Items tagged with 'UAlbany'

Today's moment of late summer

ualbany indian pond sunset

Indian Pond on the UAlbany uptown campus.

Robert Putnam at UAlbany School of Public Health

putnam our kids coverHarvard political scientist Robert Putnam will be at the UAlbany School of Public Health September 16 for a discussion about income inequality in the US. Event blurbage:

The University at Albany School of Public Health has initiated an "All School Read" program, which invites students, faculty, staff and community members to select and read an important book covering issues relevant for those preparing for careers in public health. The first book chosen is Putnam's Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, a groundbreaking examination of the growing inequality gap in the United States. The book details how children and grandchildren today have had harder lives amid diminishing prospects compared with earlier generations of Americans.

The forum is Wednesday, September 16 at 5 pm at the UAlbany School of Public Health campus in Rensselaer.

Putnam is probably most famous outside of academic circles for his book Bowling Alone, in which he argued that Americans were withdrawing from civic and social organizations, and becoming less engaged with their communities.

Here's a Washington Post article from earlier this year about Our Kids and what Putnam has been up to recently.

UAlbany's Lyle Thompson wins college lacrosse's top trophy. Again.

ualbany lyle thompson Tewaaraton trophy 2015

UAlbany lacrosse star Lyle Thompson won the Tewaaraton Trophy Thursday night for the second year in a row. (The trophy is like the Heisman for college lacrosse.) He's the first men's player ever back-to-back winner of the award.

Thompson was the co-winner of the award last year with his brother, Miles. They were the first co-winners of the award. And they were the first Native Americans to win the trophy -- which is especially signifiant because lacrosse originated as a sport played by Native Americans. (Tewaaraton is the Mohawk name for lacrosse.) The Thompsons are from the Onondaga Nation just south of Syracuse.

Lyle Thompson finished his UAlbany career as one of the sport's all-time greats. He holds the career record for career points with 400 -- almost 50 more than person in the #2 spot. (He's #8 in points per game all time.) He's the all-time assists leader with 225 (#9 all time in assists per game). And he holds the top two spots on the all-time list for points in a season (and the #5 spot).

Thompson has already started a pro lacrosse career, and he's signed an endorsement deal with Nike.

photo: UAlbany Athletics

357 points

ualbany lacrosse lyle thompson sets points record

UAlbany lacrosse star Lyle Thompson now holds the NCAA Division 1 career record for most points after two goals and an assist Tuesday night in a 10-8 Great Danes win at Bryant.

Thompson has racked up 357 points in his college career on 155 goals and 202 assists -- 5.7 points per game. That rate is bonkers. It's good for 6th all time -- and Thompson is the only one in the top 20 on the list to play during the last 15 years. Thompson also holds the record for most points in a season, which he set last year. (His 2013 season ranks 4th all time.) He's averaging 6.5 points per game this season, best in Division.

Thompson and his brother Miles were the first co-winners of the Tewaaraton Trophy last year (the trophy is like the Heisman for college lacrosse). They were also the first Native Americans to the win the trophy, which is especially significant because the game was invented by Native Americans. The Thompsons grew up on the Onondaga nation just south of Syracuse.

The UAlbany men's lacrosse team is ranked #8 this season. The Great Danes are the highest-scoring team in the nation at 17 goals per game -- the next closest team (Syracuse) is averaging 15.45 goals per game.

UAlbany takes on #7 Yale this Saturday at 7 pm at Bob Ford Field. Tickets are $7.

screengrab from UAlbany Athletics

Bill Nye the Science Guy at UAlbany

bill nye science guy 2015

Bill Nye -- you know, "The Science Guy" -- will be at UAlbany's SEFCU Arena March 25 as part of the World Within Reach Speaker Series. It's free and open to public (ticketing details below).

Nye is, of course, famous for his kids science show Bill Nye the Science Guy. (Before that he had been a mechanical engineer at Boeing.) Since the show finished in the late 1990s he's continued to be a pop culture figure and frequent commentator on issues such as climate change and vaccines. Also: He's been trying to crush Ed Begley, Jr.

Tickets to the UAlbany event for the general public will be available March 13, 23, and 24 in the Campus Center West Lounge from 11 am until 4 pm (four ticket max), and then on March 25 from 11 am to 2 pm in the same place. Any remaining tickets on March 25 will be distributed in the Physical Education (PE) building lobby across from the SEFCU Arena starting at 3 pm.

There will also be a limited number of free copies of Nye's book, Undeniable, distributed at the arena.

photo via Bill Nye the Science Guy FB

UAlbany's Thompson brothers win college lacrosse's top trophy

thompson brothers tewaaraton award

This is great: Miles and Lyle Thompson -- brothers on UAlbany's men's lacrosse team -- won the Tewaaraton Trophy last night (the trophy is like the Heisman for college lacrosse). The Thompsons are both the first co-winners of the award, and the first Native Americans to win the award. [UAlbany sports] [Lacrosse Magazine] [Syracuse Post-Standard]

Said Lyle in a tweet: "Words can't explain how happy I am to not only get this award but to share it with my brother."

The Thompsons had a tremendous season for the Great Danes, who had the nation's highest-scoring offense. The brothers both broke the NCAA record for points in a season. And Miles led the nation in goals per game. (Their cousin, Ty Thompson, also quite a season for the Great Danes.)

Lacrosse was invented by Native Americans, and the sport still has an important place in many Native American communities, especially here in New York. That the Thompsons -- from the Onondaga Nation near Syracuse -- are the first Native Americans to win the Tewaaraton Trophy makes their accomplishment even more significant. (Tewaaraton is the Mohawk name for lacrosse.)

UAlbany finished the season 12-6, exiting the NCAA tournament in the quarterfinals in an overtime loss to eventual national runner-up Notre Dame.

Earlier and elsewhere:
+ Trick shot and a goal
+ NYT: In a Native American Sport, a Family's Giant Leap
+ NPR: In College Lacrosse, Two Brothers Flirt With Making History

photo: Tewaaraton Award

Trick shot and a goal

This is crazy: UAlbany lacrosse player Ty Thompson scored a goal Tuesday against Siena with a sweeping, behind-the-back, ankle-level shot. There's video of the goal embedded above. It's one of those things that will make you think, "What?!" -- even if you don't know anything about lacrosse.

The video shows the goal from two angles. The first angle gives a sense of how quick it happened. Thompson's casually drifting away from the net about 8 yards out -- and then whoosh, score. The second angle is a better look at the shot.

UAlbany beat Siena 19-11. Ty Thompson had three goals for the Great Danes. His cousins -- brothers Miles and Lyle Thompson -- each had six goals. (Yep, the Thompson family scored 15 goals in the game. See the NYT profile of them from earlier this year.)

The Great Danes are 8-5 on the season. They lead the nation in goals per game at 15.33. (They're also giving up more than 11.5 goals per game, which is not so good.) And Miles Thompson leads the nation in goals per game at 4.25.

UAlbany hoops team exits NCAA tournament after a good effort

ualbany florida ncaa screengrab

The #16 seed UAlbany men's basketball team lost to #1 seed Florida 67-55 in the NCAA tournament's round of 64 Thursday afternoon.

The Great Danes put up a good fight. The two teams traded the lead back and forth through the first half before the Gators took a six point lead into the locker room at halftime. Florida didn't relinquish the lead the rest of the game. (The the score was tied for a bit around the 14 minute mark of the second half.) UAlbany played hard -- it was just up against too much size and strength.

DJ Evans had another stand-out game for the Great Danes. The 5-9 (maybe) guard took a beating going up against the much bigger Gators. But he finished as the game's leading scorer, with 21 points (on 6-12 shooting) with 6 rebounds.

An Albany win would have been a titanic upset. A 16 seed has never beaten a 1 seed. And Florida hadn't lost since December. These match-ups are usually blow outs. UAlbany's 12-point loss was an atypically small margin for a #1 vs. #16 game.

The Great Danes finish the season 19-15, including its "first four" win this week -- the program's first-ever NCAA tournament win.

screengrab: TBS/NCAA March Madness Live

UAlbany headed to the NCAA basketball tournament

ualbany mtstmarys logos

Mount St. Mary's refers to itself as "The Mount."

The UAlbany men's basketball team is headed to the NCAA tournament this week after beating Stony Brook 69-60 in the America East championship Saturday at Stony Brook.

UAlbany is a facing quite a challenge. The Great Danes have been seeded 16th in the south bracket -- well, actually, they're the co-16th seed. UAlbany plays Mount St. Mary's -- winner of the Northeast Conference, from Maryland -- Tuesday in one of the "First Four" play-in games in Dayton. If the Great Danes win, they'll then play #1 seed Florida -- the tournament's top overall seed -- on Thursday in Orlando. (Yeah, the fact that you can win your conference tournament and still have to play one one of these play-in games -- as opposed to directly getting the opportunity to be demolished by a #1 seed in the regular field of 64 -- is lame, but such is modern college sports.)

The UAlbany/Mount St. Mary's game is Tuesday at 6:40 pm on TruTV. The potential game against Florida is Thursday at 4:10 pm.

It's the second year in a row the Great Danes are going to the tournament. They lost in the first round last year as a #15 seed in a hard-fought game against Duke.

Syracuse: The ongoing implosion of the Syracuse men's basketball season continues when the #3 seed Orange take on #14 seed Western Michigan Thursday at 2:45 pm on CBS.

UAlbany women: The UAlbany women's basketball team -- which won the America East for the third straight year -- will find out its seeding and tournament matchup when brackets are announced Monday evening.

A few more bits about the proposed BusPlus Washington-Western line

proposed cdta busplus busway harriman campus

On Wednesday CDTA announced that its board had voted to take another step toward the proposed expansion of the BusPlus bus rapid transit system to the Western-Washington corridor -- AKA, The Purple Line. This bit from the announcement caught our eye (emphasis added):

The [official designation of the preference for this plan] includes construction of a dedicated busway through the Harriman Office Campus and the University at Albany, a transit center at Crossgates Mall, and high-volume stop locations.

The "dedicated busway" was news to us -- and we were curious about what it meant. CDTA's Jonathan Scherzer explained:

We are working with both the University and [state Office of General Services] on the inclusion of a dedicated roadway that would be used exclusively for transit, maintenance and shuttle vehicles. The current design would face the soon to be completed Campus Center on the UAlbany campus while also providing good proximity to the new football stadium to ease traffic.

That rendering above projects what the lane might look like on the office campus (it appears to be the Western Ave side of the campus, near the campus access road).

As we've said before, bus rapid transit is probably the closest this region will come to any sort of light rail-type system in the not-way-distant future. Building this sort of infrastructure -- the busway, the transit center -- looks like a good step toward making BusPlus a real system, something more than just an express bus, which could be key to its longterm success. Because there's a line of thought that making BRT more than "just the bus" is key to it gaining a broader crowd of users.

See also: CDTA chief renews call for downtown Albany transit hub [Biz Review]

After the jump: A bonus rendering of the proposed transit center at Crossgates, and a pdf info sheet about the proposed Purple Line.

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Top Obama campaign advisers to speak at UAlbany

axelrod plouffe favreau

Left to right: Axelrod, Plouffe, Favreau.

Update: Here's the link for registration.

The World Within Reach speakers series has lined up an appearance by three of top advisers on Barack Obama's two presidential campaigns: David Axelrod, David Plouffe, and John Favreau. The trio will be talking and taking questions as part of a "Inside the Obama Campaign" program September 28 at the SEFCU Arena.

This should be a pretty big event for political nerds. Axelrod was key adviser to Obama as he moved from Illinois state Senate, to the US Senate, to the White House. Plouffe was the campaign manager for the 2008 Obama presidential campaigns and then served as senior advisor to the White House. Favreau was Obama's chief speech writer for the first presidential campaign and served in the same role at the White House.

The event at UAlbany starts at 8 pm on September 28. It will be open to the public, but a ticket will be required. Details on how to get a ticket are still to come -- the UAlbany Student Association, the event's organizer, says the info will be posted on its website and Facebook page.

This is the seventh event for World Within Reach speakers series. It's put together a string of high-profile speakers, including Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Howard Dean and Karl Rove (together), and Russell Simmons.

photos via Washington Speakers Bureau

44 seasons

ualbany football coach bob fordUAlbany football coach Bob Ford announced today that he'll be retiring at the end of this season -- his 44th at the school.

