Items tagged with 'Skidmore'

Marky Ramone at Skidmore

marky ramone logoHey, ho, let's go: Marky Ramone -- the drummer for the Ramones -- will be at Skidmore for a talk March 26. The event, sponsored by the Skidmore SEC and Skidmore Speaker's Bureau, is free and open to the public.

Marky Ramone is the lone living member of The Ramones longest running lineup. He's still playing music, hosting a show on SiriusXM radio, and... selling pasta sauce.

The event page doesn't exactly list what Ramone will be talking about, but we're guessing you could just wind him up and good stories will just fall out. After playing 1700some shows with The Ramones over the years, you gotta have one or two interesting tales to tell.

The Skidmore talk is at 7 pm in Palamountain Hall's Gannett Auditorium on March 26. It sounds like they're expecting a crowd because the talk will also be simulcast in Davis Auditorium.

[via the Idiots]

"Art, Craft, and Technology"

Leah BuechleyCould be interesting: Leah Buechley -- creator of "sewable electronic pieces designed to help you build soft interactive textiles" -- will be at Skidmore Thursday for a talk titled "Art, Craft, and Technology." (She's a Skidmore alum.) Event blurbage:

Now a designer, engineer, artist, and educator, Buechley has explored intersections and juxtapositions of "high" and "low" technologies, new and ancient materials, and masculine and feminine-making traditions. She is a past director of the High-Low Teach research group at the MIT Media Lab, where the work focused on engaging diverse groups of people in developing their own technologies. Although still affiliated with the lab she now works independently at the intersection of art and technology.

The "interactive textiles" product that Buechley created is the LilyPad. From its description:

LilyPad is a set of sewable electronic pieces designed to help you build soft interactive textiles. A set of sewable electronic modules-including a small programmable computer called a LilyPad Arduino-can be stitched together with conductive thread to create interactive garments and accessories. LilyPad can sense information about the environment using inputs like light and temperature sensors and can act on the environment with outputs like LED lights, vibrator motors, and speakers.

Here's a TED talk she did in 2011.

Buechley's talk is at 5:30 pm Thursday (November 21) in the Gannett Auditorium at Palamountain Hall. It's free and open to the public.

Earlier on AOA: Tech Valley Center of Gravity

photo via Leah Buechley's website

Piper Kerman -- author of Orange is the New Black -- at Skidmore

piper kerman orange is new blackAs you might know, Orange is the New Black -- the popular Netflix series -- is based on a memoir of the same title by Piper Kerman. And that Piper -- as opposed to Piper Chapman, the actual Piper -- is scheduled to be at Skidmore November 12 for a talk. It's free and open to the public.

From the blurbage for Kerman's memoir:

When federal agents knocked on her door with an indictment in hand, Piper Kerman barely resembled the reckless young woman she was shortly after graduating Smith College. Happily ensconced in a New York City apartment, with a promising career and an attentive boyfriend, Piper was forced to reckon with the consequences of her very brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking.
Following a plea deal for her 10-year-old crime, Piper spent a year in the infamous women's correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, which she found to be no "Club Fed." In Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, Piper takes readers into B-Dorm, a community of colorful, eccentric, vividly drawn women. Their stories raise issues of friendship and family, mental illness, the odd cliques and codes of behavior, the role of religion, the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailor, and the almost complete lack of guidance for life after prison.

Kerman now is as a communication consultant for non-profits and "works on a range of issues including criminal justice reform."

So... how much of the TV show Orange is the New Black is like what actually happened? From a Fresh Air interview with Kerman this past August:

The Netflix series is an adaptation, and there are tremendous liberties. What that means is that when you watch the show, you will see moments of my life leap off the screen, such as Larry Bloom's proposal to Piper Chapman, [which] is not so very different from the way my husband, Larry Smith, proposed to me. There are moments in the very first episode, like when Piper Chapman insults Red, who runs the kitchen with an iron fist -- that is actually very closely derived from what's in the book and from my own life. But there are other parts of the show which are tremendous departures and pure fiction.

Kerman's talk is November 12 at 7 pm in Skidmore's Gannett Auditorium (Palamountain Hall). It's free and no ticket is required, but seating is first come, first sit.

[via Skidmore Unofficial]

photo: Brian Bowen Smith

Jonathan Franzen at Skidmore

jonathan franzen

Author Jonathan Franzen will be at Skidmore October 3 for a reading and discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

Franzen is among the most famous and acclaimed American writers. His 2011 novel The Corrections won multiple awards, he's feuded with Oprah, writes for the New Yorker, and Time put him on its cover a few years back -- pegged to the release of his novel Freedom -- with the headline "Great American Novelist." He's also acquired a rep for being kind of cranky -- because of the Oprah situation, and comments such as calling Twitter "unspeakably irritating," As Flavorwire wondered last month, has Franzen become an easy target for being tagged a curmudgeon "or is he just simply a jerk?"

Last year Franzen released a collection of essays that had been previously published in outlets such as the New Yorker, NYT, the Guardian. And he has a book of translations of essays by a turn-of-the-20th-century Austrian satirist coming out in October.

The Skidmore event is titled: "The Novel and The World -- A Reading and Discussion." It starts at 8 pm in the Palamountain Hall Gannett Auditorium. The event is part of the ongoing Steloff Lecture series, which included Zadie Smith last year.

Earlier on AOA: NYS Writers Institute visiting writers fall 2013

photo: Greg Martin

An opera for Roscoe

william kennedy evan mack roscoe cover

William Kennedy, Roscoe, Evan Mack.

Interesting: Composer Evan Mack -- a professor of music theory and piano at Skidmore -- has worked out a two-year development deal with William Kennedy to create an opera version of Kennedy's novel Roscoe.

From a press release:

The story takes place in 1945, V-J-day. Roscoe Conway, after twenty-six years as the second in command of Albany's notorious political machine, decides to quit politics forever. But there's no way out, and only his Machiavellian imagination can help him cope with the erupting disasters. Every step leads back to the past -- to the early loss of his true love, the takeover of city hall, the machine's fight with FDR and Al Smith to elect a governor, and the methodical assassination of gangster Jack (Legs) Diamond. "Thick with crime, passion, and backroom banter" (The New Yorker), Roscoe is an odyssey of great scope and linguistic verve, a deadly, comic masterpiece from one of America's most important writers.
"I feel certain that Roscoe would be delighted by this development in his history," said author William Kennedy. "His life was grandly operatic in its high drama and its sweeping dimension. Roscoe was attuned to the music of the spheres."

This would be Mack's third opera. He'll be collaborating with librettist Joshua McGuire.

Speaking of William Kennedy and Skidmore... The date for his reading at Skidmore as part of NYS Summer Writers Institute is July 19 -- 8 pm in Palamountain Hall.

photos: William Kennedy - Phil Scalia; Evan Mack - Michael Brooks

Dirty Projectors at Skidmore

dirty projectors

Check it out: Dirty Projectors are playing a show at Skidmore April 13. Tickets are $20 -- they go on sale to the general public Monday (March 18) at noon. We're guessing this show will sell out.

As you probably know, Dirty Projectors are an experimental indie rock band -- or as the NYT described their music, "complicated, conceptual indie rock." They're big favorites of critics, along with all the accompanying Pitchforking and Portlandia-ing and "shooting something with Noah Baumbach."

Here's a clip of them playing on Conan in February.

The Skidmore show is in the Williamson Sports and Recreation Center. Doors at 8 pm / opener (it's Pulse, according to a Skidmore Unofficial comment) at 9 pm / Dirty Projectors at 10 pm. It's the first currently-announced stop in a new tour for the band.

(Thanks, Paul)

photo: Jason Frank Rothenberg

Brian Stetler at Skidmore

brian stetlerNew York Times media reporter Brian Stetler will be at Skidmore Monday (March 18) night for a talk: "Twenty Somethings: How are they viewed, what is expected of them and by whom?"

