Items tagged with 'Schenectady County'

In-between places: Scotia

in between places scotia

By Casey Normile

The Capital Region is full of cities, towns, villages, and hamlets. And some of these places -- like Albany or Saratoga Springs or Troy or Schenectady -- get lots of attention. This series isn't about those places. It's about those other spots -- the "in-between" places.

Next up: Scotia -- the tiny village on the Mohawk River in Schenectady County.

If you haven't visited in a while, or ever, here's a quick look at the place named after Scotland...

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In jail, but out working

albany county inmates assembling PAL light display

Albany County Jail inmates assembling a display for the Capital Holiday Lights in Park in Washington Park.

A few weeks ago we got an email from Laura, who noticed that inmates from the Albany County Jail were putting up the holiday light display in Washington Park. "I suppose there are many points of view on prisoners working," she wrote, "but it looks like chain gang labor to me."

We've noticed prisoners working on other projects throughout the county, too. And Laura's note got us curious about what kind of jobs they're doing and how the program works.

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Peaceful Acres

peaceful acres horses with autumn foliage

By Casey Normile

Ten years ago Nanci Beyerl moved to a plot of 10 acres in Pattersonville with four horses. She was looking to escape her own past, and decided offering sanctuary to abused, neglected and overworked horses could be a way to do that.

The horse sanctuary she created -- Peaceful Acres -- is now a 156 acre farm and provides a home to 54 horses. And Nanci is helping other people find peace through what she calls "equine guided experimental learning."

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For sale: an island

glenotia island map crmls

Check it out: an island in the Mohawk River between Scotia and Schenectady is for sale. From the listing for "Glenotia Island" by Denise Polsinelli with CM Fox:

OWN AN ISLAND PARADISE WITHOUT LEAVING THE CAPITAL DISTRICT!HISTORIC GLENOTIA ISLAND IS 18.9 ACRES SITUATED WITHIN THE BEAUTIFUL MOHAWK RIVER. OWN IT FOR YOUR PERSONAL PRIVACY OR CREATE A RIVERFRONT RECREATIONAL DESTINATION.

List price: $91,900.

The Daily Gazette's Michael Goot had an article about the property today -- it was used for recreation in the first few decades of the 1900s, but there's been little activity there since a foot bridge to island was removed in the early 1930s.

The Images of America: Glenville book by the Schenectady County Historical Society has a few photos from back in the day. And here's what appears to be an old map of the area -- the island is marked as "Isle of the Mohawks", which was its name before being tagged Glenotia (Glenville + Scotia). In fact, it still bears that name on some maps. (Also, judging from satellite photos, we wonder if it's more peninsula than island now.)

So people actually do get stopped for texting while driving

texting while drivingAlmost 21,000 tickets for texting-while-driving were issued by police in New York State over the last year, according to numbers from the Cuomo admin. And, look, county-by-county numbers for the past year (year before that):

Albany County: 539 (75)
Rensselaer County: 163 (21)
Saratoga County: 326 (42)
Schenectady County: 69 (18)

(It appears that Albany County racked up that total thanks in part to a sweep this spring by the county sheriff's office that netted 230 tickets for talking or texting while driving. [Troy Record])

The totals were released to mark one year since the state law making TWD a primary traffic offense took effect. That means police can now pull a person over just for that -- before you had to be doing something else to get stopped (like swerving over the double yellow because you were sending email). And it looks like people are getting pulled over for it.

You might think you can text and drive with no problem -- we're all above average drivers, right (oh, wait...) -- but probably not. There's research that indicates a distracted driver is about as bad as a driver with a .08 blood alcohol level, which is the legal limit for drunk driving. (The New York Times produced a good series about the risks of distracted driving.)

All county totals after the jump, if you're curious.

photo: Flickr user mrJasonWeaver (cc)

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The Rotterdam Square Mall cemetery

Rotterdam Square graveyard

Rotterdam Square Mall -- where you can pay your respects on the way to Macy's.