Ford's had a remarkable career:

+ Ford was appointed head coach in 1970 -- when there wasn't even a team, yet. Since then the team has moved from a club team, to Division III, to Division II, and now the Division I FCS level.

+ He's the only head football coach UAlbany has ever had in its modern era.

+ Ford is the longest-tenured current coach in college football.

+ At almost 76 years old, he'll end his career has the oldest active coach in Division I. At one point, when he was coaching at St. Lawrence, he was the youngest (26 years old).

+ This fall the Great Danes will play in a new 8,500 seat stadium called, what else, Bob Ford Field.

In a time when keeping the same job for four years can seem like a long time, it's kind of amazing to hear that someone has managed to log more than four decades at the same job -- even more so when that person leaves seemingly being held in high esteem by a bunch of people.

Worth a look: This Ford Q&A with the Biz Review's Adam Sichko from last year. Ford talks about his childhood (moved around a lot, lived in a chicken coop at one point), how he got fired from his first head coaching job, and why he's always wearing a hat.

photo: UAlbany Athletics

Prestigious international award for Lydia Davis, author and UAlbany professor

lydia davis author photoThis is great: Lydia Davis -- a professor and writer-in-residence at UAlbany -- has won the Man Booker International Prize, which is awarded every two years based on the body of a writer's work.

Davis is known for her short stories -- some of them as short as just a sentence or two. Said Christopher Ricks, the chair of the judging panel for this year's prize of Davis' stories, in a press release: "Just how to categorise them? They have been called stories but could equally be miniatures, anecdotes, essays, jokes, parables, fables, texts, aphorisms or even apophthegms, prayers or simply observations ... There is vigilance to her stories, and great imaginative attention. Vigilance as how to realise things down to the very word or syllable; vigilance as to everybody's impure motives and illusions of feeling."

Here's an example of one of Davis' ultra short works, called A Double Negative:

At a certain point in her life, she realizes it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.

As she told the Guardian a few years back: "When I first began writing seriously, I wrote short stories, and that was where I thought I was headed. Then the stories evolved and changed, but it would have become a bother to say every time, 'I guess what I have just written is a prose poem, or a meditation', and I would have felt very constrained by trying to label each individual work, so it was simply easier to call everything stories."

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UAlbany presidents residence for sale

UAlbany President's Residence

The exterior this past January.

Now on the market: 5 Englewood Place in Albany -- also known as the UAlbany presidents residence. List price for the mansion on the edge of Washington Park: $625,000.

From the listing:

Absolutely stunning home. Original details abound: working pocket doors, moldings, hand hewn beams and the list goes on. Beautiful gourmet kitchen with 6 burner Viking range, KitchenAid double wall oven, a huge Bosch refrigerator, and granite galore. Nicely appointed and updated bathrooms. The outdoor space is just as impressive with in-ground pool, huge 1.55 acre yard and mature gardens. This home is in excellent condition and is a must see.

There are a bunch of photos at the listing page, many of which highlight some beautiful details (the stairway is pretty great). The house is 6,000 square feet, with 9 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, according to the listing. The agent is TL Metzger's Sam Critton.

The house has been the UAlbany presidents residence since 1998, when it was bought by the University at Albany Foundation for $650k. The university news item at the time notes the home was designed by Robert W. Gibson, the architect who designed the Cathedral of All Saints near the Capitol.

Current UAlbany president Robert Jones doesn't live in the house -- he and wife are living in a condo at 17 Chapel in downtown Albany (immediate past president George Philip did live there). Back in January Karl Luntta -- UAlbany's director of media relations -- told us Jones and his wife decided to live downtown just because of "personal preference." And the University at Albany Foundation was "determining how [the property] can serve the university and exploring all options for the property." (We have a request in asking what prompted the sale.)

Also for sale in the neighborhood: The nearby "castle" at 10 Thurlow Terrace (map). List price: $1.15 million.

(Thanks, Sarah)

UAlbany falls to Duke in NCAA tournament

ualbany duke screengrab cbs

It was a good season.

Duke was supposed to be too much for UAlbany in the NCAA tournament. And despite a good fight from the Great Danes, that's the way it turned out. The #2 seed Blue Devils just had a little too much of everything for the #15 seed Great Danes -- too much shooting, too much height, too much pressure. UAlbany lost 73-61.

The Great Danes didn't play badly. At all. In fact, they hung around for much of the game -- they were down 9 with 4.5 minutes to go -- thanks in large part to good shooting from three-point range, where they were 9-15. But they were only able to shoot 36.5 percent overall from the field. Almost half of all UAlbany's made field goals were from three.

UAlbany also had no answer for Duke guard Seth Curry (26 points, 10-14 from the field) and super athletic big guy Mason Plumlee (23 points, including two long range hook shots). The Blue Devils shot 59 percent from the field.

Jacob Iati led UAlbany with 15 points. Peter Hooley had 13, Mike Black and Sam Rowley both had 10.

UAlbany finishes its season 24-11.

box score | game video replay

screengrab: CBS

What are UAlbany's chances against Duke?

ualbany and duke sports logos

Devils and dogs.

Later: UAlbany lost 73-61.

The NCAA basketball tournament tips off today. UAlbany doesn't play until Friday, when it faces Duke at 12:15 pm in Philadelphia. (The game will be on CBS.)

UAlbany is a #15 seed, Duke a #2 seed. So, just looking at the bracket, the Great Danes appear to be facing a tall challenge.

So, what are their chances? Let's break it down -- via stats, experts, money, even "coolness"...

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UAlbany's basketball teams headed for the NCAA tournament

Thumbnail image for ualbany sports logoThe UAlbany men's and women's basketball team both won their conference tournament this past weekend -- so they're both headed to the NCAA tournament.

UAlbany men
After winning the America East tournament 53-49 over Vermont, UAlbany got a #15 seed in the Midwest bracket -- and is matched up with #2 seed Duke. The Great Danes and Blue Devils will play this Friday at 12:15 in Philadelphia. The game will be on CBS.

This is UAlbany's first trip to the tournament since 2007.

Obviously, a UAlbany win would be a big upset. Duke has been one of the top teams all season. That said Duke lost last year in the first round as a #2 seed to #15 seed Lehigh.

UAlbany women
The UAlbany women continued their domination of the America East over the weekend, winning the conference tournament 61-52 over Hartford. The Great Danes were also undefeated through the conference regular season.

The brackets for the women's tournament will be announced tonight (Monday) at 7 pm. This will be the UAlbany women's team second straight trip to to the tournament.

The Syracuse men's basketball team got a #4 seed in the East bracket, and the Orange will face #13 seed Montana in San Jose, California. The game is Thursday at about 10 pm on truTV (TWC channel 71).

One more win and they're in

ualbany sports logoThe UAlbany basketball teams -- both men's and women's -- are one win away from the NCAA tournament. And they're both playing Saturday.

The UAlbany men take on Vermont in Burlington Saturday for the America East tournament title at 11:30 am (yep, the morning). The game is on ESPN2.

The last time the two teams met -- in January at the SEFCU Arena -- the Great Danes lost 50-43. Yes, they both play very slow: UAlbany is 279th nationally in adjusted tempo and Vermont is 309th.

A win would send UAlbany to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007.

Update: UAlbany beat Vermont 53-49 -- the Great Danes are headed to the NCAA tournament.

The UAlbany women face Hartford at SEFCU Arena Saturday at 7 pm.

The Great Danes have dominated their conference this year -- they were 16-0 in conference play this season. And their average scoring margin this season is +18.9.

A win would send the team to its second straight NCAA tournament appearance.

Update: UAlbany beat Hartford 61-52 -- the Great Danes are headed back to the NCAA tournament.

AP: NanoCollege could be spun off

susnset albany nanotech 2011-11Interesting report about the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering from the AP's Michael Gormley:

The State University at New York may soon create its 65th campus, spinning its fast-growing College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering away from the University at Albany under a plan that give more control to the governor. ...
The proposal calls for a two-phase approach to create a "freestanding SUNY 'specialized' college" with its own budget that would award doctoral degrees. It would be based on the model of the SUNY College of Forestry in Syracuse.

This wouldn't be all that surprising. The college's empire keeps growing -- it's piled up $14 billion in investment so far. It's finishing off construction of a $356 million building, with another planned. And in a lot of ways the college has seemed to be more like an economic development organization than a traditional college, with its many public-private partnerships for industries such as chip fabrication.

Also: as noted last month, the CNSE has started referring to itself as the SUNY NanoCollege (instead of UAlbany NanoCollege) -- see recent press release.

In other news: Your job is being folded under the management of Alain Kaloyeros.

By the way: A CNSE fact sheet reports the college's total enrollment for the spring 2013 semester is 261. And there "more than 3,100" employees on site.

PostSecret Live at UAlbany

postsecret frank warren

Frank Warren.

Mentioned in this the week ahead, but we figured it's worth highlighting: Frank Warren -- the creator of PostSecret -- will be at UAlbany Tuesday. From the blurbage:

"PostSecret Live" is a multi-media presentation by Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret. See the postcards that were banned from the books. Hear the inspiring and funny stories behind the secrets. Listen to Frank's emotional secret or share your own at the microphone.

The a book signing will follow the talk, which is part of sexuality month at UAlbany.

PostSecret is, of course, the popular online project that collects secrets people send in on postcards. A traveling exhibit from the project was at UAlbany in 2011. Here's a TED talk by Warren from last year.

The event starts at 8 pm in the campus center ballroom on the uptown campus. It's free and open to the public. But there are no tickets, and it's first arrive, first seat -- so if you're interested in going, you should show up early. For what it's worth, more than 500 people have already indicated on the Facebook that they're going.

photo: Kris Krüg / Pop!Tech Flickr (cc)

5 Englewood Place

UAlbany President's Residence

Interesting bit plucked from a recent Biz Review interview with Robert Jones: the new UAlbany president and his wife have chosen to live in downtown Albany, at the 17 Chapel condo conversion.

That got us curious about the UAlbany presidents residence at 5 Englewood Place in Albany, near Washington Park. The university's foundation bought the house in 1998. And immediate past president George Philip had lived in the home.

So, what's the plan for 5 Englewood? Karl Luntta, UAlbany's director of media relations, tells us the University at Albany Foundation is currently "determining how it can serve the university and exploring all options for the property." No decision has been made, yet. The residence is almost 6,000 square feet, and includes 7 bedrooms and 3.5 baths, according to its listings on Trulia and Zillow.

And why did Dr. Jones and his wife choose to live downtown? Just "personal preference," according to Luntta. (Jones cited 17 Chapel's proximity to the Palace and Capital Rep in the Biz Review interview.)

The new president's compensation package with the school includes a $60,000 housing allowance.

Earlier on AOA: A survey of living options in downtown Albany

The UAlbany School of Business advertises on AOA.

Giants training camp not coming back to UAlbany next season

Little Giants taking in practice last year at UAlbany.

The Giants announced Friday that they will hold their training camp at their practice facility at the Meadowlands (in New Jersey!) next season -- not at UAlbany. From the announcement:

"The University at Albany and the Capital Region have been great hosts for us during our training camps," Giants President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara and Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch said in a joint statement. "UAlbany truly has been the summer home of the Giants. We are grateful to Mayor Jennings and to [UAlbany athletic director] Dr. [Lee] McElroy and his staff in the athletic department for making us feel welcome and providing the resources we needed to prepare for the season. We are fortunate to have a facility in the Timex Performance Center that allows us to hold training camp here. We have told Mayor Jennings and Dr. McElroy that we will evaluate our training camp situation on an ongoing basis and certainly would not rule out a return to Albany in the future if it makes sense for both parties."

The Giants have trained at UAlbany for 16 of the last 17 seasons. The exception was 2011, which had an usual startup because of a lockout.

Traditionally NFL teams went away for training camp, but in recent years the trend has been to hold the pre-season practices at the team's regular practice facility -- 19 of the league's 32 teams did so last season. The Giants' practice facility at the Meadowlands opened in 2010 and it appears to be rather swank. There's been talk about the team moving training camp there since the facility opened.