Stetler was one of the journalists followed in the recent documentary about NYT, Page One. He's had a remarkable (if still young) career. He started writing the TV Newser blog while still in college and got hired by the Times shortly after graduation. He's now 27.

The talk is Monday at 7 pm in Palamountain Hall. It's free and open to the public.

photo: Brian Stetler Twitter

AIDS Memorial Quilt at Skidmore

aids memorial quilt  Block 2721A 12-foot by 12-foot section of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display at Skidmore's Tang Museum on Thursday (February 14). From the listing:

The quilt, begun in San Francisco in 1987 as a way to remember and honor those who had died of AIDS, has grown into an international effort with some 48,000 quilt panels bearing the names of AIDS victims. The section on display at the Tang, Block 2721, carries the names of individuals from the Capital District.
The quilt will be exhibited on the floor, framed by Francis Cape's Utopian Benches in the We The People exhibition in the Tang's Payne Room. "The AIDS quilt is a fitting addition to the We the People exhibition, which explores ideas of community and inclusivity," said Ginger Ertz, Tang Museum educator.

The quilt section will be on display at the Tang for just one day. The museum will be open from noon-9 pm on Thursday. Admission is free.

Also at the Tang now: Opener 24: Carrie Moyer: Pirate Jenny, Someday Is Now: The Art of Corita Kent, and Elevator Music 23: Yoko Ono: Listen.

image: The NAMES Project Foundation

National College Comedy Festival 2013 at Skidmore

templeton philharmonic comedyThe National College Comedy Festival is this weekend at Skidmore. The annual festival is a showcase for up-and-coming comedy writers, performers, and improv troupes -- and many past performers have gone on to great success (example: the festival's founder, David Miner, is a producer for 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation). Here's a good piece on the festival and its history over at Splitsider, and a feature about last year's festival in NYT.

There are performances Friday and Saturday night featuring college (7 pm) and professional (10 pm) groups. Tickets are currently sold out (the festival always sells out). But we checked with the organizers today, and they say there's a good chance people who show up early will be able get in (because of the weather). Weekend passes for the general public are $20, nightly tickets are $5 for college groups, and $10 for professional groups. They're $15 / $3 / $5 for students.

photo: The Templeton Philharmonic, one of the professional groups performing at this year's festival.

Beatlemore Skidmania 2012

beatlemore skidmania 2012 logoSkidmore's annual Beatlemore Skidmania show is coming up November 16 (Friday) and 17 (Saturday) at the Zankel Center. The shows are very popular and sell out. The backstory:

Featuring talented student groups who reinterpret Beatles' classics in extraordinarily inventive ways, Beatlemore Skidmania was launched just weeks after 9/11 when a group of students in Skidmore music Professor Gordon Thompson's Beatles seminar course staged a Beatles tribute concert in an effort to lift their spirits. The show has evolved into a major event that brings together the Skidmore and Saratoga communities and has invariably sold out in recent years.
Proceeds from the sale of tickets, T-shirts, and posters will go toward Skidmore Cares, a program established by the college in 2006 to help area residents in need through donations of food and money to local food pantries and other non-profit organizations.

Here's the lineup for this year's show.

Tickets for the public are now on sale -- they're $8; $5 for seniors/Skidmore faculty/staff/retirees/alumni; and $3 for students.

This just in: college continues to be expensive

The website Campus Grotto recently released its annual list of the 100 most expensive colleges -- and, as in years past, RPI, Union, and Skidmore are on the list (table above).

Both Union and Skidmore have been sliding down the list over the last few years. For 2008-2009, they were both in the top 20.

Other schools in the greater region that also made this year's list: Bard College (#10, $57,580) Bennington College (#27, $56,990), Williams College (#33, $56,770).

Of course, these totals are like the list price on a car -- not everyone ends up paying that. In fact, at a lot of schools, very few students end up paying full price because of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid.

Campus Grotto notes this school year marks a new era -- for the first time a school's total cost has exceeded $60,000. Sarah Lawrence -- #1 on the total cost chart again -- checks in at $61,236.

St. Rose, Siena, Sage, and UAlbany did not make the top 100 list. Their 2012-2013 total cost figures are post jump.

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Mayer Hawthorne, Cults at Skidmore

This year's "Big Fall Show" at Skidmore on October 12: Mayer Hawthorne, and Cults.

Mayer Hawthorne has sort of a modern soul thing going on -- he's been described as "Al Green with the tiniest onset of a head cold."

Cults is an indie pop band. You've probably heard their song "Go Outside." It's like sunshine encoded as music. (It's embedded above.) They're a 'fork fave.

The show is open to the public. General admission tickets are $25 ahead / $30 at door. The show starts at 9 pm on October 12 in the Williamson Sports Center.

By the way: the "Big Fall Show" at Skidmore has had pretty good string of acts over the last few years: Grizzly Bear, Janelle Monae, TV on the Radio.

Upbeat on the Roof 2012

brian patneaude quartet playing on roof

The Brian Patneaude Quartet will be one of the acts up there.

The Upbeat on the Roof summer concert series at the Tang Museum at Skidmore gets off to an early start this year with a show from Railbird this Friday, as part of the Saratoga Arts Fest. The full schedule -- post jump -- will be in full swing by July.

The concerts are all on the roof of the Tang (thus the name). And they're free.

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Eight commencement speeches in eight lines

mark sullivan college of saint rose commencement 2012

Mark Sullivan sang during his St. Rose commencement speech. Twice.

We're just about finished with commencement season here in the Capital Region. Pomp. Circumstance. Advice.

Here are eight commencement speech in eight lines (or thereabout):

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Here's your diploma -- and a payment schedule

One of the interesting things in a recent NYT package about student debt is an interactive listing that includes school-by-school breakdowns of the average student debt for each school.

We were a bit surprised by the numbers from Capital Region schools (above). Even though Skidmore and Union College both have expensive sticker prices (both locally and nationally), their average graduate debt figures were among the smallest in this area -- and they had the lowest percentage of grads carrying student debt.

That result probably speaks to a few things about those schools: a) a not insignificant share of the students attending come from families that can help them cover the price and/or 2) many of the students whose families can't cover the cost probably aren't paying the full sticker price. In fact, Union says more than 60 percent of its students "receive some kind of financial assistance."

Contrast that to St. Rose and UAlbany. CSR had the highest average graduate debt -- with 86 percent of its graduates carrying debt. And UAlbany, though having one of the lower debt numbers probably as a result of its relatively inexpensive tuition, had by far the highest debt-to-tuition ratio.

The NYT interactive feature has more info and is worth checking out.

Noted: Americans now owe more in student debt than they do in credit card debt -- the total amount of outstanding student debt in the country is roughly $1 trillion. [USA Today]

Fine print: All the tuition and debt total numbers are for 2010 and via NYT, with one exception: NYT didn't have a tuition number for Union. So we pulled it from College Grotto's rankings for 2009-2010. It appears NYT pulled the numbers from The Project on Student Debt, from which we pulled the "grads with student debt" percentages. The debt:tuition ratio is our own calculation.

Steven Millhauser wins the Story Prize

steven millhauser croppedSkidmore professor Steven Millhauser has won the Story Prize for We Others, his collection of short stories published last year.

The prize is an annual $20,000 cash award that recognizes outstanding collections of short stories. The other two finalists were Don DeLillo and Edith Pearlman. Not bad company to be in. He's also a finalist -- again for We Others -- for the PEN/Faulkner award.

Millhauser's short stories often appear in The New Yorker -- and many of those stories are in We Others. A few of them are available to read for free on the New Yorker's website:

Millhauser won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for his novel Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer..

photo: Michael Lionstar

RPI's Jackson stays in top 10 for private college president compensation

shirley jackson croppedRPI president Shirley Ann Jackson's salary is the 7th highest in the nation among private college presidents, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education's annual salary rankings. The Chronicle reports Jackson's 2009 total compensation was $1,771,877, up 7 percent from the year before.