By Wendy Voelker

Sure, some shopping malls can be compared to graveyards (insert Latham Circle Mall joke here), but one local mall actually contains a graveyard. Brings new meaning to "shop 'til you drop."

Not only is Rotterdam Square Mall the home of Macy's and T.J.Maxx, it's also the final resting place for several members of the Vedder family, Dutch pioneers who had inhabited Schenectady County since the late 1600s.

So how does a mall get built around a graveyard? The story behind the cemetery in the Rotterdam Square mall structure is a gripping tale of drinking water, business interests, human remains, and a 10-year struggle with ticked-off citizens.

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Bridges over the Mohawk in Schenectady County closed open

Update at 4:22 pm: CBS6 and WTEN are both reporting the bridges are open again.

(Previous NYS DOT info about bridge closings now after the jump.)

As Chuck Schumer pointed out this week, bridges around the state weren't in such great shape before Irene -- and all the flooding isn't helping.

Inspection scores for bridges around the state are posted online (be sure to read the explanation of the ratings).

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Video of the tornado near Amsterdam

"I'm a little freaked out because I'm pretty sure I just saw a tornado form and cross the Thruway."

Check it out: this is video shot by YouTube user linalia of the apparent tornado that touched down near Amsterdam Sunday. The clip should start at the tornado -- if not, it's at about 5:48.

The National Weather Service says it looks like the tornado crossed the Thruway near the Mohawk service area, headed north into Cranesville, and then northeast into west Glenville. [Recorder]

Update: The National Weather Service has confirmed it was a tornado.

Cuomo hands off Paterson investigation, movie theater planned for Troy, Porco conviction upheld, bizarre chase ends in tasering

Andrew Cuomo has handed off the investigation of the Paterson administration to former chief judge Judith Kaye. Cuomo said a "preliminary review" of the situation concluded "there are credible issues to be resolved." He said he was turning the investigation over to Kaye because of an "abundance of caution, or a zeal to ensure that the public has total confidence in the investigation." (The sharp drop in Cuomo's approval rating in a recent poll might also have had something to do with that.) Kaye has never worked as a prosecutor. She won't be paid to head up the investigation. [NYT] [TU] [Daily Politics] [NY Mag] [NYT] [Daily Politics]

The Paterson administration announced that the tentative agreement with AEG to run a racino at Aqueduct is now off the table. The deal would have paid the state $300 million and revenue from the racino would have helped fund NYRA -- including improvements at Saratoga. That has some now saying that this year's season at The Track could be in jeopardy. [NYT] [TU] [Saratogian] [Saratogian]

Testimony in the Steven Raucci trial yesterday focused an explosive device that attached to the door of a Rotterdam home in 2001. Prosecutors allege that Raucci planted the device in attempt to retaliate over a union matter -- but they say he put it on the wrong house. [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

The Saratoga County sheriff's deputy accused of forcing four women to perform sex acts on him while he was on duty took a plea bargain yesterday. The deal includes six months in jail and a resignation from the sheriff's department. He won't have to register as a sex offender. [Daily Gazette $] [CBS6] [WNYT] [Saratogian]

A $160 million development proposed for the Congress-Ferry corridor in Troy includes a movie theater. The city's planning board also gave the official OK to the new Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which is now expected to open in August. [TU Places and Spaces] [Troy Record] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Holiday work for SPD union head, bar busted for being jammed with underage drinkers, dog granted order of protection, telethon raises $1.9 million

The head of the Schenectady police union worked for the department on just three days last year -- all of them holidays at 2.5 pay. [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

A state Supreme Court judge has denied the FOIL request submitted by the Daily Gazette and TU for the Schenectady school districts internal report on Steven Raucci. The judge ruled the report was not subject to FOIL and its release could be an invasion of witnesses' privacy. [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

Schenectady County legislature chairwoman Sue Savage is proposing legislation that would require calorie counts on the menus of chain restaurants. Five NY counties -- including Albany County -- and New York City already have such a law. The law would only apply to restaurants with 15 or more locations in the county. [WNYT] [TU] [CapNews9]