It's too bad the Giants won't be coming back. It was fun for football fans, getting the chance to stop into practice and see the players up close.

A little bit of UAlbany for Pawnee

parks and rec ualbany fountain

Does Leslie like the idea? Knope.

Check it out: it looks like a rendering for the UAlbany fountain reconstruction popped up on the most recent episode of Parks and Recreation. (The UAlbany rendering is after the jump.)

The drawing appears as a proposed design for a new park in Pawnee. Understated hijinks ensue.

We're curious about how the show ended up with the rendering. Maybe they did a search for the most epic fountain, ever.

[via Knick Ledger]

(Thanks, Alison!)

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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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Russell Simmons at UAlbany

Russell SimmonsAs you might have heard, entrepreneur Russell Simmons will be at UAlbany October 13 as part of the university's World Within Reach speaker series at UAlbany.

Tickets for the talk are available to UAlbany students, faculty, staff, and alumni -- they're free require pre-registration. If you don't fit into one of those categories, but would still like to go, the university says you're welcome if you can get someone from the university's community to claim a spot for you while registering.

Simmons is the co-founder of Def Jam records, among many other businesses. He's also a political activist -- recently working with Dennis Kucinich on campaign finance reform efforts.

photo: David Shankbone via Wikipedia (cc)

Capital Region college president compensation

UAlbany entrance fountain

UAlbany's uptown campus.

When it was announced last week that Robert Jones will become the next UAlbany president, there were a few eyebrows raised about his compensation -- he'll receive a total of $555,000. That includes salary, money from the Research Foundation, and a housing allowance.

That's a lot, no matter what job you're doing. And given that the SUNY system has faced budget cuts recently, it's understandable that the figure would catch attention.

But is it too high? That's a hard question. And people are going to have different answers based on their own perspectives.

To get some context, we pulled data about presidential compensation at UAlbany, RPI, Union, Skidmore, St. Rose, Siena, and the Sage Colleges -- and broke it down to see how it compares across multiple categories.

Here's the result...

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New UAlbany president

robert jones ualbanyUAlbany announced today that the SUNY Board has appointed Robert J. Jones as the university's next president. He's currently a VP in the University of Minnesota system. He'll start at the beginning of 2013.

Jones' background is as a scientist. From the UAlbany press release online:

A native of Dawson, Georgia, Dr. Jones has more than three decades of higher education leadership experience as well as academic expertise spanning plant physiology and urban and international development. He earned a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Fort Valley State College, a Master of Science degree in crop physiology from the University of Georgia, and a doctorate in crop physiology from the University of Missouri, Columbia. After earning the Ph.D., he joined the University of Minnesota faculty as a professor of agronomy and plant genetics. He is an internationally recognized authority on plant physiology and has published numerous scientific papers, manuscripts and abstracts. His research focuses on the role of cytokinins in stabilizing grain yields of maize against environmental stresses and global climate change. Over his career, he has trained many students who have gone on to leading careers in higher education and research.

Jones will be paid $385,000 plus "a supplement of $110,000" from the SUNY Research Foundation, along with a $60,000 housing allowance. George Philip, UAlbany's current president, got $281,230 in 2011, according to SeeThroughNY. (Philip also has a large pension from his time as head of the New York State Teachers' Retirement System.)

As Nick points out, Jones is a bit of a surprise pick (publicly, at least) -- his name wasn't on the list of finalists leaked to the Times Union in July.

George Philip has served as UAlbany president since 2007, first as interim president, then in a permanent role starting in 2009. The school announced last November that Philip was retiring.

photo via UAlbany

Hey, that's Eli...

people watching the Giants practice at UAlbany

Little Giants.

We had a few minutes between appointments today so we stopped by to watch the Giants on their last day of pre-season camp at UAlbany. It is pretty cool to be able to just walk up to the field and watch an NFL team practice. Those are large, strong, and fast gentlemen.

It'd be too bad if things don't work out for the team to come back. It's fun to have them here. The few thousand people there today seemed to be having a good time.

A handful of photos post jump.

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The Giants are back at UAlbany

eli manning giants camp ualbany 2012

Two Super Bowl wins and Eli's still carrying his own bags. Do you think Peyton carries his own bags? Psh. No respect.

The New York Giants are back at UAlbany for this year's training camp. Players were scheduled to report today (Thursday), but they've been showing up for the last few days. The camp runs through August 14.

The practices are open to the public. Here's the schedule. (Autograph day is this Saturday.)

If you're a football fan, it's worth a stop. It's one thing to watch the NFL on TV, it's another to see these guys in real life. It's hard to appreciate how big and fast they when watching them on a screen. Up close you really get a sense of the freakish combination of size and athleticism.

Lombardi Trophy: The Giants are, of course, the defending Super Bowl champs. And they brought the Lombardi Trophy with them to prove it. The trophy will be on display at Albany City Hall rotunda August 2 (a Thursday) from 8:30-11:30 am.

photo: New York Giants

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.

The new Tulip Queen

The 2012 Tulip Queen is Emily Finnegan, a UAlbany junior from Colonie studying political science, globalization studies, and Spanish. She's done volunteer work in India and Guatemala. And she's on the UAlbany track and cross country teams.

Here are all the finalists -- it sounds like any of them would have been worthy picks.

Mother of the Year This year's Mother of the Year is Helen Hagen. Paul Grondahl wrote a story in the TU this past weekend about Hagen and two of her friends -- among them, they have 22 children -- adopted, foster and biological.

Photos Here's a big Tulip Festival photoset by Michael Panzarino of M.A.P. Graphics. He caught some good reactions when Emily Finnegan's name was announced as the Tulip Queen.

photo: Michael Panzarino of M.A.P. Graphics

Reconfiguration of Washington and Fuller starts

washington fuller rendering overhead closeup

A rendering of the what the reconfigured intersection will look like.

The state Department of Transportation announced today that the realignment of the Washington Ave Ext/Fuller Road intersection has started. (You might have noticed the recent tree clearing around the site.) From the press release:

NYSDOT will realign Washington Ave. Ext. to the north and install a two-lane roundabout at the Fuller Road/County Road 156 intersection. A flyover bridge will be built to carry through-traffic, thereby removing 20,000 cars daily from the intersection and providing improved access to CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex, which is currently engaged in a $366 million expansion project. Nearly 30,000 vehicles travel through the intersection each day.
Pedestrian and bicycle access will be improved with new sidewalks and a new, 10-foot bicycle lane that will connect to existing bike trails. Reduced congestion will enhance transit schedules; new bus bays on Washington Ave. Ext. will provide safer stopping areas for riders.
Most of the work can be done without impacting traffic. More than 3.5 miles of Washington Ave and Washington Ave. Ext. will be reconstructed, together with a half mile stretch of Fuller Rd.

NYSDOT says it's an $18 million project, funded by the Fuller Road Management Corporation -- a not-for-profit org created to manage the nanotechnology facilities at UAlbany's CNSE -- Albany County, and the state. It says FRMC is picking up 45 percent of the cost.

The project is expected to be "substantially completed" this fall -- with minor work on Fuller Road next summer. The re-alignment will open up more space for Albany NanoTech. (The area under the bridge that currently spans Wash Ave Ext will become a parking lot.)

Large-format renderings are after the jump.

So, what's this intersection called? We were hoping that a flyover bridge over a roundabout had a special name or transpo planner slang -- you know, like SPUI. So we checked with NYSOT spokeswoman Carol Breen -- and, alas, it does not. Of course, that's an opportunity to coin one. Florcle? FlyAbout? Roflyover?

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Watch for winged pedestrians

winged pedestrian sign ualbany

In a bit of a follow up to the the deer cowboy crossing sign from earlier this week, Kerosena sent along this pic of a winged pedestrian crossing sign at UAlbany. (Or is it a hiking angel?)

(Thanks, Kerosena!)

A look at the UAlbany stadium project

ualbany stadium project design cropped

This week UAlbany announced that it's moving ahead with its stadium and sports facilities project, and revealed a few designs. The project includes:

+ A football and soccer facility that will have 4,000 permanent seats, with another 2,000 berm seats and 2,000 temporary bleacher seats. The school says its Division 1-AA football team is currently playing on the same field it used as a club team in 1970. UAlbany moved up to Division 1 in 1999. (Completion expected fall 2013.)

+ Upgrades for the university's track and field facilities. The school says it can't currently host an NCAA event because its facilities aren't compliant. (Completion expect winter 2013.)

+ And a new multi-use synthetic turf field for recreational and intramural use. (Completion expected this fall.)

The entire project is expected to cost $24 million -- of which the school says $18 million will come state appropriations, and $6 million from fundraising. That's downsized quite a bit from the original plan, which included a 25,000 seat stadium and would have cost about $60 million. [Biz Review]

photo via UAlbany Facebook

WCDB 34th Anniversary Music Festival

wcdb_anniversary_festival_2012.jpgWCDB -- the UAlbany student radio station -- is celebrating its 34th anniversary with a two-day concert at Valentine's March 2 and 3. It has a quality lineup slated:

March 2
Barons in the Attic
Avi Buffalo
The Parlor
Hanslick Rebellion
Around the World and Back
Slaughterhouse Chorus
if Madrid

March 3
Titus Andronicus
The Neighborhoods
Brian Dewan
Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned
Matthew Carefully
Ramblin Jug Stompers
Secret Release

Tickets are $25 for a two-day pass -- $10 for Friday only, $17 for Saturday only.

photo: WCDB

One fountain... will choose to be extraordinary

Update: Here's a UAlbany press release about the new fountain design. The firm behind it includes the son of Edward Durrell Stone, the campus' original architect.

Also: that video above will be taken offline on December 12. Another version, which will stay online, is now embedded after the jump.

Check out this awesomely overdramatic video of the proposed concept for the renovation of the main fountain on UAlbany's uptown campus. The music! The heroic sweep!

The only thing missing from the video is movie trailer voice over guy:

"In a world... where fountains only spray water... one fountain had the courage... to light up and spray water..."

[via @patrickdodson]

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UAlbany researchers working on video games to change the way people think

ualbany professor Tomek StrzalkowskiInteresting: a UAlbany research team has gotten a grant to develop a computer game that aims to train people how to recognize their own cognitive biases. From the UAlbany blurbage:

In partnership with the local game company 1st Playable Productions, the CYCLES project will develop a computer game that will teach players how to recognize six common cognitive decision-making biases: confirmation bias, fundamental attribution bias, bias blind spot, representativeness bias, anchoring bias and projection bias. The goal is to reduce players' dependency on bias in real decision-making situations by as much as 65 percent. "The problem is one that psychologists have been working on for a very long time with limited success," said [psychology researcher Laurie] Feldman.

The interdisciplinary team is headed up by Tomek Strzalkowski from UAlbany's College of Computing (that's him on the right, not impressive-looking whiteboard diagrams) and Information and Jennifer Stromer-Galley from UAlbany's Department of Communication.

The $8.7-million project is funded by US Air Force. And arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is involved -- that arm, called IARPA explained earlier this year, why it's looking to these sorts of games:

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George Philip stepping down as UAlbany president

george philipUAlbany announced Friday afternoon that president George Philip is retiring. He had been in the job since November 2007, first as interim president, then in June 2009 in a permanent role.

UAlbany says Philip will continue in the role until a new president is named.

In school's press release, SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher called Philip "one of the University at Albany's all-time champions." And it notes that the university's endowment increased 26 percent during his tenure, the school exceeded $450 million in research expenditures last year, it added new student housing, broke ground on a new business school building, and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering grew significantly.

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The NanoBridge over Washington Ave Ext

albany nanotech bridge washington ave ext

We'd say the bridge changes the character of that stretch, but it didn't have a lot of character to begin with.

Washington Ave Extension was closed this past weekend for the construction of a bridge connecting Albany NanoTech to its new building, the "NanoFab Xtension," across the road. For the infrastructure enthusiast, a few more large format photos are after the jump.

The Washington Ave Ext/Fuller Road re-alignment project will move Washington to the north so that it routes around UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering campus. The bridge will then span a parking lot for the college.

Seeing the bridge spanning the two buildings made us think back to a joke NanoEmperor Alain Kaloyeros made a few years back in Businessweek about expanding the campus so that he could walk to the Starbucks at Stuyvesant Plaza without going outside. What's a few more bridges...