The average professor at RPI gets almost $154k/year in compensation, according to the Chronicle -- giving RPI an 11.5/1 president to professor pay ratio. (A few quick comparisons: the ratio is 4.7/1 at MIT, and 3.7/1 at Cal Tech.)

Said RPI's VP of strategic communications and external relations to the TU about Jackson's salary: "[it is] a reflection of her extraordinary accomplishments, and of the desire of the Board of Trustees to have her continue the comprehensive transformation at Rensselaer."

Jackson topped the Chronicle's chart for the 2007-2008 academic year with reported total compensation of $1,598,247. In March 2009, the school announced she was giving 5 percent of her salary to a student scholarship fund.

There have been a lot of impressive developments at RPI during Jackson's tenure. But there also has been what seems like a not insignificant amount of discontent. The most recent sign was a student senate resolution calling for Jackson's removal if "significant changes" aren't made at the school. And a group calling itself the "Alliance for Responsible Governance" has also been pushing for change. [RPI] [Reddit RPI]

The Chronicle also lists compensation for other local private colleges. Those are after the jump.

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Still expensive, but less so (relatively)

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Nott as expensive (relatively). (We never get tired of Nott puns.)

The website College Grotto recently released its annual list of the most expensive colleges -- and again Union, Skidmore, and RPI are on the list.

Here's how local schools rank on the list for 2011-2012 (the list for 2010-2011):

Skidmore's ranking has dropped considerably over the last few years -- it was #5 in 2009. RPI has been headed the other direction -- it was ranked #62 in 2009.

Sarah Lawrence topped College Grotto's list this year at $59,170, followed by NYU ($56,787), Columbia ($56,310), Harvey Mudd ($55,998), and The New School ($55,890). Here's Forbes' recently-released list -- it also has Sarah Lawrence #1.

Earlier on AOA:
+ US News ranks for Capital Region colleges 2011
+ Union, RPI in top 20 for "return on investment"

TOP 2011: Round 2: Saratoga

TOP2011 RD2 Saratoga

We're back to Saratoga for the first matchup in Round 2 of the 2011 Tournament of Pizza, sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union. The pizzerias facing off in this round of pepperoni pizzas:

Mama Mia's vs. Amore

How we got here: Mama Mia's posted one of the best-ever first round scores with a 75 in opening round pool play. Amore went through after edging out Marino's (Saratoga) and Clifton Park Pizza for the second spot with a 53.

This is on the of the wide open brackets because there's no returning winner. But Amore now occupies of the location of Nunzio's, last year's bracket champ. Could that be an advantage? Or will Mama post another a big score?

We're back at the Case Center on the campus of Skidmore College for the tasting...

sunmark pizza banner

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TOP 2011: Round 1: Saratoga

TOP2011 RD1 Saratoga

That most august tradition -- the Tournament of Pizza, sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union -- opens in Saratoga. And, as you well know, Round 1 is a contest of cheese pizzas. Simple? Perhaps -- but simple things are often the hardest to do well.

The pizzerias in the opening round pool here:

Crowd pick: Marino's - Saratoga
Renee's pick: Mama Mia's - Saratoga
Committee pick: Amore - Saratoga
Committee pick: Clifton Park Pizza - Clifton Park

There is no returning champ because Nunzio's is no longer in business. That leaves a wide open bracket. Who will step up?

The judges -- plus our guest judge -- gathered at the Case Center on the campus of Skidmore College for the tasting...

sunmark pizza banner

(there's more)

US News ranks for Capital Region colleges

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Union will probably Nott be disappointed.

US News released its vaunted college rankings today (not important, of course... unless your school ranked well). Here's how local schools ranked.

(Plus a ranking in which UAlbany tops RPI.)

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TV on the Radio at Skidmore

TV on the Radio is playing Skidmore's "Big Fall Show" October 7. Tickets for the general public are $25. They go on sale Friday at 9 am.

They're good. (Something hackneyed about Brooklyn hipsters.) Their 2006 album, Return to Cookie Mountain, got a lot of critical praise. They're newest album is Nine Types of Light.

[via @robinmaxadams]

Robert Gibbs at Union, Will Shortz at Skidmore

robert gibbsTwo upcoming talks that you might get you going:

Former Obama admin press secretary Robert Gibbs will be giving a talk at Union College Monday evening. Gibbs (that's him on the right) was also the Obama campaign's communications director. The talk is titled: "Inside Washington: What's Next?" It starts at 7 pm in the college's Memorial Chapel.

Also Monday: NYT crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz will be speaking at Skidmore. If the crossword puzzle has rock stars, Shortz is like Bono. He was featured in the doc Wordplay and he appears on the puzzler segment of Weekend Edition Sunday (we're waiting for the day when the puzzle is: "I'm thinking of a number. What is it?"). According to the Facebook event page, the Shortz talk starts at 5 pm in Gannett Auditorium -- but the Skidmore calendar has it pegged at 8 pm. [via Skidmore Unofficial]

photo via Wikipedia

Skidmore in The Onion

skidmore dormWorth a few smiles: Skidmore makes an appearance in The Onion this week. From "ExxonMobil CEO Really Hurt That College Student Is Talking About Him Right Now":

IRVING, TX--According to sources within ExxonMobil's global headquarters, Rex W. Tillerson, the company's president, chairman, and CEO, was completely devastated Wednesday by what 18-year-old Skidmore College freshman Samantha Huestis was saying about him in her dorm room.

It seems he really took her comments about polar bears to heart.

Heh.

Update: Drew confirmed with Skidmore that Ms. Huestis is, in fact, fictional.

Tangent: Have you ever heard the This American Life segment about The Onion writers' room? It's great.

Dave Eggers coming to Skidmore

dave eggersAuthor and publisher Dave Eggers will be appearing at Skidmore March 28. The event, which is being described as a conversation, is at the Zankel Center and will be open to the public. We hear tickets will be $12 -- with more details soon.

Eggers first gained fame for his book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. He's since gone on to become a bit of a hipster icon thanks to a bunch of literary and publishing projects, including the journal McSweeney's. He also wrote the script for the Where the Wild Things Are film adaptation. Here's his TED talk from 2008.

Also coming to Skidmore: NYT restaurant critic Sam Sifton will be giving a lecture March 7. It's open to the public and free.

photo: Flickr user Erik Charlton

A little bit of summer in January

new yorker cover 2011-01-03There's a short story by Skidmore professor -- and Pulitzer Prize winner -- Steven Millhauser in the January 3 issue of The New Yorker (the same issue that sits in the pile of all the other issues you haven't gotten to, yet). "Getting Closer" is about summer, childhood and anticipation:

Though who's to say when anything begins really? You could say the day began when they passed the wooden sign with the words "INDIAN COVE" and the outline of a tomahawk, on a curve of road with a double yellow line down the middle and brown wooden posts with red reflectors. Or maybe it all started when the car backed up the slope of the driveway and the tires bumped over the sidewalk between the knee-high pricker hedges. Or what if it happened before that, when he woke up in the morning and saw the day stretching out before him like a whole summer of blue afternoons? But he's only playing, just fooling around, because he knows exactly when it all begins: it begins when he enters the water. That's the agreement he's made with himself, summer after summer. That's just how it is. The day begins in the river, and everything else leads up to it.

Millhauser's novel Martin Dressler won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

[via Skidmore Unofficial]

The game that went on and on and on...

Skidmore's men's basketball team played a game with 7 overtimes last week at Southern Vermont -- and won 128-123. Here are the highlights on ESPN:

The game tied the NCAA record for longest game.

[via @bcarlton727]

Phantogram at Skidmore Saturday

Video from a live performance in Louisville in September. That's Tim Oakley from The Mathematicians on drums.

Phantogram has a show lined up at Skidmore this Saturday night. Synth rock duo -- and former Skidmore students -- Snakes Say Hiss open. Tickets are $10 for the general public.