The Paterson Administration has finally picked an operator for the Aqueduct racino -- the revenues from which should help fund a bunch of improvements at Saratoga's track. That is, if the money actually comes in. [Paterson] [Saratogian] [NYT]

David Paterson has just $620k on hand right now to spend in a Democratic gubernatorial primary -- Andrew Cuomo has $12 million. But Paterson says he'll raise a lot more. [NYDN] [NY Post]

The smoke-filled room -- which was in Albany this past weekend -- appears to be leaning heavily toward Andrew Cuomo. [WNYT] [TU]

An assemblywoman from Long Island topped the legislature's travel reimbursement list for last year at more than $41,000. [TU]

Saratoga Springs' police chief says budget cuts will make it hard to assign officers to efforts that led to many arrests last year. [Post-Star]

The State Liquor Authority has suspended the liquor license of The Garage, a bar at the corner of Western and Quail in Albany, after a raid last week allegedly found 500 people -- "most appearing to be underage" -- jammed into a space certified for 250. The SLA says the bar had so many it customers it drafted some to be "guest bartenders." The bar's owner wasn't commenting publicly on the raid. The bar is located in the middle of the "student ghetto" -- and the previous operations there have also been tagged for serving minors . [NYSLA] [TU] [Dowd on Drinks]

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Legislature is back, concern for natural childbirth program, possible challenger for Tedisco or Farley, Luna found

The legislature is back in session today. Among the topics that may -- or may not -- come up: lifting the cap on the number of charter schools in the state, which would open the way for $700 million in federal education aid. [CapNews9] [TU]

The bankruptcy attorney for Sandy Horowitz says the Troy landlord intends to keep all his buildings in the city. Horowitz owes the city more than $600k in taxes on his properties, which include the Cannon Building. [TU]

The St. Peter's/Northeast Health/Seton Health merger has prompted questions about the future of Seton's natural childbirth program. [TU]

The Loudonville rabbi accused of inappropriately touching two boys has pleaded guilty to child endangerment. He admitted to a judge that he had inappropriate physical contact with the boys and told one of them to lie about the incident. As part of the plea deal, he could get 60 days in jail and three years of probation. [TU] [CapNews9] [WTEN]

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Legislature back for another try at budget fix, demand up at food banks, local venture capitalists criticized for not taking enough risks, the weekend in crime

The state legislature is scheduled to be back in town today for another special budget session. David Paterson continued to sound the alarm about the budget gap, warning of "furloughs, layoffs, borrowing, downgraded credit ratings" and a range of delayed payments (including to state workers). He also has continued to blame the legislature -- especially the state Senate -- being in "denial" about the problem. It seems the legislature's not a huge fan of him, either. [CapNews9] [Daily Politics] [NYDN] [NY Post]

Summations in the Joe Bruno trial are expected to start today. On Friday, Jared Abbruzzese, a longtime Bruno friend and business associate, testified that he had hired Bruno has a consultant for the senator's contacts and "aura." He said the $80k he paid Bruno for a horse was payment to settle a "a moral obligation" for canceled consulting contracts. And Abbruzzese also said Bruno introduced him to Donald Trump, who -- in Abbruzzese's words -- "walked over me." Even though Abbruzzese was the prosecution's last witness, he may have been most helpful to the defense. It was also announced on Friday that Bruno will not be testifying in his own defense. [TU] [TU] [Fox23] [NYDN] [NYT] [TU] [Troy Record]

Kirsten Gillibrand has been calling state senators in an effort to get "yes" votes for the same-sex marriage bill. [Daily Politics]

Food banks and pantries report that demand for help is up this year, especially among people with jobs. [Troy Record] [TU]

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More H1N1 flu shot clinics

flu shot needle

Jab.

Update: The Albany County clinic is now full.

Both Albany County and Schenectady County have free H1N1 flu shot clinics coming up. Both counties' clinics are only open to county residents.