Earlier on AOA: NANOvember

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ualbany cnse aerialNot content to only colonize the western reaches of Albany, the Nano Empire has also staked a claim to the month of November -- er, NANOvember.

The month-long series of events includes talks, tours, and demos at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. A few of the events:

November 5: CNSE Community Day
Tours of the facilities and hands-on demos for kids. Also: information about the "NanoFab Xtension," the new building going up along Washington Ave Ext.

November 14: CNSE Community Lecture Series featuring Dr. Alain Kaloyeros
The Nano Emperor himself on "the emergence of nanotechnology, its growing impact on all facets of society, and the growing global leadership of CNSE and New York State in the science that is 'leading to the next Industrial Revolution.'"

November 21: CNSE Community Lecture Series featuring Dr. Laura Schultz
"Dr. Laura Schultz, CNSE Assistant Professor of Nanoeconomics, along with Dr. David Hochfelder, UAlbany Assistant Professor of History, will discuss the rapid development of the region's nanotechnology economy. Their presentation will also touch on the initiative's role in building on the Capital Region's strong history of innovation leadership, as well as expectations for how nanotechnology will help shape the region's economy over the next decade."

And there are more. Some of the events have pre-registration, so if you're interested in going it's probably worth signing up ahead of time.

Earlier on AOA: Section of Washington Ave Ext to close Nov 5-6 (for Nano Bridge construction)

photo: University at Albany CNSE

UAlbany study: 92% of top 10 songs mention sex

gallup hobbs songs sex references

"Distribution of reproductive themes for 2009 songs as a function of song type" (edited). To quote noted reproductive phrase messenger 50 Cent: I got the (genitalia reference)/ I know if I can (sexual prowess reference)/ I hit the (sex appeal reference)/ Shorty don't believe me, then (short term mating strategy reference).

UAlbany professor Gordon Gallup must have the sexiest lab on campus, what with all the research on interpersonal attraction, semen chemistry, voice attractiveness, kissing, and other topics that stick out.

In a paper published last month in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, Gallup and Dawn Hobbs (one of his students, now a UAlbany graduate) report that 92 percent of the songs that charted in the Billboard top 10 during 2009 "contained one or more reproductive messages" -- with an average of "10.49 reproductive phrases" per song.

A content analysis of songs looked for mentions of "courtship, sex, pair-bonding, parenting, fidelity, mate guarding, and provisioning ... along with themes related to long-term as well as short-term mating strategies." (Hey, baby. come over here and let me present my short-term mating strategy. Just for tonight.) "A content analysis of these messages revealed 18 reproductive themes that read like topics taken from an outline for a course in evolutionary psychology."

Are there examples? Oh, there are examples. From the paper's table of "lyric exemplars" (edited):

(You know, we would have thought "disco stick" would have fit in the first category. That's why they're the experts.)

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$4.4 billion for chip fab research in the state, and more jobs at Albany NanoTech

albany nanotech construction 2011-09-27

The construction at the Albany NanoTech expansion today.

Andrew Cuomo announced today that a consortium of tech companies will be investing $4.4 billion in chip fab research facilities around the state. The Cuomo admin says the research effort will create and/or retain 6,900 jobs -- 800 of them at UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) complex.

You'll recognize many of the names of the corporations involved: Intel, IBM, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, TSMC and Samsung. Said Cuomo this morning at the NY Open for Business conference at the ESP: "These companies could have gone anywhere on the globe ... they're investing right here in New York."

In addition to Albany NanoTech, there will also be investment at IBM in Fishkill, SUNYIT in Utica, and CNSE's facility in Canandaigua.

The state is putting $400 million toward this effort, which the Cuomo admin says will go directly to CNSE at UAlbany -- and all the tools and equipment will belong to the college.

The research will focus on making computer chips from 450 mm wafers. Current technology uses 300 mm wafers, and the larger size offers the potential of cheaper, faster chips. As an Intel exec told the audience today: "[450 mm] allows us to continue Moore's Law in an economic way."

That CSNE building going up at Washington and Fuller in Albany will house the facilities for this effort, and be called NanoFab West or NanoFab X. UAlbany has been coy about the purpose of that building, maybe because it was sitting on this announcement. It's also expected the expansion will house green energy research, including that $400something million solar panel research consortium. [TU CapCon] [TU Places and Spaces] [TU] [CSNE]

It's probably fair to say Cuomo was stoked this morning. As he crowed at one point during his remarks: "We won a very important competition globally. ... Why? Because we are New York. That's why we won it."

New city of Albany homeownership program

Thumbnail image for spanish-style houseThe city of Albany and group of the city's largest employers today announced a new package of incentives to encourage people to buy homes in the city.

The incentives include zero-interest and forgivable loans for down payments and closing costs, and in some cases grants for home improvements.

If this gets more people to live in Albany, great. The city could use more homeowners (as do many of the Capital Region's other urban centers) -- as long as those people really can afford to buy a house . And if it gets more people living closer to where they work, even better -- a short commute pays off in all sorts of ways.

Highlights from the program after the jump, along with the full press release.

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US News ranks for Capital Region colleges

nott memorial

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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What's up at Washington and Fuller?

albany nano building construction 2011-09-13

The nano empire expands.

You've probably noticed there's a lot going on at the super busy intersection of Fuller Road and Washington Ave in Albany. What with the hill that's now gone, and the large structure rising in its place, it's hard to miss -- whether you're driving along Washington, Fuller or the stretch of I-90 along there.

Here's what's up...

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SUNY's economic impact on the Capital District

UAlbany walkthrough fountain hmm

Impact of a walk-through fountain: priceless.

The SUNY system has a $1.3 billion annual economic impact on the Capital District, according to an analysis done by Rockefeller Institute at UAlbany and the University at Buffalo Regional Institute. It figures the SUNY system has a $19.8 billion impact on the state as a whole.

Here's a handful of facts, figures and bits for the Capital District that we pulled out of the report, in a few cases matched up with outside data...

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Four commencement speeches in four lines

michelle rhee st rose commencement 2011

Michelle Rhee at St. Rose's commencement. Apparently her daughters are not very good at soccer, but they still get trophies. This bothers her.

Commencement was this past weekend for the College of St. Rose, the University at Albany, Siena College, and the Sage Colleges. Here are four of the commencement speeches in four lines (or so):

St. Rose: former DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee
"We should be striving always to be better or we will never be better. Our country needs to regain its competitive spirit." [St. Rose press release]

UAlbany: alumnus, and Wicked author, Gregory Maguire
"Stories start right out with action. Your story starts today. What will you imagine?" [TU]

Siena: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
In referring to George Bernard Shaw's remark that youth is wasted on the young: "Please prove Mr. Shaw to be wrong. You are ready for the world now and the world certainly is ready for you, and needs you." [Troy Record]

Sage Colleges: LouAnne Johnson, the teacher and author whose book became the movie Dangerous Minds
While doing an impression of the main character in her book Muchacho: "You don't get the life you got because of being lucky, or poor, or Mexican. You get it because of the way you think about yourself. Because you think you're a loser, you're going to be a loser. If you think you're going to be a success, you gotta set your intention. Like I used to be afraid of being an intellectual because I thought was going to get my ass kicked all the time. But then I figured that's only in school. When you get out of school, people don't kick your ass for being smart -- they give you money." [Sage Colleges video]

Commencements coming up: Skidmore (May 21), RPI (May 28 [corrected]), and Union (June 12).

photo via the College of St. Rose

The sexy weatherman

eric fisher weather channelEric Fisher -- the UAlbany grad who was the guy in the famous Fountain Day photo -- is now an on-camera meteorologist at The Weather Channel. When we talked with him in 2009, he was at WGGB in Springfield, Massachusetts. (He was a really good sport about the photo.)

And based on the search referral traffic we've been getting for his name, he's becoming a viewer favorite on The Weather Channel. Yes, person who googled "eric fisher sexy weatherman" -- we're talking about you.

By the way: we never were able to get in touch with the woman in that photo -- the elusive Tatiana Shvacus.

photo: The Weather Channel

Sheep eat the baaaaad

Sheep Dog

Sheep -- and dogs -- will be working to clear invasive plants from the Normanskill Farm.

By Liz Clancy Lerner

There's a new (old) way to combat invasive plant species in upstate New York: small flocks of sheep.

Gary Kleppel, a professor of biological sciences at UAlbany and director of the Biodiversity Conservation and Policy Program there, is in the process of setting up a "targeted grazing" project using sheep at Albany's city-owned Normanskill Farm.

His sheep start arriving in a few weeks and then, with the help of students, dogs, and a fancy fence, the sheep get to work -- eating and gnawing at the plants that cause problems for our ecosystem.

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See, UAlbany is a good value

ok cupid ualbany chart

Funny how our stats classes never covered topics like this one.

Today's chart featuring titillating info of questionable value: this chart comes from the often interesting (really) research blog for the dating service OK Cupid. From the accompanying explanation:

Generally speaking, the more your parents are paying for your education, the more horny you are. If only Freud were still around to help us understand; instead we have psychology majors, those Adidas shower sandals, and darkness.
You can think of the dotted best-fit line as dividing the good sex-ed values (above the line) from the bad ones (below). The line also gives us a handy sliding scale: given a 36-week school year and the average partner, every $2,000 spent on your college tuition is an extra time you could be having sex that year.

And, from this perspective, UAlbany turns out to be an excellent value.

This is from a post titled "10 Charts About Sex," which happens to be an accurate description of its content. (By the way: that dot way up in the right corner -- Sarah Lawrence.)

chart: OK Cupid

Bike to China


"I'm more comfortable on two wheels than on my own two feet."

UAlbany student Dan Patterson is an avid cyclist who's biked across South Africa, England, Scotland, France, Spain and much of the U.S.

His next trip: Central Asia. After graduation, he and another recent UAlbany grad -- Marta Grzegorek will spend six months biking from Istanbul to Shanghi, that's about 5,000 miles.

But this time, cycling just didn't seem to be enough.

So Dan and Marta will be stopping in towns along the way in an attempt to help people solve social and environmental problems.

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Albany police post images of alleged kegs and eggs rioters

apd kegs eggs rioters screengrabThe Albany Police Department has pulled still images from the kegs and eggs riot video and posted them in an effort to identify the alleged rioters. The poster is embedded after the jump.

Said APD chief Steven Krokoff in a letter that accompanied the pics:

The Albany Police Department recognizes that we as a community have an obligation to the colleges, universities and the citizens of Pine Hills to hold those individuals accountable for their actions. Working together to meet this obligation is an important step in demonstrating to the entire nation that a small group of individuals cannot escape their responsibility for tarnishing the name and reputation of the City of Albany, residents, and college and university students.

UAlbany says students involved in the riot could face suspension and expulsion. [TU]

Reminder: the neighborhood cleanup being organized by UAlbany students is this Friday.

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Our great-grandparents' college hijinks

By Akum Norder

pedagogue yearbook photos. Back when UAlbany was the New York State College for Teachers, the following poem appeared in the 1918 yearbook ("The Pedagogue"), with a notation suggesting that it had fallen out of a particular student's book:

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Be Nice. Please.

be nice1

The brochure is paper, but all the text was created with embroidery.

By Liz Clancy Lerner

Jen Hunold's a firm believer that you get back what you put out. So much so, in fact, that she created Be Nice. -- a project about basic social courtesies.

Jen's a visual artist who has an MFA from UAlbany. She's used embroidery to create brochures and post-cards that you can download and hand out to kindly remind people that smiles brighten bad days.

It was one of those frustrating bad days that prompted the idea for Be Nice.

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Bill Clinton coming to UAlbany

bill clinton at world economic forum 2006 davosBill Clinton is coming to UAlbany as part of the school's World Within Reach Speaker Series. The former President will be speaking March 2.

The first mention we saw of this event came via the Albany Student Press Twitter feed. UAlbany Student Association president Justin Wax Jacobs confirmed the appearance via email. (The SA organizes the speaker series.)

Previous events in this series have included Colin Powell, Barbara Walters and a debate between Howard Dean and Karl Rove. These events have been open to the public (a pre-registered ticket was required).

We'll follow up when there's info about the Clinton appearance.