Sarah and Josh are back in town after headlining a tour this fall across the country. They were joined by Tim Oakley, from The Mathematicians, on drums. The group just played a sold-out show in Brooklyn this past Friday night.

Here's a live performance recorded by KEXP when they were out west in September.

Updated with the video embedded above. Thanks, Matthew!

Do it Again at Skidmore

This could be fun: there will be a screening of Do It Again, a documentary about an arts writer's attempt to get the Kinks back together, at Skidmore Thursday night. From the doc's blurb (link added):

It is a quest. Geoff Edgers, a newspaper reporter dreading the approach of his 40th birthday, decides to take a most improbable leap. He sets out to find the still-surviving members of the long dormant British rock band, the Kinks ("You Really Got Me," "Lola" and "Come Dancing"), to convince them to reunite. Never mind that he's an American with just one connection to Kinks leader Ray Davies and his younger brother Dave: Edgers grew up loving their music.
When his initial mission fails, Edgers turns the film into a meditation on the power of music and his own chance to testify on his love for the Kinks. He also meets with Kinks fans that include Sting, Zooey Deschanel, REM's Peter Buck, Paul Weller, Robyn Hitchcock and Clive Davis.

Edgers will be there that night for a talk with Skidmore professor -- and British rock expert -- Gordon Thompson.

It starts at 7 pm in the Zankel Music Center. It's free (but you do have to get tickets).

(Thanks, Robin)

Virtual weekend: Oktoberfest, Janelle Monae, a whole lot of water

oktoberfest 2010

One of Sebastien's photos from the packed Oktoberfest on North Broadway in Albany.

Updated with another photo!

Stuck doing something else this past weekend? Out of town? Having fun some other way?

Here are a few of the sights and sounds from this past weekend -- you know, sort of like a virtual weekend.

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Janelle Monae at Skidmore

Could be fun/funky: Skidmore's "Big Fall Show" is pop/hip-hop singer Janelle Monae.

The album Monae released this year, The ArchAndroid, was apparently inspired by Fritz Lang's Metropolis and tells the story of a messianic android. The video for the song "Many Moons" is embedded above.

Critics have raved about the album. Wrote Justin Jacobs in Paste:

The ArchAndroid is a fully immersive, theatrical experience. It's a near-perfect R&B album; hell, it's a fantastic hip-hop, psychedelic, neo-soul, dance and orchestral album too. It's hard to classify but harder to ignore, matching Monáe's massive stylistic scope and ambition with endless melodies, can't-help-but-smile jams and an all-star cast of guest artists, including Big Boi, Saul Williams, Deep Cotton and Of Montreal.

The show at Skidmore is October 1. Tickets go on sale this Friday -- they're $20 for the general public. Neo-soul singer Eli Paperboy Reed opens (he'll also be at LarkFest).

Where Capital Region colleges rank on Princeton Review lists

UAlbany walkthrough fountainThe Princeton Review released its annual college rankings this week (party schools, reefer madness, etc).

Here are the lists Capital Region schools made it onto...

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Union, RPI in top 20 for "return on investment"

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Not(t) a bad deal?

An online service called PayScale has ranked colleges based on "return on investment."

Here are how the schools in the Capital Region stacked up:

Oddly, neither St. Rose nor Russell Sage Colleges were on the list of 852 schools.

Businessweek has the same rankings posted with a few more categories.

Here's the methodology, which is worth skimming. In short: the numbers were calculated using the 30 year median pay for a 2009 grad with a bachelor's degree, in a full time job.

MIT was ranked #1. The highest ranked public school was UC-Berkeley at #16.

(Thank, Fred)

Earlier on AOA:
+ Skidmore, Union, RPI among nation's most expensive
+ Capital Region college tuition

MSTRKRFT JFK, Walkmen, Postelles at Skidmore


We've always liked this song by The Walkmen. And here they're playing it in a basement. Skidmore's rec center should be a bit less cramped.

Speaking of (potential) concerts in Saratoga... Skidmore has a show coming up that you might be interested in. JFK from MSTRKRFT will be there April 23 with The Walkmen and The Postelles.

Tickets for the general public are $20 and they're now on sale.

(Thanks, Robin)

Ira Glass at Skidmore

ira glassIra Glass -- the creator and host of This American Life (one of the best public radio shows... ever) -- will be at Skidmore's new Zankel Music Center March 9 for "an evening discussion of journalism and storytelling."

The talk is open to the public. Tickets are $20. They go on sale online at midnight Sunday night. We've heard from the Skidmore speakers bureau there will only be a limited number of public tickets and they expect them to sell quickly.

Here's a great series of clips Glass recorded a few years ago on doing creative work.

[via You Idiot]

photo: Nancy Updike / TAL

Snowfall total way behind, Republicans lining up behind Lazio, shooting in north Albany, Brunomobile still parked

This winter's snowfall so far is about a foot less than typical totals. By the way: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today. [TU] [CNN]

Brian Stratton says Schenectady is facing a budget gap of almost $13 million in 2011. One possible way to help cover the gap: start charging non-profits such as Union College and Ellis Hospital for police and fire services. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

It's looking like the state Republican Party is lining up behind Rick Lazio as its choice for governor. Lazio was in Colonie yesterday and called out Andrew Cuomo, saying that Cuomo has "locked himself in his office and watched as Albany burned." A spokesman for Cuomo said yesterday that the AG is currently "focused on his public service." [CapNews9] [TU] [NYT] [Fox23]

Skidmore's president announced yesterday that the college will not have to go through with planned layoffs. He said the college's financial is improved because of an upswing in the endowment, as well as the results of attrition and a hiring freeze. [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Post-Star]

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Mayor says Albany faces "financial tsunami," ESP man caver gets a year in jail, Skidmore moves into new Zankel Center

During his state of the city speech last night, Jerry Jennings said Albany is facing the possibility of a "a financial tsunami" in 2011. The mayor said the city will be bringing in outside financial consultants to help develop a plan. He also continued his call for "appropriate equitable state aid" to the city. [WTEN] [TU] [CapNews9]

The janitor who pleaded guilty in the ESP Man Cave case was sentenced to a year in jail and scolded for bringing "contempt and ridicule" on state workers. [CapNews9] [TU]

Parts of the Cannon Building on Monument Square in Troy have re-opened after the building inspectors shut it down for code violations. Harry Tutunjian tweeted yesterday that the building is still without water. [TU] [@TroyMayor]

The new president of the Schenectady city council is calling for voters to dump the city's school board members in the spring elections. [TU]

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State Senate votes down same-sex marriage bill, Bruno trial still deliberating, alleged elderly safe robber arrested, Albany school district considers mid-year job cuts

The state Senate voted down the same-sex marriage bill 38-24. Supporters of the bill apparently thought the vote would be closer. Eight Democrats joined every Republican in the chamber in voting "no." Here's a listing of how each senator voted. [TU] [NYT] [NYDN] [CapCon]

The state Senate passed the $2.7 billion deficit reduction bill. David Paterson criticized the legislature's cuts for falling "well short" of what's actually necessary to cover the budget gap. The Senate also passed bills that reform the state's public authorities (such as the Thruway Authority) and change the pension rules for new state employees. [TU] [Daily Politics] [NYT] [NYT]

Joe Bruno Trial: the jury is still deliberating. The jury asked to have testimony read back yesterday from Jared Abbruzzese, the Loudonville businessman who bought an overvalued horse from Bruno apparently to make up for a canceled consulting contract. Oh, no: the trial seems to be affecting Uncle Joe's perma-tan (if not his loquaciousness). [TU] [Troy Record] [NYT]

After the Saratoga Springs' police and fire chiefs announced their retirements this week, Ron Kim -- the outgoing Saratoga Springs public safety commissioner -- says he's moving to hire their replacements. That's not going over well with Richard Wirth, who become public safety commissioner on January 1. [TU] [Saratogian]

