TV market slips

Attendance at The Track this year was down almost 10 percent from last year and the amount bet was down a little more than 7 percent. [Daily Gazette]

There were two homicides over the holiday weekend. On Saturday, a 17-year-old was fatally stabbed near Beverwyck Park in Albany. It was Albany's eighth homicide of the year. On Monday, a Schenectady man was shot and killed inside a house. It was Schenectady's sixth homicide of the year. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Live Nation, the company that runs the pop music shows at SPAC, says fans are partly to blame for miserable conditions on the lawn there. Live Nation's last concert of the year at SPAC was Crue Fest on Friday -- four people were arrested being a bit too motley. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

The Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC


Bring a picnic, the lawn is waiting.

Pack your picnic basket, grab a blanket and chill a bottle of chardonnay. The Philadelphia Orchestra returns to SPAC tonight. They'll be in town for three weeks and as usual, the program is varied, so there's something for hard core classical fans and novices alike. Here's a sample of the program, and some of the stuff they're planning to go with it.

(there's more)

McDonald officially in, Lyme disease settling in here, financial trouble ahead for SPAC?, here she is -- Mrs. New York America

Republican Roy McDonald, currently an state assemblyman from Wilton, has officially jumped into the pool for Joe Bruno's state Senate seat -- with Bruno's support. And it looks like Tony Jordan, an attorney from Washington County, will be the Republican candidate for the seat McDonald's vacating. That race already has a Democrat -- Wilton councilman Ian McGaughey. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A federal court rejected an appeal by Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain, the two members of an Albany mosque caught in the federal sting involving a fake plot to buy a shoulder-fired missile. [TU]

A state review of the Albany Police Department has concluded that there is "no evidence of systemic abuse of citizens' rights" by department. The review had come at the request of six Common Council members. [TU]

Lyme disease appears to be establishing itself in the Capital Region and north. [Daily Gazette]

SPAC officials are worried that financial troubles for Live Nation, the company that produces all the pop music concerts there, will end up hurting the venue. SPAC currently gets $1 million a year from Live Nation, but that contract is up next year and officials seem to think renewing the deal for the same amount will be tough. [Saratogian]

The Peerless Pool at Spa State Park still isn't ready to open. Wet weather has kept the pool's new surface from curing properly. Officials hope the pool will be able to open in a week or so. [Daily Gazette]

The new Troy Orchestra debuts tonight with a concert behind city hall. [Troy Record]

The new Mrs. New York America is Kerry Lyn Boettcher, a teacher from Schenectady. She'll go on to compete for Mrs. America in September. [Daily Gazette]

Cracking jokes not a crime, food costs strain charity, ticked off firefighters, combative legislators, senate-raised pork

Legal experts say it's unlikely that former Schenectady police chief Greg Kaczmarek will face charges related to the busted drug operation in which his wife and stepson were allegedly involved. It seems that cracking jokes about your spouse's drug shipments isn't actually a crime. [TU]

A guy in Halfmoon was sentenced to 60 days in jail for neglecting to treat an inch-deep wound around his dog's neck. Apparently one of his children had put a rubber band on the dog, which led to the injury. (PS: Snowball -- a purebred Samoyed -- is now available for adoption.) [TU]

High food costs and slow business have prompted half of the restaurants originally slated to participage in today's Hunger Action Networks' Feast for Famine to back out. [Daily Gazette]

The firefighters union in Troy has asked its members to not work overtime for RPI's commencement ceremony. The union is ticked off that RPI president Shirley Jackson hasn't met with them to discuss concerns about fires that could pontentially involve lab chemicals or tight spaces. [TU]

Local legislators -- they're just like us! They bicker over money! They call each other names! (OK, on second thought, maybe they're not like us.) [Troy Record] [Troy Record]

Pork is being served up this week by the New York Senate. Among the items once described by Eliot Spitzer as "dripping with fat": $4 million for Skidmore's Zankel Music Center and $6 million for semiconductor training at HVCC . [TU]

SPAC is getting a new $2.5 million facade for its ampitheater. [Saratogian]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Scoop

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

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The state of our roads makes it too dangerous for me to want to use my bike to go to work. It's scary enough to walk/jog around town and have people fly through stop signs/lights when I'm using intersections... and on a bike it's that much worse if you attempt to bike legally in the street. This would be a great start to making our community more safe in general. We have to start somewhere.

Three thoughts about the push for protected bike lanes in Albany

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