The 42nd President was in the Capital Region just recently -- he made a brief stop in Saratoga in November to campaign for Scott Murphy.

Update: Clinton will speaking at SEFCU Arena on the uptown campus. Registration starts February 1. It's open to "UAlbany students, faculty, staff, and alumni."

Earlier on AOA: a whole bunch of stuff about Barack Obama's Schenectady visit

photo: Flickr user World Economic Forum

Post Secret at UAlbany

post secret ualbany four cards

Four of the post cards from the exhibit.

By Akum Norder

"In my dreams, God exists and is not a total bastard, and s/he makes my son well and gives him back to me."

"I found God and I am happy. But I am scared to let others know that."

"Even though I'm a scientist ... I still believe in miracles."

"I hate my parents for raising me in a religion that taught me to hate myself."

"Post Secret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God" -- which opened at UAlbany on Wednesday -- does what good art exhibits should do: give you something to think about.

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Right back @ you, governor

fake andrew cuomo twitter pageUAlbany nanoscience grad student Nick Fahrenkopf noticed this past weekend that the Twitter account originally linked to on Andrew Cuomo's official gubernatorial site didn't exist. So he created the account. We go to NYT for the rest of the story (links added):

And Mr. Fahrenkopf's first few Twitter messages seemed right out of the governor's press office, providing links to the first executive order that Mr. Cuomo signed on Saturday, the transcript of his inaugural address, and a Web page to enter the lottery to receive tickets to the State of the State address on Wednesday.
But the tone eventually got less statesmanlike, as the subjects veered toward his dislike of the Executive Mansion (not enough parking for his muscle cars), possible staff appointments (including his predecessor, David A. Paterson, to write jokes for his speeches); and plans for the next snowstorm (shoveling people out in Albany, à la the Twitter-friendly mayor of Newark, Cory A. Booker).

Of course, word got around that the account wasn't actually Andrew Cuomo (if only). But it was (and continues to be) fun. And as Nick tweeted (on his own account) yesterday: "To be fair- Cuomo has his hands full. There is a lot to be done. But don't do Web/Twitter/Social Media half ass."

Could the fake world already be a view into the real world? Because Fake Shelly Silver is already annoyed with Fake Andrew Cuomo.

By the way: the real Andrew Cuomo Twitter account is @nygovcuomo.

Callicut convicted in Bailey murder

A jury has found De Von Callicut guilty in the 2008 murder of UAlbany student Richard Bailey. Callicut was convicted on four counts: first-degree murder, attempted robbery, weapons possession and robbery. [TU] [WNYT]

Sentencing is scheduled for February. Callicut faces life in prison without parole because of the first-degree murder conviction. [CBS6] [AP/Troy Record]

A handful of media reports have mentioned that many people in the court room -- Callicut's family, Bailey's family, jurors -- were crying after the verdict. [YNN]

Every thing about this story is unbelievably sad. Bailey was 22-years-old, a senior in college who planned to become a police officer after graduating. Callicut, and the two men who admitted to being lookouts to the crime, were just teens. One of the lookouts -- King Modest -- was apparently a kid with a lot of potential. [Metroland]

Bailey was shot in the head during a robbery attempt the evening of October 20, 2008 in Albany's Pine Hills neighborhood. Callicut apparently was looking to steal money in an attempt to make up for gambling losses. [Daily Gazette]

Traffic lights and ants

traffic signal boxInteresting: Sanjay Goel, a UAlbany professor, has gotten a $378,375 grant to study how traffic light systems might be designed to produce emergent behavior. In other words, could traffic lights self-organize -- like ant colonies -- to enable better traffic flows.

From the press release:

Goel believes that each traffic light, like each ant, should make its own decision to communicate with the next light. That way, a driver crossing the intersection at midnight wouldn't have to wait for long minutes at a red light while there is no other traffic. ...
"The goal is to develop self-organizing algorithms and conduct simulation and modeling that would involve selection of intersections in Albany to test some algorithms," said Goel. "The focus of the study is to understand the limitations of this approach and find out where such techniques can fail or under what conditions we may get bottlenecks or chaos in traffic," he said.
Goel is looking for just the right intersections. "We will pick a variety of places where there is fast-moving traffic in the city," he said.

If someone can figure out how to make the traffic lights on Western Ave work together so as not to induce road-rage-levels of frustration in drivers along that stretch -- well, that person would deserve some sort of prize.

By the way: Have you stood next to one of the old traffic signal boxes around Albany (pic on the right)? If you listen carefully, you can hear the parts moving in there as the lights change.

[via @omarjpeters]

Albany lures more money and nerds from Austin

albany nanotech aerialDavid Paterson and bunch of other top state officials were at Albany NanoTech today to announce that Sematech -- the semiconductor research consortium -- is moving another one of its arms from Austin to Albany. (This had been simmering for a while.) The move will reportedly bring 100 jobs and $100 million in investment ($20 million of that public). [Paterson admin] [TU]

When the transition is complete, Sematech will have moved all of its operations from Austin to Albany. Put that in your breakfast taco.

While the jobs and the investment would be nice on their own, the hope is that this sort of project will spur related development here. For (a big) example, GlobalFoundries was attracted to this area by the semiconductor research center at UAlbany. And then that related development attracts its own related development and so on and so on and eventually there's a cluster. And then Austin will start looking to us for inspiration. (OK, maybe not that last part. Yet.)

All together, there's now been more than $6.5 billion worth of investment at Albany NanoTech.

photo via Albany NanoTech

Quality opponents lined up fo Siena, UAlbany

siena ualbany sports logos

The Siena and UAlbany men's basketball teams released their non-conference schedules this week. And both schools have lined up some quality, big name competition.

Both schedules are after the jump. A few of the at home highlights:

UAlbany November 12 vs. Cornell (Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament last season)

Siena November 23 vs. Butler (you know, the runner up in last season's national title game)

Siena December 22 vs. Georgia Tech (against old coach Paul Hewitt)

Also: The Siena-UAlbany game will be December 4 at the TU Center.

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PostSecret coming to UAlbany

postsecret exhibit winnipeg

An earlier Post Secret installation in Canada.

Here's something to look forward to: PostSecret, the post card confessional web series, is bringing one of its touring exhibits to UAlbany. The site's exhibit schedule reports it will be at UAlbany's performing arts center from January 19 to February 11.

PostSecret describes itself as "an ongoing community art project where people
mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard." The cards are often creatively decorated or illustrated. Among the recently posted secrets :

"I'm 25 and finally in a loving, committed relationship. It just happens to be with a married couple."
"I'm convinced that being a Mets fan has taken years off my life!"
"The romance of being with a pilot has worn off. I want my own adventure."
"We haven't been dating long, but I constantly daydream about our Star Wars theme wedding."

The site started in 2004 -- and quickly became very popular. Material from the site has since been turned into four books.

(Thanks, Jessica R!)

photo via International Arts & Artists

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"

nott memorial

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

UAlbany president's pension is head of the class

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for UAlbany walkthrough fountainUAlbany president George Philip has the largest annual pension benefit among retired state and local government employees, according to figures published today by the Empire Center. The annual total: $261,037.

Philip racked up the pension working for the New York State Teachers' Retirement System between 1971 and 2007. He eventually served as chief investment officer and executive director of the fund that was then worth $105 billion, according to his UAlbany bio.

The Empire Center's SeeThroughNY database reports that Philip made $282,906 last year as president of UAlbany. That made him the fourth highest paid employee at the university (Alain Kaloyeros topped the chart at $734,353).

The think tank added pension data to the database this week. The average annual pension benefit for people in the system that includes Philip is $25,947, according to the Empire Center.

[via the ASP]

Earlier on AOA: RPI's Jackson tops compensation chart

UAlbany's garlic guy

eric block allium bookThe work of UAlbany chemistry professor Eric Block is the main dish in a NYT piece today by Harold McGee, the creme de la creme of food science writers.

Block is an expert on alliums -- that is, plants such as onions and garlic. From McGee's piece:

"It's still astounding to me what happens when you cut or bite into an onion or a garlic clove," Dr. Block told me in a telephone conversation last month. "These plants originated in a very tough neighborhood, in Central Asia north of Afghanistan, and they evolved some serious chemical weapons to defend themselves."
Their sulfur-based defense systems give the alliums their distinctive flavors. The plants deploy them when their tissues are breached by biting, crushing or cutting. The chemicals are highly irritating, and discourage most creatures from coming back for seconds. They kill microbes and repel insects, and they damage the red blood cells of dogs and cats. Never feed a pet onions or garlic in any form. ...
Dr. Block explains that different alliums stockpile different sulfur chemicals to make their weapons, and this accounts for their varying flavors. The stockpiles themselves are inert, but when the plant's tissues are damaged, enzymes in the tissues quickly convert the sulfur compounds into reactive, stinging molecules.

There a bunch of interesting bits in the article -- whether you cook, or just eat.

Block wrote a recently-published book about alliums, Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and the Science. The book blurb says it "outlines the extensive history and the fascinating past and present uses of these plants."

Block co-authored a 2007 paper in the Archives of Internal Medicine that reported the neither raw garlic nor garlic supplements appeared to have clinically significant effects on cholesterol levels in people.

[via @ualbany]

Giants coming back to UAlbany

ualbany giants campThe New York Giants announced today that they'll be back at UAlbany for training camp again this summer. The agreement also includes an option for the team to train there in 2011 and 2012.

Camp runs from August 1-20.

While the practices aren't exactly what we would call exciting, if you're a football fan it is kind of cool see the team up close. Just watching on TV it's hard to get a sense of how remarkably big and fast these guys are.

The Giants have trained at UAlbany since 1996. Fan attendance at last year's camp was 46,960.

[via @AndrewCatalon]

photo via NY Giants

"I Love SUNY"

Thumbnail image for UAlbany walkthrough fountainCheck it out: a guy named Neil Roche has recorded a song about being a student at UAlbany. A sample verse from "I love SUNY":

I wanna go to SUNY for the rest of my life
Where I can walk to Pine Hill, get Keystone Light
I can hit up Bogie's, the Abbot or Mike's
Probably go to Chubby's if it's a week night
You are not us, not even close
F*** SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Buffalo
Chillin' on Hudson, that's where my man lives
Kept blunts on Quail Street, pizza on Madison
Don't eat Chartwells, it gives you the runs
I swipe my munch money, unlimited funds
Four years in no time, can't really believe it
Time of my life and I don't really want to leave this

Later on, he says he might go "Van Wilder" and just stay for like eight years.

Update: As Kevin points out, this appears to be an homage to, or parody of, the Asher Roth song "I Love College."

Curious about Roche, we looked for more about him. According to what appears to be his Facebook page, he's a sociology major from out past Binghamton. Does anyone know more about his work? Please share.

We also found a video of Roche reading slam poetry at Busboys and Poets in DC earlier this year. The clip is embedded after the jump.

[via @patrickdodson via @katieanello]

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The new UAlbany School of Business building

new ualbany school of business

The design, by big-name firm Perkins + Will, is intended to be a "modern interpretation" of the Edward Durell Stone design of the rest of the campus.

UAlbany revealed the design for its new $64 million School of Business building. Of course, this being 2010, it's not just a building -- it's "a hub of learning and innovation in commercialization and entrepreneurship for business students and professionals throughout the Capital Region and New York State."

The building will sit along the main campus entry and the design, according to a release, "preserves the modernist formality of the campus's orthogonal aesthetics in a more modern interpretation." It also will apparently incorporate eco-friendly elements.

Construction is slated to start this summer; the target date for completion is 2013.

Earlier on AOA:
+ UAlbany's walk-through fountain
+ A photo tour of EMPAC
+ A modern building hidden in plain sight
+ A tour of the Massry Center for the Arts

image: Perkins + Will

Report: car sharing coming to the Capital Region. Sort of.

zipcar portland

A Zipcar in Portland, Oregon. The program at UAlbany will be run by Hertz, according to the ASP.

The ASP's Jon Campbell reports that car sharing is coming to UAlbany via partnership with Hertz.

Over the last few years we've heard a handful of people -- online and off -- express their desire for car sharing here in the Capital Region.

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Fountain Day 2010 photos

fountain day 2010 by kayla galway

Chilly day in the fountain -- yesterday's high temp was 56.