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Porco appeal focuses on nod, state budget gap deal could be close, job cuts at Skidmore, police say 11-year-old called 911 on alleged robbers, CDTA bus bursts into flames

The judges hearing Christopher Porco's appeal in a Brooklyn state appellate court yesterday focused on the admissibility of the nod that detectives say Joan Porco made indicating Christopher was responsible for the attack. Joan Porco says she has no memory of the crime -- and the defense argued that prevented Christopher from being able to confront his accuser. The prosecution argued that the defense just missed its chance to have Joan Porco testify that she didn't remember. Christopher Porco is currently serving 50 years in state prison for the murder of his father and attempted murder of his mother. [TU] [Fox23] [CapNews9] [Troy Record]

A deal to close the state budget gap could be near. Or not. Members of the legislature indicated last night that they had put together a plan to cut $2.8 billion (from the $3+ billion gap), which borrows almost $400 million federal education aid from next year for this year's budget. David Paterson said that wasn't good enough -- and announced that he would move to withhold payments to local governments in order to keep the state solvent. [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Politics] [NYT]

Joe Bruno Trial: still no verdict. The jury heard read backs of testimony from two witnesses yesterday, which could be helpful to Bruno. [TU] [Troy Record] [NYT]

Skidmore says it could eliminate as many as 70 jobs as it tries to cover a $12.6 million gap in next year's budget (about 8 percent). [TU] [Post-Star] [Saratogian]

The board overseeing redevelopment of the Harriman State Office Campus announced yesterday that Columbia Development has been picked to develop the site. Officials with Columbia have close ties to Jerry Jennings, which prompted a competing developer to accuse the board of making a politically motivated choice. [CapNews9] [TU]

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Skidmore, Union, RPI among nation's most expensive

nott memorial

Union says 64 percent of its students get financial aid.

So reports the web site College Grotto, which released its annual list of the most expensive colleges and universities (it also ranked the schools just by tuition). As in years past, a handful of local and regional schools are on the list. First, the locals:

5. Skidmore College - $51,196

35. Union College - $49,983

62. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - $49,245

We did a similar cost comparison for local schools back in April and got somewhat different numbers.

And as we noted back then, a lot of the students that attend these schools don't actually pay full price. For example, Union says that 64 percent of its students get financial aid -- and the average individual total aid award is $25,400.

A list of schools a little farther out from the Capital Region that made the top 100 is after the jump.

(Thanks, James!)

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Skidmore's Zankel Center coming along

zankel rendering

Artist's rendering of the exterior.

Skidmore recently took a few people on a tour of its not-yet-open Zankel Music Center -- the Saratogian went along and has a few photos. The building includes a large, multi-paned window behind the stage -- Skidmore Unofficial has a digital rendering and a few other details. The school has posted a bunch of photos from the project.

In a brochure for the project, the school says it the new building will be used for a bunch of public events:

Even as the arthur Zankel Music center will help to transform our music program, it will also become a cultural destination for the entire upstate region. Each summer, the campus is abuzz with a broad range of cultural activities, including the New York State Writers Institute, Skidmore Jazz Institute, New York State School of Orchestral Studies, Skidmore Flute Institute, and many more. ...
All such programs will benefit tremendously from this new facility, allowing them to flourish in ways unimaginable in our current facility. We will no longer be forced to turn away visitors hoping to attend sold-out events, as we often do now. We will also be able to bring in other artists whom we could not accommodate in the smaller and antiquated Filene hall.

The $32.5 million building is slated to open early next year.

Earlier on AOA:
+ A photo tour of EMPAC
+ A tour of the Massry Center for the Arts

image: Skidmore College

Public voices concerns about Troy crime, questions about Paterson's budget cutting plan, supervisor race includes accusations of illiteracy, high demand for flu vaccine

More than a hundred people showed up last night at Troy City Hall for the public forum about a recent streak of crime in the city. Both mayor Harry Tutunjian and police chief Nicholas Kaiser stressed that crime is down for the year. Citizens said they were concerned about gangs in Lansingburgh and a lack of officers walking beats. [Troy Record] [CapNews9] [CBS6] [Fox23]

Saratoga Springs police say they're investigating a report from a Skidmore student that she was nearly assaulted by a taxi driver early Saturday morning. The student says she was able to escape when the cab stopped near campus. The SSPD says it hasn't identified the company that owns the cab. [Saratogian] [Fox23] [TU]

Critics of David Paterson's proposed $3 billion in budget cuts say the list includes a bunch of one-time shots and some questionable assumptions. It appears that Democrats in the Assembly are leaning toward along with Paterson's plan. It doesn't look like the state Senate is all that interested, though. [TU] [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics]

Both Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand released statements yesterday calling for state senator Hiram Monserrate to resign. Gillibrand said Monserrate doesn't leave soon, the state Senate should bounce him. State Senate majority conference leader John Sampson is expected to announce the formation of a committee that will look at what to do about Monserrate. [Daily Politics] [CapNews9] [NYO]

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First H1N1 shots on the way, more concern about mercury near LaFarge, man accused of trying to force snot burger, Troy library district approved, reward increased for dog shooting info

Upstate New York will be getting 100,000 doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine next week. More doses will apparently be on the way later this year. [AP/TU] [Saratogian]

Several hundred healthcare workers were at the Capitol yesterday protesting state regulations requiring them to get a flu shot. They said they're worried about having to serve as "guinea pigs" for the new flu shot against their will. Richard Daines, the state's health commissioner, says the H1N1 vaccine has been prepared the same way as the regular seasonal flu vaccine -- and healthcare worker vaccination is a matter of patient safety. [Troy Record] [CapNews9] [Fox23] [CBS6]

State wildlife pathologist Ward Stone reported yesterday that tests he performed on soil samples from the neighborhoods near the LaFarge cement plant in Ravena indicate elevated levels of mercury. Stone says much of the mercury is from the plant. (Previous studies have reported that the plant is one of the state's biggest emitters of mercury. Erin Brockovich was recently in Ravena on behalf of a law firm to talk with residents about mercury pollution.) Stone did not conduct the study as part of his job with the state -- and the DEC says it will review the results. [CapNews9] [Fox23] [TU] [WNYT] [TU]

Crews working on the Delaware Ave reconstruction project turned up what appears to be five coffins from the 19th century. Archaeologists will be checking out the site today. Jack McEneny says the coffins are probably left over from an old cemetery that was moved in 1910. [Fox23] [CapNews9] [TU]

Schenectady police say a man has been charged with child endangerment after an incident in which he allegedly tried to make his girlfriend's daughter eat a hamburger with his snot on it. [TU]

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Five upcoming shows worth checking out

band composite

Four of the five.

There are a bunch of interesting/good/fun concerts lined up for the Capital Region over the next two months.

Here are a few (of the many) that are worth checking out...

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Espada's son resigning from Senate job, sheriff's deputy arrested, council members got ghost tickets, Novella says she's changed, Skidmore's rep up in smoke

Pedro Espada says his son will be resigning the $120k/year state Senate job that was created for him. The resignation comes after Andrew Cuomo's office said it was looking into whether the hiring violated state ethics laws. It also came out yesterday that Pedro the Younger apparently had not been showing up for his new job. Big Pedro said last night the resignation was "appropriate," though he continued to insist the hiring had not been nepotism. [TU] [NYT] [NY Post] [Daily Politics]

Also among the state Senate Democrats' recent hires: a former member of the governor's staff who was let go after the state Inspector General's office described him as "immature," "irresponsible" and "ill-suited." [TU]

A Saratoga County Sheriff's deputy was arrested Tuesday night after a woman accused him of forcing her into a sex act with him. The sheriff's department says the deputy was on duty in his uniform -- and the woman in his patrol car -- when the alleged act occurred (the Gazette says it was oral). The deputy and woman apparently already knew each other. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star]

Colonie supervisor Paula Mahan says the town's $19.5 million deficit has almost been cut in half. The special one-time deficit reduction tax accounted for $5.5 million. Mike Hoblock, Mahan's Republican opponent for the supervisor position, questioned whether the town was really that far in the hole to start. [CBS6] [CapNews9] [TU]

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Grizzly Bear at Skidmore

grizzly bear veckatimestSkidmore has a cool show lined up for this fall: Grizzly Bear. And it's open to non-students.