Albany County

Nov 22 | 10 am - 4:30 pm | TU Center
Nov 24 | 3:30 pm - 7 pm | Berne Knox Westerlo Elementary School

The clinic is open to people in the following priority groups: pregnant women,
people over age 4 who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months of age, health care and emergency medical personnel, people aged 4-24 years and people aged 25 to 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.

The county says it doesn't have pediatric vaccine available for kids 6 months to 47 months.

Registration is required.

Schenectady County

Nov 20 and 23 - Schenectady County offices at 107 Nott Terrace in Schenectady.

The clinics will be open to the same priority groups as Albany County, plus children 6 months to pre-k.

You'll need an appointment -- call 386-2824.

Also: If you can't make it to one of the clinics -- or you live in Saratoga County or Rensselaer County -- give your doctor's office a call. New vaccine shipments have apparently been gradually arriving.

Rensselaer County's web site says it does not plan to hold H1N1 flu shot clinics.

photo: James Gathany / CDC

Paterson calls special session to address budget, Colonie solider dies in Iraq, Schenectady County ranks high for domestic violence reports, more H1N1 vaccine arriving

David Paterson has officially called a special session of the legislature for next Tuesday. Among the issues on the slate for the session: budget cuts to close the $3.2 billion gap and same-sex marriage. Paterson has also called for a joint session on Monday so he can he address the legislature about the budget gap. It sounds like many Senate Democrats won't attend, though -- a "senior official" called the session a "photo op" for Paterson. Neil Breslin says he intends to attend. [NYO [TU] [Daily Politics] [AP/Saratogian] [CapNews9]

Joe Bruno trial Day 4: labor union officials testified that Bruno approached them about using the investment firm for which he consulted to manage their pensions -- but they said there was never an exchange of legislative influence or favors for the business. A TU analysis indicates that unions that did business with Bruno's firm did get grants from the state labor department directly or indirectly through Bruno. [Troy Record] [TU] [TU]

The family of an Army soldier from Colonie says she died in Iraq this week. Amy Seyboth Tirador had been serving as an Arabic-language interpreter. [TU] [WTEN]

It sounds like the Rensselaer County DA's office and the Troy Police Department were not on the same page for the arrest of the suspect in the Second Street homicide. The suspect was released on his own recognizance this week after the DA's office said it wasn't ready for a preliminary hearing. [Troy Record] [Fox23]

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Paterson says he never expected to be Gov, another person arrested for turtle bombing, chief suspended for slur, Schenectady overrun with kingergartners

Yesterday wasn't exactly a day of ringing support for David Paterson. Of Paterson's vow to run for governor in 2010, Sheldon Silver said, "I think, right now, I support him for governor." And at a Capitol leaders meeting, Senate leader John Sampson publicly doubted Paterson's estimate of a $3 billion midyear budget gap by saying his conference "doesn't believe in government by guesswork." Paterson says he'll be calling the legislature back at some point to address the gap. [AP/Troy Record] [PolitickerNY] [TU] [WTEN]

Paterson said yesterday in Syracuse that he never thought he'd be governor: "I did not sign up for this ... I wanted to be lieutenant governor. I had this grand plan that Hillary Clinton was going to become president. Maybe the governor would appoint me to the Senate." But he said he's still planning to run next year -- probably. [NYT] [NYDN]

The Schenectady County legislature has approved a county budget that will cut taxes a little more than two percent. Republicans -- who are in the minority -- criticized the cut as an election year ploy. [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

A group of Albany County legislators is proposing that the county build a new nursing home to replace the current facility. County exec Mike Breslin has been pushing to close the existing home in favor of placing residents in private facilities and in-home care. [TU]

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Rudy leaning toward run for governor, attorney accused of ripping off clients, Giants could be leaving for good, Rachel Alexandra will race at Saratoga, fire truck for sale