Kayla sent along photos from yesterday's Fountain Day at UAlbany. There are a bunch more in her photostream.

Be sure to check out Patrick's photostream, too -- it includes a bunch of good shots from in the fountain. And here's video from the live stream.

(Thanks, Kayla!)

photo: Kayla Galway

Addicted to tanning?

tanning bed interior

Can't stop?

A paper published today in the Archives of Dermatology reports that of 229 UAlbany students surveyed who were tanners, almost 40 percent could be considered to have an "addiction" to tanning.

The study was conducted by Sharon Danoff-Burg, an assistant professor at UAlbany, and Catherine E. Mosher, a research fellow at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. In 2006, they surveyed a pool of more than 400 students at UAlbany. [HealthDay] The students were evaluated for indoor tanning addiction using two measures -- a modified questionnaire that's usually used for screening for alcoholism and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria for substance-related disorders.

Danoff-Burg and Mosher report that of the 229 student who reported going to tanning salons, 39.3 percent met the DSM criteria and 30.6 the questionnaire criteria for addiction to indoor tanning (about 22 percent met the criteria for both screens). [Reuters] Of those scored as being tanning-addicted, 78 percent said they tried to cut down but couldn't. [LAT]

The authors write: "Further research should evaluate the usefulness of incorporating a brief anxiety and depression screening for individuals who tan indoors. Patients with anxiety or depression could be referred to mental health professionals for diagnosis and treatment."

A small study in 2004 reported that tanning appears to have mood-altering effects. And a 2006 study reported that it appeared that the younger a tanner started, the harder it was to quit.

Earlier on AOA: Dan Nester reported in the Daily Beast that there are more than 800 tanning salons in the greater Capital Region.

[via @UAlbanyNews]

* HealthDay reports it was UAlbany -- the study's abstract simply says it was "a large university (approximately 18 000 students) in the northeastern United States" (that's UAlbany's enrollment). We're checking to confirm. Yep, it was UAlbany. We confirmed it with the university.

photo: Flickr user Evil Erin

Jimmy Fallon's friend didn't actually get hit by a car on Western

WCDB's Ethan Ullman recently interviewed Jimmy Fallon -- about knocking over soda machines on the downtown UAlbany campus, getting booed off the stage at Bogie's and working for Metroland:

jimmy fallon tallFrom a transcript on the Albany Student Press:

JF: If you spit salt water into the dollar thing that you put the dollars into, it's just ridiculous. I mean, me and my friends getting a mouthful of salt water and going: (spitting noise). Spitting in the dollar thing, trying to short out the machine.
So we broke into the downtown campus at SUNY and we went into some place that was -- I want to say there were like ten soda machines.
ASP: How many did you steal?
JF: Well, what happened was, it didn't work for some reason. So we were just spitting salt water and nothing worked, and so my friend tried to pull and shake the machine, and it fell on his leg.
So we were like, "Oh my god! What do we do?" And he was like, "Dude, it's broken, I know it's broken!" We're like, "Oh my gosh!" So we limped him out of there and we're running. It was so "Animal House," it was ridiculous. And then he laid in the street. I'll never forget this. It was snowing out, and he laid in the street in Western Avenue, and he called the cops and said that he got hit by a car.
That was so his parents wouldn't find out that he broke into SUNY and tried to spit. It's just the dumbest thing ever. But, that guy's a teacher now, I'm not kidding.

Here's part two.

Earlier on AOA: A whole bunch of items about Jimmy Fallon and his time in Albany

Clip from Rove/Dean debate at UAlbany

Via New York Now, here's a clip from last night's Karl Rove / Howard Dean debate at UAlbany -- the topic was the stimulus package. As you'll see, the pointed finger was one of the preferred moves:

There were a few protesters outside the debate. A protester was tossed from the debate itself about two minutes in.

Tweets from/about the debate. Here's a recap from the Troy Record.

Rove/Dean ticket info

karl rove and howard deanIt looks like the Karl Rove / Howard Dean debate at UAlbany April 8 will be open to pretty much anyone who registers. As the event page notes: "UAlbany students, alumni, family, and friends of the community are able to attend."

You do have to register beforehand, though. And be seated by 7:30 pm (the rhetorical engagment begins at 8 pm). Also:

All tickets not picked up at Will Call by 7:30 will be redistributed to anyone who wants to attend the event. There were tickets left over at the previous Speaker Series event, so it is worth trying to get a ticket last minute in case you or a friend doesn't have a ticket/didn't register.

The debate is at SEFCU Arena on the uptown campus.

(Thanks, Amanda!)

Rove photo via Wikipedia | Dean photo by Flickr user Mr Wright

Rove/Dean at UAlbany

karl rove and howard deanThe ASP reports that Karl Rove and Howard Dean will engage in a political mixed martial arts bout a debate at UAlbany as part of the school's World Within Reach Speaker Series. The event is scheduled for April 8.

Details aren't posted, yet. But if this event is like the Colin Powell speech (also part of this series), it could be a tough ticket to get for people not connected to UAlbany. We'll update as we find out more.

It looks like Rove and Dean have participated in a handful of these debates -- last fall at DePauw University and Penn State; and just a few days ago in Portland and at Colorado-Boulder. Politics Daily reports the Rove/Dean fee for Colorado was $56k.

(Thanks, Patrick!)

Rove photo via Wikipedia | Dean photo by Flickr user Mr Wright

Ford takes shot at Gillibrand and Schumer, TU Center turns profit, second ESP man caver sentenced, Phillip Livingston school up for sale

Harold Ford was in Albany yesterday to make the rounds at the Capitol and ESP -- and take shots at both Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer. Ford said on Talk 1300 that both senators were elected to be independent and not act like a "parakeet" for for the Democratic Party. A Gillibrand spokesman shot back: "The notion that [Ford] is independent is completely contrived." Said one legislative intern to the TU after meeting Ford on the ESP concourse: "He should really look into getting a New York accent." [AP/Troy Record] [NYO] [NYDN] [NYT] [TU]

David Paterson said yesterday that his potential gubernatorial campaign opponents shouldn't be hiding in the "candidate protection program." [NYDN]

Annoyed that the governor keeps calling them back for special sessions, the legislature has decided to just not adjourn -- basically blocking more special sessions. [Daily Politics]

Albany County announced that the Times Union Center, which it owns, turned a profit of almost $1.8 million last year -- up from about $900k the year before. That's the second-highest profit in the facility's 20-year history (not adjusted for inflation). [Albany County] [TU]

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Suspended Schenectady cop arrested again, Cuomo to declare in March?, man arrested for 65th time, local pilot flies supply missions to Haiti

Suspended Schenectady police officer John Lewis has been arrested. Again. It's his sixth arrest in the last two years. In this most recent case, he's accused of causing a car accident in the Ellis Hospital parking lot after he allegedly left the emergency department drunk. The SPD first tried to fire Lewis in 1998 for allegedly using a racial slur. The department's waiting for a decision on its most recent attempt to terminate him. [WNYT] [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Fox23] [CBS6]

A "source close to [Andrew] Cuomo" tells the Daily News that Andrew Cuomo will officially announce he's running for governor in March. David Paterson's campaign manager says "it's clear Mr. Cuomo is running for governor." [NYDN] [NYDN]

David Paterson is apparently going to try again to get the state worker unions to give up their raises this year. [TU]

Colonie assemblyman -- and outspoken MMA critic -- Bob Reilly says he's willing to support a compromise bill that would legalize ultimate fighting in the state if certain restrictions were placed on the sport. [TU]

UAlbany cancelled a cage fighting match scheduled for the SEFCU Arena this past weekend after a state commission said the event appeared to violate state law. [@albstudentpress] [Daily Gazette $]

(there's more)

Two men shot in Pine Hills, legislators propose new ethics oversight, alleged horse slasher pleads guilty, struck Saratoga pedestrians ticketed

Albany police say two men were shot on Ontario Street near St. Rose yesterday evening (map). They say how the shooting went down was unclear. The two men's injuries were not considered life threatening. St. Rose security said the campus was locked down temporarily while police searched for suspects. [CBS6] [TU] [CapNews9] [ASP]

The Troy police overtime was almost double the amount budgeted for last year. The city's highest paid employee last year was a police sergeant who made $140,738.10 -- almost half of that overtime. [Troy Record] [TU]

State legislative leaders introduced a package of ethics reforms that would create new watchdogs for the legislature, the executive branch and lobbyists. David Paterson said the plan isn't enough because it doesn't require legislators to disclose their outside business clients. A "top aide" said the governor won't sign the bill in its current form. [TU] [NYT] [Daily Politics]

Documents filed by Andrew Cuomo's office in state supreme court allege that Pedro Espada may have violated tax, election, labor law -- and committed fraud, too -- as head of a Bronx health care group. Espada called the investigation by the AG a "witch hunt driven by his political ambitions." [NYT] [TU]

(there's more)

Writers Institute spring schedule

jules feiffer self cartoonThe spring lineup for the New York State Writers Institute is out.

The schedule includes what look like a bunch of interesting talks. Among them: editorial cartoonist Jules Feiffer (that's a self-cartoon on the right), philopsopher Rebecca Goldstein, author Michael Ondaatje and playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis.

All the events are free and open to the public. They start in February.

cartoon: Jules Feiffer

Siena vs. UAlbany this weekend

edwin_ubiles.jpgThe Siena/UAlbany basketball game is this Saturday. It's probably the biggest sporting event of the year in the Capital Region, aside from the Travers. Pete Iorizzo reports that a bunch of tickets have already been sold -- and the total could top 14,000.

Both teams are coming off losses in the south. Siena fell 74-61 to Georgia Tech in Atlanta this past Wednesday. UAlbany lost at Florida Atlantic 81-65.

Siena, which has been a favorite of hoops pundits this year, would seem to have the clear the advantage in this game. But the Saints might not have Edwin Ubilies (that's him on the right) in the lineup -- he's one of their best players.

Tip-off time for the men's game is 7:30 pm at the TU Center. Robert Lee and Tom Huerter will have the call on Talk 1300.

Also: Pearl Street will be closed from 3-10 pm from Beaver St to Hudson for the game (that's the block right in front of the TU Center).

From Albany to Iraq and back

GI KateKate Hoit, a UAlbany student and Iraq veteran, writes about her time in the Army this week in the Albany Student Press:

In the summer of 2004, I got a phone call while waiting tables at the Fountain Restaurant on New Scotland Ave. It was a sergeant from my unit in Schenectady telling me I was being deployed.
I hung up the phone and stood there for a minute. I should've known this was coming.
I picked up the phone and called my parents.
"Hi Mom," I said.
"Katie, your sergeant just called here," my mom said.
"I know, I just talked to him," I said "I'm being deployed to Iraq."
There was an awkward moment of silence. There was nothing she could've said that would've made me feel better. I was a soldier. This shouldn't have fazed me -- but it did.
"You've got to be kidding me," she said through her tears.
"I wish mom. I gotta get back to work."
"Okay, I love you."
I hung up the phone and walked outside. My eyes started to fill with tears as I wondered if I was going to be killed over there.
I remembered the couple that had just come into the restaurant. I walked back in and took their order.

Here's part two of the piece.

Kate also writes a blog: My American-Iraq Life.

photo: Patrick Dodson / ASP

Bruno trial focuses on disclosure forms, progress -- or not -- on state budget gap, contractor dies on dredging project, the crow wars continue

Joe Bruno Trial: Much of the testimony yesterday focused on how Bruno's financial disclosure forms had been compiled. Ken Riddett, the former counsel to the Senate majority, testified that state senators were instructed to hand deliver their financial disclosure forms because of "concerns with federal mail fraud statutes." Also: Bruno's former executive assistant continued her testimony yesterday. She recounted the time Bruno sent her to the bank to get a $1000 bill for his wife -- and she says Bruno got "very angry" with her when she returned with ten $100 bills instead. [NYT] [TU] [Troy Record]

What's the state of discussions on how to close the state's budget gap? It depends on whom you ask -- though count David Paterson as one who's not optimistic, calling the situation a "prelude to what will be continued unhappiness." The governor also said he wouldn't rule out state worker furloughs if a deficit deal doesn't come about. [Daily Politics] [TU] [NYO] [NYDN]

Amy Seyboth Tirador, the Colonie soldier who recently died in Iraq, was buried in Saratoga National Cemetery yesterday. About 300 people attended her funeral in Colonie. Military officials in Iraq told the TU via email yesterday that "we do not know if her death was accidental, a suicide or a homicide." Seyboth Tirador's family has said the soldier was shot in the back of the head. During the funeral yesterday her grandfather said, "Whoever did this crime, I hope they rot in hell." [WTEN] [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

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Can the Great Danes be dolphin-like?

ualbany logo purpleThe UAlbany men's basketball team tips off its regular season tonight against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. The game will be on ESPNU at 9 pm (that's channel 606 on Time Warner digital).