Grizzly Bear is one of those bands that's hard to describe (electronic indie folk rock?) -- you should just have a listen online. For what it's worth, Pitchfork was a big fan of the group's latest album, which came out in May.

The show is September 25 at Skidmore's sports center. Tickets are $20. They went on sale today. Openers are Gang Gang Dance.

[via @CollarCity]

Everyone seems upset in Senate mess aftermath, Albany says sewer failure wasn't its fault, bar owners brought SLA with check of a box, rain leads to exploding cherries

David Paterson says the caucus switching that's been going on in the state Senate is "so blatantly quid pro quo that it borders on the boundaries of illegality." Jim Tedisco says that the recent mess has prompted him to work on introducing legislation in the Assembly that would allow elected officials to be recalled -- he singled out Pedro Espada for "selling his office." Roy McDonald says the legislature is "evolving into a branch of the New York City Council." And Neil Breslin says the recent events have him "less excited about being a senator." [AP/TU] [TU] [Fox23] [Saratogian] [AP/Troy Record]

Friday's special session of the state Senate was canceled and the body is next scheduled to meet on Wednesday. [PolitickerNY]

One thing the Senate ovethrow/unthrow didn't stop: big pay raises for a bunch of Senate staffers. [TU]

A hearing on the constitutionality of David Paterson's appointment of Richard Ravitch to the post of lieutenant governor has been scheduled for Wednesday. Even with the state Senate mess resolved, both Paterson and Ravitch say there's still a need for a lt governor. [AP/TU] [PolitickerNY]

Lawyers for Joe Bruno are arguing that his trial for "theft of honest services" should be delayed until the Supreme Court of the United State rules on a pair of similar cases. [TU]

They City of Albany has denied almost $300k in claims related to the flooding last August. The city says the deluge "exceeded all levels for which municipal storm sewers or municipal combined sewers are designed." [TU]

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Earth gently relieving its stress, Paterson calls for calorie counts on menus, Golisano says state bailed on us, Pink Palace sold, guy wins car with hold-in-one

Today is school budget and school board voting day. [CapNews9]

A geologist at the State Museum says the recent string of small earthquakes in Berne is a good thing because stresses in the earth are being released gently. [AOA] [TU]

Police are continuing to investigate the former doctor who's accused of torching Saratoga Winners for the insurance money. Among the points of interest: alleged paycheck irregularities at his staffing firm and a burned-down hair salon. [TU]

Republican Mary Ann McGinn -- an attorney with an MBA -- says she's running for Albany City Treasurer. The current -- and embattled -- treasurer, Democrat Betty Barnette, is also facing a primary challenge. [TU]

Sixteen schools in New York City have now been closed because of the recent flare up of the emerging H1N1 flu. Public officials aren't sure if the school closings actually help, though. The state health department is trying to get a centralized system together to track student illnesses -- the hope being such a system would help officials identify an outbreak earlier. [NYT] [NYT] [AP/CapNews9]

David Paterson has proposed state legislation that would require chain restaurants to post calorie information on their menus. The rule might even apply to places such as Stewart's. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Hudson River dredging starts today, no pork for Tedisco, Brown's new brews held up by barcode confusion, prom dress rugby

The Hudson River PCB dredging project finally starts today. Years in the planning -- and fighting -- the project is expected to cost more than $750 million and stretch until 2015. The first phase will include crews working 24 hours a day, six days a week until October. Towns in Saratoga County that get their drinking water from the Hudson have already switched over to Troy's water supply after tests indicated the level of PCBs in the river was twice the EPA's safe limit. [Post-Star] [Biz Review] [TU] [CapNews9]

A fourth Skidmore student has been charged in the alleged assault of a fellow student in April. The four students -- all seniors -- are accused of breaking down multiple doors to reach the sophomore, who -- according to his attorney -- says the alleged attack was like something out of The Shining. The four seniors reportedly had a dispute with the sophomore over a woman.[Saratogian] [TU] [Post-Star]

Jim Tedisco didn't take any pork this year for his Assembly district. Last year he gave out more than $400k in "member item" money. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

David Paterson vetoed legislation that would have fined local governments for not complying with the state's open meetings law. He said the law was "problematic" because the $500 fine would have been assessed to the governmental entity -- not the officials. [AP/TU]

State comptroller Tom DiNapoli issued a report recommending that the state adopt a two-year budget cycle and voter-approval of new state debt. [Biz Review]

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Friday's asks state police to look into snake head, parking official's wife's car got ghost tickets, landfill fined for stinkiness, Skidmore students accused of beat down, rooster finds new home, Tulip Queen crowned

TGI Friday's says the an independent lab has concluded that the snake head found in a side order of broccoli at its restaurant in Clifton Park was added after the veggies were cooked. The company says it's asked the State Police to open a criminal investigation. [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette]

GlobalFoundries says it won't buy the land for the Luther Forest chip fab until it can work out an agreement with construction unions -- and David Paterson's office is participating in the negotiations. Even with all the recent hype, the project still has some doubters. [TU] [Biz Review] [TU]

The vehicle registered to the wife of Albany's Parking Violations Bureau director received 70 ghost tickets, according to documents obtained by the TU. Albany treasurer Betty Barnette has said that her office, which includes the parking violations bureau, had no knowledge of the ghost ticket program. [TU]

A federal appeals court has upheld the $265,000 in damages awarded to a man who says an Albany cop violated his civil rights during an arrest in 2002. The cop -- who's had numerous complaints filed against him -- is still on the job. [TU]

Advocates for same-sex marriage have put together a coordinated campaign to lobby potential swing votes in the state Senate. Many senators have yet to say publicly how they'll vote on the issue. [NYT]

The state Senate and its slim Democratic majority have been quite the drama lately as small groups of senators have tried to get theirs by holding out on various bills. And now this: Kevin Parker, a senator from Brooklyn, has been charged with a felony for allegedly wailing on a New York Post photographer -- Parker is, perhaps fittingly, also the sponsor of legislation that would legalize ultimate fighting in the state. [NYT] [NYT] [NYP] [NYP]

Chuck Schumer has asked the Federal Trade Commissioner to look into those "your car warranty is about to expire" scam telemarketing calls. Apparently Schumer had had enough after he got a fourth call on his mobile last week. [AP/TU] [NYT]

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Trayless in Saratoga

skidmore dining hall

Apparently the food's so good you won't mind juggling a few plates.

Could the nicest place to eat in Saratoga be... Skidmore's cafeteria? From a front-page piece today in the NYT:

For the most part, when students returned in the fall, they were so dazzled by the transformation of the cafeteria that they hardly noticed the missing trays. The renovated dining hall has three slate fireplaces and a half-dozen food stations, including a do-it-yourself griddle for eggs. Three of the chefs are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, and all the pasta, granola and baked goods are made on site.

The focus of the piece is on Skidmore's status as, in NYT's words, "a pioneer in trayless dining." Apparently trayless cafeterias are popping up at colleges all around the country -- they reportedly reduce food waste and save water and energy.

Skidmore isn't the only school that's tried going trayless. Union has "Trayless Tuesdays" in its cafeteria (a quality dining establishment, as we recently learned firsthand). And according to RPInsider, RPI tried out the idea -- but it didn't go over well.

Earlier on AOA: Capital Region college tuition

photo: Flickr user craigemorsels

Capital Region college tuition

Nott Memorial

Union's Nott the most expensive.