People "close" to Rudy Giuliani say the former NYC mayor is leaning toward a run for governor. Giuliani has apparently told "associates" that he'll make up his mind within the next two months. Giuliani trails Andrew Cuomo 53-40 in a hypothetical gubernatorial matchup, according to the latest Siena poll. [NYDN] [NYT] [AOA]

The head of the state Republican Party is stepping down. Giuliani apparently was one of the people who pushed him out, which is another reason observers think Rudy is planning a run for governor. [Daily Politics] [NYT]

The federal Department of Justice says New York State's four juvenile prisons routinely use excessive force on their residents. That approach has led to an "alarming" number of injuries, according to the DOJ report. [NYT] [TU]

A Saratoga Springs attorney was arrested yesterday on charges that he ripped off more than $400k from clients. Police say he took the money as part of two real estate transactions. The attorney has pled not guilty. [TU] [Saratogian] [Fox23]

A Colonie lawyer says he was fired from his job with state Senate Democrats after decided to run for town justice on the Republican ticket. [TU]

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Dredging starts up again, Espada says no quid pro quo for son's job, rally for post office, horse prices up at Saratoga sale

The Hudson River PCB dredging project has started up again. Officials say they'll be working slowly in an attempt to prevent PCB levels from spiking. The PCB spikes have prompted some "told you so" from dredging opponents. [NYT] [TU] [CapNews9]

The Schenectady County legislature has voted to ban BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups. Albany County passed a similar ban earlier this week. [TU]

Pedro Espada said yesterday that the $120k/year state Senate job created for his son (Pedro G. Espada) is "not the result of a quid pro quo or a contingency to my ending the Senate stalemate." An unnamed state Senate Democrat called the younger Espada "lazy and not so smart." Big Pedro, who's know the Senate majority leader, apparently tried to hire his son directly, but ethics rules prohibit senators hiring family members. [PolitickerNY] [NY Post] [TU]

New York State will be giving people on welfare $200/child to help with back-to-school costs. A total of 800,000 kids will get grants. The cash comes from federal stimulus money snagged with the help of $35 million from George Soros. Dean Skelos called the plan "ripe for fraud and abuse." [CapNews9] [Fox23] [AP/Troy Record]

The number of new homes being constructed in the Capital Region is way down -- because of the economy, but maybe also because of changing buyer preferences. [TU]

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Beverage run sends state Senate into a tizzy, Troy fire fighters at odds with RPI, bankruptcy filings up, grenade threat used to rob drug store, police srsly hope catch you txting

State Senate stand-off Day Number OhSomeoneKillUsNow: The Senate met three times yesterday. Two of the sessions, ordered by the courts, were in-and-sessions. The third involved the Democrats trying to call quorum when a Republican senator, Frank Padavan, briefly walked through the chamber in search of beverage in the Senate lounge. Democrats proceeded to pass a bunch of bills, but David Paterson says he (probably) won't sign them. There have been various reports about the beverage Padavan was seeking -- Coke, coffee -- but Padavan says he ended up drinking a V8. [TU] [NYT] [Buffalo News] [Daily Politics]

Why has the state Senate become such a fight to the death? Republicans say they realize this may be their last shot at being in the majority for a long time -- and they want to make sure things are set so that being in the minority doesn't totally suck. [NYT]

The Troy Fire Department and RPI are squabbling again. The latest flare up was sparked by Monday's fire in a chemistry lab -- the TFD says the school waited to too long to call in the fire, and as a result, firefighters faced a more dangerous situation. There's also the ongoing issue about whether RPI should pay a "public safety fee" to help support coverage of the campus. [TU] [Troy Record]

Two Albany Common Councilman say they're upset that the bond used to pay for the Albany landfill expansion won't be funded by an increase in the fees paid by companies that dump garbage. [TU]

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

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

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

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

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

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The Scoop

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Recent Comments

Although it's outside the Capital Region and so naturally isn't included in the AOA listing, as ever I remind everyone that the Dutchess County Fair is the biggest of all NYS county fairs and worth the trip to Rhinebeck.

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