Obviously, this a is a big game for the Great Danes -- it's not every day they play a high-profile team like the Orange. But it could also be a big game for SU. Coach Jim Boeheim has 799 wins in coaching career. Could UAlbany be #800?

It might seem like a done deal. Syracuse is ranked in/near the Top 25. But the Orange lost a bunch of good players from last year's team -- including point guard Jonny Flynn, who was picked #6 overall in this year's NBA draft. And Syracuse just lost an exhibition game to the mighty Dolphins of Division II LeMoyne. So you never know.

Update: Or sometimes you do. The Orange ran away with it, 75-43.

By the way: The Siena men's hoops team opens its season at Tennessee State Friday night.

Legislature back today, Tonko and Murphy split on health care vote, the weekend in stabbings, police chase half-naked suspect through Watervliet

The legislature is back this week for at least a few days. Today's schedule includes a joint session this afternoon in which David Paterson will speak about the state budget gap (whatever size it may be). A special session is schedule tomorrow to take up measures to address the gap -- and, maybe for the state Senate to vote on the same-sex marriage bill. [Fox23] [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Politics]

The two local House members split on the health care reform vote his past weekend. Paul Tonko voted "yes" -- in a statement he said the bill will provide coverage to 22,000 people in his district. Scott Murphy voted "no" -- in a statement, he said the bill didn't do enough to curb costs. Murphy was one of 39 Democrats to vote against the bill -- and one of three from New York. [TU] [Paul Tonko] [Scott Murphy] [NYT] [Daily Politics]

The Army has called the death of Colonie solider Amy Seyboth Tirador "a non-combat related incident" in Iraq. But her family says the staff sergeant was shot in the back of the head -- though beyond that, they say the military hasn't given them any more details. [Fort Lewis press release] [CBS6] [Fox23]

Week two of the Joe Bruno trial begins today. On a Friday Leonard Fassler, a longtime associate of Bruno, testified that the senator set up meetings with government officials, including then-Governor Pataki, for companies which were paying him consulting fees. Fassler said the consulting fees were paid to Bruno because he helped Fassler become a "better executive." [CBS6] [TU] [Troy Record]

(there's more)

Bruno trial starts today, homicide in Albany, speculation about connections between deaths in Greenfield, toddler found because of lights on his shoes

Joe Bruno's federal trial starts today. The feds are prosecuting him under a "theft of honest services" statute -- the feds allege that Bruno made more than $3 million in consulting fees from groups who benefited from his influence in state government. The case is expected to shine a light on the many of the gaps in New York State's ethics laws. Apparently some people are saying the case is almost like putting the entire culture of the capitol on trial. Bruno has already spent more than $600k on his defense. [TU] [AP/Saratogian] [TU] [NYT] [AP/Troy Record]

Albany police say a man was killed on Saturday in an Eagle Street apartment just down the block from the Governor's Mansion (map). The APD says there are no suspects, yet. [Fox23] [TU]

Troy police say a man has been arrested and charged for the murder on Second Street two weeks ago. They didn't release info about a motive. Police say information from people in the neighborhood helped lead them to the suspect. [TU] [Troy Record] [WNYT]

The Schenectady city council approved a budget that does not include a tax increase. The originally-proposed budget had included an almost six percent increase. [TU][TU]

New York State's texting-while-driving ban took effect yesterday. [Fox23]

(there's more)

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

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

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

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

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

(there's more)

I'll have what she's having

schwartzs smoked meatThe Center for Jewish Studies at UAlbany is sponsoring an "an interactive, multimedia" talk this Thursday about the evolution of Jewish delis in American -- or, as the blurb on the event's Facebook page says, "how the 'soul food' that [delis] dished up became a quintessential part of American culture for Jews and non-Jews alike."

The talk starts at 7 pm in the Standish Room in the Science Library on the uptown campus. It's free.

Earlier on AOA: Corned beef at Old World Provisions

Rainbow weather


There's a pot of gold out there. Somewhere.

Yesterday's late afternoon rain showers -- and subsequent break in the clouds -- produced a bumper crop of rainbows around the Capital Region.

The local Twitter stream yesterday was full of rainbow sightings -- over the ESP, at RPI, over the county court building in Albany, on Henry Johnson, in Delmar, at Stuyvesant Plaza (a full double arc), at Crossgates, at Colonie Center, and over Central Warehouse.

Barry took the photo above at UAlbany. You can just make out the double rainbow in the upper left corner.

(Thanks, Barry!)

photo: Barry Trachtenberg

Colin Powell speaking at UAlbany

colin powellThe former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be the first speaker in UAlbany's "World Within Reach" series on October 10. Powell's talk is titled "Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust & Values" -- from the blurb on UAlbany's site:

In a compelling presentation filled with humor and anecdotes from years of service at the highest levels of international affairs, Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State, describes the delicate process of forging alliances, bringing people and countries together, and promoting universal human ideals of democracy and peace around the world.

UAlbany's site says "All UAlbany students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are welcome" to the talk at the SEFCU Arena. It's free, but tickets are required. Registration starts Wednesday -- we're not sure exactly yet how you might go about scoring one, but we'll update when we find out.

A visit from Powell isn't cheap. The Albany Student Press reports that it was told his fee is $125,000.

[via ASP]

Writers Institute Fall schedule features Krugman, Cuomo and Rita Moreno

paul krugmanThe Fall schedule for the New York State Writers Institute is out. And it includes what look like some pretty great events. A few dates that caught our eye are after the jump.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Writers Institute. It was started in 1984 with money William Kennedy won from his MacArthur "genius" award.

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Learning to eat well

ualbany dining hallWe've joked that we're going to embark on a dining tour of local college campuses, but we're starting to think that we should actually do just that.

First there was Skidmore's renovated dining palace ("hall" doesn't seem to quite cover it) that made the cover of NYT. And now this about UAlbany's recently re-modeled dining hall:

Students enjoy healthy food options at the newly-renovated Indian Quad Dining Hall, including locally-grown fruits, vegetables and grass-fed beef. Students are also encouraged to create their own meals, interact with staff to produce personalized meals and enjoy meals prepared in exhibition cooking displays.

It sounds like eating on the set of a Food Network show.

According to UAlbany's Facebook page, all of the school's dining halls are also now "trayless" -- which is apparently all the rage on eco-conscious campuses these days. Trayless cafeterias reportedly reduce food waste and save water and energy.

photo: Mark Schmidt/UAlbany

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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GE officially announces new plant in Schenectady, Ellis calls for review of ambulance service, feds say Central American gang members picked up, toward nanobioscience

GE has officially announced that it will be building a new battery plant at the GE Energy campus off Erie Blvd in Schenectady. The plant is expected to cost $100 million and create 350 jobs. GE is getting a package of grants and incentives worth $20 million from New York State and Schenectady Metroplex. The plant will make batteries based on technology developed at the company's research center in Niskayuna. [Daily Gazette $] [CapNews9] [TU] [Fox23]

Albany police detective George McNally pleaded guilty yesterday to drunk driving and reckless driving. McNally careened through Albany and Delmar after leaving a bar on New Scotland Ave this past January. As part of the plea deal, he'll pay a fine, do community service, and his license will be revoked -- though he'll be able to drive for work. [TU] [CapNews9]

Albany mayoral candidate Corey Ellis has called for a review of ambulance service in the city. Ellis says the review is necessary because of Mohawk Ambulance's delay in arriving at the scene of the fatal crash involving a kid on a bike and a car. Jerry Jennings accused Ellis of politicizing the tragedy. [Ellis press release not online] [TU]

The state Senate will be back in session today for what's expected to be a short, "very vanilla" session. [TU]

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Friend says man killed by police suffered from mental illness, unease over state worker buyouts, judge pleads guilty to DWAI, big year for apples

A family friend says the man shot and killed by Schenectady police this past weekend suffered from mental illness. The man's brother says the SPD should have used non-lethal force. [Daily Gazette $] [CapNews9]

Workers at GE Energy in Schenectady approved a new contract with the company that includes no layoffs for two years -- and clears the way for a new battery factory that could add 350 jobs. In return, the union is forgoing cost of living raises for the next two years. [WNYT] [CapNews9] [TU]

The Hudson River dredging project has started up again after tests indicated that PCB levels in the water had dropped below the set limit. The EPA is blaming fast-moving currents for the spike. Officials from some downstream communities say the EPA was slow to notify them of the test results. [Troy Record] [TU] [Post-Star]

New York State has finally paid the property taxes it owed on The Track -- almost $478k. The payment was six months late. Apparently the state is exempt from having to pay late fees. The state started paying property taxes on The Track after it took ownership of the property from NYRA. [Daily Gazette $] [Saratogian] [TU] [Post-Star]

Lack of information about the $20k retirement buyout is upsetting state workers. [TU]

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Man shot to death by Schenectady police, no more Bruno bacon, conflict over dredging dump site, artist accused of stealing his own paintings

Schenectady police say an officer shot and killed a man wielding a butcher knife Saturday afternoon. Schenectady's public safety commissioner says the man moved quickly toward the officer -- and there's "nothing that indicates" the officer did not comply with department's laws and regulations. The Schenectady County DA's office says it will investigate. The officer who fired on the man had been shot in the line of duty ten years ago. Saturday's shooting was the first by an officer in Schenectady since 2002. [Daily Gazette] [CapNews9] [CBS6] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A state panel has concluded that the City of Albany's refusal to release "fixed" parking tickets could be a violation of state law. [TU]

With Joe Bruno no longer sending this bacon this way, the Capital Region's haul of state Senate pork is down 76 percent. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo has apparently "begun to embrace the possibility of a run for governor." [NYT]

It sounds like Carolyn Maloney is now leaning against challenging Kirsten Gillibrand in the Senate Democratic primary. [Politico]

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Another gap in the state budget, foreclosure rates stay low, authority moves to buy Albany's oldest building, big plans for bus rapid transit

The state Division of Budget is projecting that New York will be short $2.1 billion during this fiscal year. The reason: less-than-expected revenues from both income and sales taxes. The projected gap will probably bring the legislature back into session in September. [NYS DoB] [NYT] [TU]

A state appeals court has ruled that Richard Ravitch can serve as lieutenant governor until the legality of his appointment is argued in court August 18. One catch: he's not allowed to preside over the state Senate or cast tie-breaking votes in the chamber. Ravitch says he been working on budget issues in the administration. [Daily Politics] [Biz Review] [Fox23]

A handful of state governors will be in Saratoga this weekend for eating, drinking, horse racing and partying a conference hosted by David Paterson. [Daily Politics]

Albany police say a man -- dressed as a woman -- stabbed a stylist at a salon on North Lake in yesterday. Police say the man then ran off with the woman's purse before being arrested. [CapNews9] [CBS6]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Senate drama twists again, small plane crashes into Mohawk, firefighters pull unconcisous girl from fire, Whole Foods reportedly scouting area

The state Senate drama took another twist over the weekend when Hiram Monserrate -- one of the Democratic switchers -- said he's returning to caucus with the Democrats. Apparently one of Monserrate's demands for returning to the Dems' caucus was that Malcolm Smith had to go as majority leader. Brooklyn senator John Sampson is reportedly going to take over as head of the Democratic caucus -- but Smith might stay on as leader-in-name-only so the Democrats can pursue their case arguing that the Republican takeover was illegal. [NYDN] [NYDN] [NYP] [TU]