After hearing recently that the cost of attending both Skidmore and Union had crossed the $50k mark, we were curious about how the local colleges stack up when it comes to cost.

So, we looked it up. The list and a few notes are after the jump.

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Cities line up infrastructure projects, Schenectady cop suspected of catching Zzzz instead of crooks, Saratoga rec center project moves forward, delivery driver plows into strip mall

Local leaders say much of the federal stimulus money headed this way will be spent on infrastructure projects. Troy mayor Harry Tutunjian noted that much of the infrastructure in his city is 120-years-old. [Troy Record] [Saratogian] [TU]

The Daily Gazette reports that Schenectady's highest-paid police officer has been spending a chunk of each Tuesday's shift inside an apartment, possibly sleeping. The Gazette's observation was confirmed by department records from the GPS unit in the cop's car. Said Schenectady's police chief: "How dumb can you be? You know you have a GPS in your car. Why would anybody do that?" The officer in question made $168,921 last year -- that's about triple his base salary -- because of enormous amounts of overtime. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

An Albany police sergeant has been suspended pending the investigation into the possibly delayed arrest of an APD detective who allegedly had been driving while intoxicated. [TU]

The plane that crashed last week in Buffalo had been in Albany the day before. A witness says he saw a crew performing an engine test on the plane as it sat at the gate at ALB. [TU]

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Saving the world with mushrooms

mycologist Paul StametsWe gotta admit that the title of this talk at Skidmore this evening caught our eye: "Solutions from Nature: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World."

Paul Stamets is the speaker -- he's a mycologist who studies the role mushrooms can play in environmental remediation. He's done research on the medicinal properties of mushrooms. From the blurb on the Skidmore site:

In his lecture, Stamets will discuss the evolution and future uses of mushrooms, touching on about a dozen species; as the visible "fruit" of some kinds of fungi, mushrooms multiply by sending out underground runners and help decompose plant and animal matter and create soil. Stamets believes they can also play a role in replacing chemical insecticides and breaking down toxic wastes, including petroleum-based products such as diesel and dioxins.

The talk starts at 5:30 pm in Skidmore's Gannett Auditorium. It's free.

[via here and here ]

Earlier on AOA: A (very cool) fungus grows in Troy

photo: Dusty Yao-Stamets

Kaczmareks got "family plan" plea deal, early retirment incentives for state workers?, drug stores everywhere, bus fare price war

The attorney for former Schenectady police chief Greg Kaczmarek says prosecutors offered Kaczmarek and his wife the "family plan" plea deal in their drug cases -- and that Kaczmarek took a longer term in prison to shorten the term for his wife. As part of the deal, Greg Kaczmarek was sentenced to two years in prison -- but he could be out in 17 months with good behavior. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The state legislature is reportedly working on a plan that would offer early retirement incentives to state workers as a way of trimming the state payroll. David Paterson says he's not on board with the plan. [AP/TU]

David Paterson is currently being treated like the "prom queen" as people lobby him about the decision of whom to appoint to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. [NYT]

Albany police say a group of "backpack bandits" (the TU's phrase) may be responsible for a string of muggings around the city. The group may have been in involved in a reported robbery late Monday afternoon in a which a man says five muggers stopped his car, bashed him in the head with a gun, and stole $2000. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Breaking the bank at local colleges

Union College Nott Memorial

An expensive path to take.

According to a list compiled by a site called College Grotto (new to us, too), Skidmore and Union are among the 20 most expensive colleges in the nation. Skidmore's total cost weighs in at $49,266 per year (#13) and Union's at $48,552 (#19).

Of course, caveats do apply. At many schools -- and we're guessing this includes Skidmore and Union -- very few students pay full price. But even at a discount, that's still some serious coin. Just for perspective, the median household income in the US is $50,233, according to the census bureau.

Earlier on AOA: What students say about local colleges

photo: Flickr user saibotregeel

What students say about local colleges

UAlbany entrance fountain

Alas, no one reviewed UAlbany's new walk-through fountain.

Unigo, a new site aimed at giving prospective college students the scoop on schools, debuted this week. It uses a sort of Zagat-style approach in which students already at the schools write reviews.

So what were the reviews like for local colleges? We picked out some highlights (and lowlights).

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Girl Talk at Skidmore

Girl Talk

Girl Talk in Columbus, Ohio.

Gregg Gillis, the mashup artist who makes geeks cheer and copyright lawyers cringe, will be at Skidmore Friday night. The show's $20 for non-students. It starts at 8 pm at the campus sports center.

Gillis is an interesting guy (Girl Talk is the stage name he uses). He had been studying biomedical engineering until he dropped out of grad school recently to focus on music. His mashups are crazily omnivorous, like someone dumped everything out of the musical refrigerator into a pot.

photo: Flickr user marit79

Schools crunched by costs, Saratoga cops ticked off at Skidmore students, Rock Hill Bakehouse temporarily out of commission, Little Miss Albany

Most local school districts are back in session this week and they're dealing with rising costs for everything from lunches to field trips. [TU] [Saratogian]

Albany police say the suspect in last weekend's Washington Ave homicide told them he was provoked by the victim staring at him. The suspect did not admit to stabbing the victim, though. [TU]

The shots that killed a Schenectady man this past weekend were apparently fired through a door. The Schenectady PD says it isn't sure whether the victim was the intended target or not. [Daily Gazette]

A Saratoga Springs cop was injured while trying to break up a Skidmore student party Monday night. It's the second time in a year that an officer has gotten hurt on such a call. The Saratoga PD says Skidmore needs to bring the hammer down on underage student drinking. [Saratogian] [TU]

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Colonel John wins Travers, Democratic candidates for McNulty's nod heads, local sewer systems need help, California produce shipments to start soon, Round Lake protects its organ

Colonel John won the Travers this past weekend, beating out Mambo in Seattle by a nose. The canoe in the infield pond has already been painted the colors of Colonel John's silks, green and white. Almost 41,000 people showed up for the Travers this year, and bet almost $8.3 million (the total with off-track betting $37 million). [TU] [Saratogian] [CBS6]

The Saratoga PD had double the normal number of cops on the street Saturday night to handle the post-Travers crowd, in fine form after 12 hours of drinking. One guy pushed a police horse several times before being arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. [Daily Gazette]

The Democratic candidates for the 21st Congressional District (McNulty's seat) agreed on many topics last night at a debate: opposition to off-shore drilling, investment in renewable energy, sign stealing is bad. They disagreed on: a carbon tax, whether Tonko supported energy deregulation, whether Tracey Brooks was a lobbyist. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The US Olympic synchronized swimming team, co-captained by Troy's Kim Probst, finished fifth in Beijing. [Troy Record]

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Soares says DWIs should lead to Alive at Five re-evaluation, charity shipments ripped off, CDTA has big plans for Schenectady, more people deciding pet care too expensive, Knicks going to Skidmore, how Marylou exercises

David Soares says Albany should "re-evaluate" the Alive at Five events after a bunch of people were arrested for DWI following last week's event. Thirty-two people were arrested during a four hour sweep following the Thursday night concert. A state police deputy says that's the highest number of arrests he can remember in such a short period of time. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The CEO of Ellis Hospital says his org wasn't prepared for St. Clare's to be shut down two months ago. The lack of readiness has led to long waits in Ellis' emergency department. [Daily Gazette]

Three men have been charged with ripping off charity shipments from the Target in Wilton that were intended for volunteer fire companies and charitable organizations. [Daily Gazette]

CDTA says it has a plan to revamp service in Schenectady pretty much all ready to go, but it needs about $3 million from the state to make it happen. The transit org figures the expanded service will increase ridership about 40 percent. [TU]

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Big investments for research facilities, Guilderland teachers' transfers upheld, gun buyback in Troy, Tedisco getting married

An IBM plan to invest $1.6 billion toward chip fab facilities in New York State will reportedly include at least 325 new jobs at the UAlbany nanotech center. [TU]

UAlbany and Albany Med are teaming up to build a new research center in E. Greenbush focused on cancer, cardiology and neurological disorders. The two institutions hope the new center will enable them to attract more money from the National Institutes of Health. The center will be funded by a $42 million slab of pork secured by Joe Bruno. The headed-for-the-door state Senator says another $25 million in state money will go toward building a new neonatal intensive care unit at AMC. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Guilderland School Board voted yesterday to uphold the transfer of two popular teachers from the high school to a middle school. The board also released a copy of the "culture climate report" that led to the transfer, though one board member described the released report as "useless" because it had been stripped of many details. One of the two transferred teachers says she's still not sure exactly what she's been accused of doing wrong. The board president says the district will be conducting more such inquiries. [TU]

A $25,000 slice of Bruno bacon will help fund a gun buyback program in Troy. (Earlier on AOA: The Albany gun buyback program: buyer's remorse?) [Troy Record]

Prompted by cases such as that of Jermayne Timmons -- the 15-year-old accused of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas -- advocates are arguing that New York State should require that any suspect under the age of 16 have an attorney present during questioning by police. Timmons reportedly confessed to the shooting without representation. [TU]

The Knicks are looking at the possibility of moving their training camp to Skidmore. [Daily Gazette]

The new Hampton Inn on High Rock in Saratoga opened yesterday. Apparently "new hotel smell" is that of "freshly cut lumber." [Saratogian]

Jimmy Tedisco is marrying his long-time lady friend, Mary Song. [Daily Gazette]

10-year-old shot and killed, Skidmore students busted for drugs, Bruno is running again, money for hybrid buses

A 10-year-old girl was killed last night in Albany by what looks like a stray bullet. A ward leader from the neighbhorhood (the area around Bleecker Stadium) says she hears about shots being fired "every night." [TU]

Police busted a Saratoga Springs drug operation that they say included eight current or former Skidmore students. The college has a bit of a rep as stoner school -- it was 14th in the Princeton Review's "Reefer Madness" rankings and the Saratoga DA says his office had been receiving phone calls from parents concerned about drugs on campus. [Daily Gazette]

It sounds like state Republicans are preparing for a fight with David Paterson over his directive that state agencies recognize same-sex marriages from other states. [NYT]

All but official: Joe Bruno is running for re-election. When asked about it directly, though, Bruno responded with his usual charm. Brian Premo, a Democrat who's been saying he would run against Bruno, is apparently now ready to officially announce next week. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

If you had been waiting for the coveted Ron Paul endorsement before picking your guy in the 21st Congressional District (McNulty's current seat) Republican nomination, wait no longer. The Ron Paul Revolution has gotten behind Steven Vazquez. [TU]

Bethlehem police arrested a man yesterday on charges that he attempted to pay two teenage girls for the chance to smell their feet. [CBS6]

CDTA scored $2 million from the feds to put toward buying diesel-electric hybrid buses. [Business Review]

DNA testing for Menands body, cigarette tax increase, Ashcroft gets big crowd, teaching Arabic in Schenectady, a plan to stop to the phone books

Investigators say it could take two weeks for DNA testing to provide more info about the dismembered body found in Menands on Tuesday. They do know from an autopsy that it belonged to an African-American woman. [TU]

A state investigation has concluded that NYRA broke the law when it hired a firm to perform integrity reviews for $125,000 per month -- without bidding out the job. It doesn't look like there will be any consequences for the race track operator, though. [Saratogian]

It looks like that cigarette tax increase will go through. At $2.75-per-pack, New York will have the highest cigarette tax in the nation. [AP/Daily Gazette]

John Ashcroft drew a big crowd for his lecture at Skidmore. He seemed to welcome critical questions from students, "I'm in a target-rich environment. Take advantage of it." He also, seemingly by mistake, referred to Barack Obama as "Osama." And, unfortunately, he didn't serenade the crowd. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

The Schenectady school district will start offering Arabic classes next year. [TU]

Saratoga Springs' school district proposed budget has been chopped by $1 million. Among the cuts: an expanded foreign language program. [Daily Gazette]

An Albany common councilman is pushing a measure that could possibly slow the barrage of phone books. [TU] (AOA item about how to stop the phone book deliveries)

Budget process goes behind closed doors, investigating the investigations, school district budgets, extra security for Ashcroft

Surprise! The state budget process appears to have gotten stuck. Why? Well, people on the outside aren't exactly sure. One government watchdog said this year's budgetpalooza is the least transparent in 15 years. [TU]

It only sounds like an Onion headline: New York State is now investigating its investigations. [NYT] [NYT]

The Albany School District has proposed a budget that's more than 9.5 percent bigger than last year and includes an almost 2.5 percent property tax increase. Shenendohowa's proposed school district budget includes a tax hike of more than 3.5 percent. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A study funded by National Grid and a number of economic development groups reports that the state will get a big return on its potential investment in the AMD chip fab plant planned for Malta. [Daily Gazette]

A Schenectady city councilwoman wants the city to use a "grouper" law to crack down on students who go in together to rent houses in the neighborhood around Union. The city's attorney says that won't work because, for example, the Union football team house meets the law's requirements for being considered a family. [Daily Gazette]

Extra security will be in place tonight for John Ashcroft's appearance at Skidmore as officials expect some kind of protest. [Saratogian]

Of the 13,000 state employees who work in or near the ESP, only 40 take part in the carpool program that provides discounted parking spots. More than 2,000 people are on the waiting list for a spot. [TU]

Paterson applauded, Paterson admits to affair, Hannaford credit card breach, another tech park plan, raw sewage is smelly

David Paterson took the oath of office for governor to much applause. Legislators say they're looking forward to working with the new governor. [TU]

Shortly after the swearing-in, Paterson admitted to having an affair earlier this decade. He and his wife say they've dealt with it an moved on. [NYDN]

A security breach has potentially exposed more than 4 million credit cards used at Hannaford stores across the Northeast. The company says every one of its stores has had a compromised card. (Hannaford statement) [Boston Globe]

Chuck Schumer and Mike McNulty are pushing for the Watervliet Arsenal to become... wait for it... a tech park. [TU]

A Democratic challenger is lining up to take on Republican George Amedore for Paul Tonko's old state assembly seat. [Daily Gazette]

A backed up sewer led to raw sewage spilling out into a street in Mechanicville and extreme smelliness ensued. "This is not sanitary," noted one astute resident to the Record. [Troy Record]

Skidmore is moving to close its University Without Walls program. The college says the distance learning program is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. [Saratogian]

New Price Chopper HQ, makeover for Pizza Block, Saratoga mayor asks what's the big deal, Skidmore scored big in 2007

The Golub Corporation got approval to move ahead with its plan to build a new headquarters for Price Chopper across the street from Union College in Schenectady. The $22 million project includes a number of design elements aimed at making it environmentally friendly. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The infamous "Pizza Block" in Schenectady (just down the street from Proctor's) is getting knocked down in order to build a new string of store fronts. The Pizza King had been the block's only tenant -- The Metroplex authority bought the owner out for $110,000. [Daily Gazette]

An Albany cop injured on the job in 2001 was awarded $3.1 million in a civil suit against the guy who hit his police cruiser and the guy's former employer. [TU]

The mayor of Saratoga Springs questioned why his choice to post bail for a local luxury home builder accused of fraud got so much attention. Scott Johnson told the Saratogian that bailing his family's friend out was "the most decent and compassionate thing to do." [Saratogian]

It looks like the developer behind Harmony Mills condos in Cohoes will get a shot to redevelop the Victory Mills building outside Saratoga. Fun fact about the Victory Mills building: they used to make the wrappers for the old Listerine glass bottles there. [Saratogian]

Skidmore scored almost $57 million in charitable contributions last year. That's tops among colleges and universities in the Capital Region and good for 8th in the nation. The bulk of the money came from a donation by Arthur Zankel. [Business Review]

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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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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