If Monserrate really does switch back, it would leave the Senate split 31-31 -- and that could mean epic gridlock. Dean Skelos and Pedro Espada -- the (new, former?) Senate leaders -- would stay in charge of the body. Typically in a 31-31 split the lieutenant governor would cast the deciding vote -- but New York is currently without a lt governor. Republicans are apparently arguing that Espada -- who's the Senate pro tem -- should get two votes. That's not going over well with the Democrats. [Buffalo News] [NYDN]

By the way: Espada still hasn't settled his numerous campaign disclosure violations, as he promised to do. [TU]

Two people are dead and another missing after a small plane crashed into the Mohawk shortly after take-off from the Mohawk Valley Airport in Glenville yesterday afternoon. Witnesses say it appears the plane didn't get enough speed to take off. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Troy pizza shop worker who thwarted a robbery last month was shot four times Saturday in another hit on the shop -- he's expected to live. Police say the man confronted the shooter(s) in front of the store because he thought something was up. The shop is a Domino's -- the company is offering a $5000 reward for info. [TU] [Troy Record] [CapNews9]

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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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Assembly passes same-sex marriage bill, GE battery plant coming to Capital Region, NY's top court says no police GPS without warrant, condo slump in Saratoga, the $500 wedding

The state Assembly passed a bill that would allow same-sex marriage. The vote was 89-52 -- that's four more "yes" votes than in 2007. Five members who had voted "no" two year ago voted "yes" this time around. The lobbying focus now shifts to the state Senate, where there's currently no vote scheduled on the bill. The Senate sponsor of the bill said last night the he thinks he has enough votes to pass the measure. [TU] [Daily Politics] [NYT] [Planet Albany]

GE announced that it will build a plant to manufacture special rechargeable batteries somewhere in the Capital Region. The plant will employ 350 people and will cost $100 million -- $15 million of which the state is chipping in. The exact location of the plant has yet to be determined. Saratoga County officials are hoping the plant will land at the Luther Forest tech campus or NYSERDA's Saratoga Technology & Energy Park. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Former state health commissioner Antonia Novello was arraigned yesterday in Albany County Court on 20 count indictment that alleges she took advantage of her staffers while she headed up the health department. She could get as many 12 years in prison. An earlier state inspector general report concluded that Novello had run up almost $50k in staff overtime for things such as driving her to the mall, watering her plants and arranging her furniture. Novello's case is being compared to former state comptroller Alan Hevesi, who resigned after it came out he had been using state employees to chauffeur his wife. Novello's lawyer she's being targeted for political reasons. [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette] [NYP] [NYDN]

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Officials urge calm on emerging flu, CDTA consolidating routes, Albany getting grant for anti-violence program, old Saratoga Winners destroyed, no Shakespeare in the Park this year

New York State has now had 54 confirmed cases of the emerging H1N1 flu -- including three cases outside NYC. Samples from five suspected cases in the greater Capital Region (two each in Schenectady and Washington counties, one in Albany County) have been sent for testing -- officials say they're not sure when results will be back on those samples. David Paterson reiterated his call for people to stay calm and said the state is prepping for a worst-case scenario. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

Albany city treasurer Betty Barnette now says she will release copies of dismissed parking tickets to the Common Council -- if the council agrees to not share the info with anyone else. Barnette had initially balked at the council's request, which is part of the ghost ticket investigation, citing HIPAA -- even though the medical privacy law doesn't apply to her office. [TU]

CDTA ridership was up 11 percent to record levels during the fiscal year that ended in March. The transit org says it's still short on money, though, and will be changing, consolidating and eliminating routes to save money. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Police used a state police helicopter, a K-9 unit and a lockdown of schools yesterday during a manhunt in Schenectady. Police were looking for a man they suspect has information about the fatal shooting outside a club this past weekend. They didn't get him. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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He's the famous Fountain Day guy

fountain day pic smallAfter the TU's (in)famous 2004 Fountain Day photo resurfaced last week, we were kind of curious to find out what's become of the two people in the pic.

Well, we're still keeping an eye out for the mysterious Tatiana Shvachus -- but we found Eric Fisher. He's now a TV meteorologist in Springfield, Massachusetts.

We emailed him a few questions about his memories of that day -- and that picture.

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State is monitoring swine flu situation, murder in Schenectady, Angelina makes shows up, baby born on Thruway, Fountain Day draws record crowd

David Paterson says the state is monitoring the swine flu situation, but doesn't see "any real danger ahead." There have been eight confirmed cases of swine flu in Queens. (Some perspective.) [Fox23] [NYT] [NYT]

The 911 call in which an off-duty Schenectady cop followed an allegedly drunk off-duty Albany police detective driving through Albany and Delmar indicates that the APD may have held off on pursuing the detective. According to the off-duty Schenectady cop's comments on the call, the APD detective could barely stand and almost hit cars coming in the opposite direction. [TU]

"Several" Albany Common Council members tell the TU that Jerry Jennings' executive assistant has been trying to convince them to drop the council's investigation of the ghost ticket scandal. [TU]

A man was shot and killed in the parking lot of a State Street topless bar in Schenectady Friday night. The SPD has identified the victim as a Schenectady resident. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [@schdypolice]

Scott Murphy said Jim Tedisco concession was a "very gracious" end to the special election. With about 700 ballots still uncounted, Murphy was up 399 votes on Tedisco Friday afternoon. Murphy got a congratulatory call from President Obama. Republicans, wondering how they lost again in a district with more enrolled Republicans than Democrats, pointed to a lack of party unity and backfiring negative ads as contributing factors to Tedisco's loss. There's speculation now that Tedisco could be on his way out of the Assembly. Murphy wouldn't say on Friday whether he plans to run again next year. [Daily Gazette] [NYS BoE] [Saratogian] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [PolitickerNY]

Angelina Jolie was in town yesterday to shoot scenes for Salt (video -- pics of the crew and shot setup). It seems locals can't get enough of gawking at the scene. Apparently the paparazzi prefer NYC, though. Oh, Brad Pitt was not here -- he was in Niagara Falls. [TU] [TU] [CBS6] [Troy Record] [TU] [Telegraph UK] [TU] [Buffalo News]

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From the archives

tu fountain day pic

Oh, Fountain Day.

Look what an enterprising web editor at the TU dug out of the archives today: the (in)famous Fountain Day soft-porn photo.

That photo graced the front page of the paper a few years back. We remember doing a double take when we picked up the bundle of papers that morning. And then blushing a little bit.

Anyway, that pic must be like click-through crack.


Here's the meta-info for the photo:

Times Union staff photo by Michael P. Farrell
SUNY Albany freshman Tatiana Shvachus and second year student Eric Fisher (both center) bask in the cool water during Fountain Day at the State University at Albany, New York Thursday April 22, 2004.

Does anyone know what's become of Ms. Shvachus? Amazingly, a Google search for her name comes up... empty. We have an email in with the Eric Fisher we think might be the photo's Eric Fisher.

Also: as Naomi pointed out, that is an award-winning photo. It won both AP and National Press Photographers Association awards.

screengrab: Times Union

Alleged "Craigslist killer" went to UAlbany, Schenectady HS fight reportedly over suicide taunting, police say bus driver may have been at wheel drunk, smokin' at Skidmore

Philip Markoff, the Boston U medical student accused of being "the Craigslist killer" by police, is reportedly a 2007 UAlbany graduate. The man's fiance, who also reportedly attended UAlbany, told ABC News that police have the wrong guy. Markoff is the fourth former UAlbany student to be charged with murder during the last five years. [Boston Globe] [AP] [ABC News] [Albany Student Press]

Three teen girls were charged after a fight at Schenectady High School yesterday injured two teachers. One of the girl's mothers said her daughter did throw the first punch -- because she was being taunted about the recent suicide of her cousin. Students said yesterday that bullying is an ongoing problem at the school. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Fox23]

Rudy Giuliani was in town last night for the Albany County Republicans' annual Lincoln Reagan dinner. Guiliani said state leaders should be "ashamed" of the New York's current "anti-competitive position" and he criticized the size of the recently passed state budget. Guiliani said he hasn't made his mind up about whether he'll run for governor next year and isn't sure when he will. [NYDN] [CapNews9] [AP/Newsday] [PolitickerNY]

There are still about 1500 disputed absentee ballots still to be counted (or not counted) in the NY20 special election. Scott Murphy's unofficial lead over Jim Tedisco is at 273 votes -- and Democrats are starting to make noises about the race being over. [TU] [CapNews9]

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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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Trashy looks at UAlbany's Ecouture

By Jessica Pasko

trash 2.jpg This Friday night at UAlbany models will be strutting down the catwalk in clothing that's just garbage.

Really. It's trash. Actual trash.

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Siena leaves its mark on the NCAA tournament, Morris calls for more community policing, stabbing in Ballston Spa, baracking

Siena put up a good fight against #1 seed Louisville in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but ultimately lost 79-72. After trailing at halftime by five, the Saints took the lead a little more than 10 minutes into the second half and held it until about four minute mark. [TU] [ESPN]

The org that runs New York's electricity market says an arrangement in which buyers of electricity pay more than the lowest bid is a feature, not a bug. [TU]

A study sponsored by a free market academic center concludes that New York State has the lowest level of personal and economic freedom in the country. [TU]

A 2005 report about then-state Senate minority leader David Paterson's office describes an operation with problems very similar to those exhibited during Paterson's first year as governor: chaos, indecisiveness and jumbled communication. [NYDN]

Albany Common Council president -- and mayoral candidate -- Shawn Morris says the APD has shifted its focus away from community policing -- and that's contributed to a recent surge in crime. [TU]

Forty percent of children in Albany County live in poverty -- as do 25 percent of people in Schenectady -- according to a report out from an advocacy org. [Daily Gazette]

The manager of the TU Center says he'd like to see mixed martial arts fighting legalized in New York State. He estimates ultimate fighting could sell out the arena and generate $1 million to $2 million in economic activity. [Daily Gazette]

After two of the three finalists for the job of UAlbany president dropped out, a source tells the TU the search will likely be reopened. UAlbany has been looking for a new president for more than two years. [TU]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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One Schenectady suicide reportedly prompted chain of attempts, Morris officially in the pool for Albany mayor, parents sue bars for $12 million, UAlbany student robbed at gunpoint

The suicide of a 17-year-old in Schenectady last fall appears to have started a chain reaction of five other suicide attempts -- two of which led to deaths. All five of the teens who subsequently attempted suicide apparently used the same method as the first teen. [Daily Gazette]

The heads of both the Albany Police Officers Union and the union's parent organization say they will not testify under oath about the ghost ticket scandal at tonight's meeting of the Albany Common Council. That may lead the council to take the unusual step of issuing a subpoena to the APOU's president. [TU]

Albany Common Council President Shawn Morris officially announced on Sunday that she's running for mayor. Morris says she wants to "open up City Hall to the people who own it." Morris has served on the council for 15 years. [Fox23] [TU] [CapNews9]

Rumors have apparently been circulating that Schenectady officials are talking about dissolving the city's troubled police force. After a Schenectady police sergeant reportedly left work during a shift to go to the dentist this past week, mayor Brian Stratton says he personally told two shifts of SPD officers that it was time to get their act together. [TU]

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Tedisco and Murphy debate, Raucci charged with terrorism, Schenectady school district struggles with teen suicides, chip fab company gets new name, UAlbany student sues Facebook

Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy found a lot to agree about during their debate yesterday in Saratoga Springs. One point of departure: the federal stimulus bill, which Murphy said he supports and Tedisco said had enough pork to "create trichinosis for most of us in this room." They also disagreed on union "card check" -- Murphy supports it, Tedisco doesn't. The debate drew an overflow crowd of more than 250 people to the Saratoga Springs Public Library. [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star] [Saratogian] [TU]

Police say a woman walking her dogs in Spa State Park yesterday morning found a partially frozen body (it seems her dog was the first to find it in the tree line). There are conflicting reports on whether authorities consider the situation suspicious -- "unusual" seems to be the word being used. The man was found fully clothed and dressed for winter. Witnesses says the body was covered in vomit. An autopsy is scheduled for today. [Saratogian] [Fox 23] [Post-Star] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Steven Raucci, the Schenectady school district employee accused of arson, was charged with terrorism yesterday -- the state's highest felony. Officials say they've been filing charges against Raucci sequentially so they can keep him in jail. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The state's inspector general has ordered an investigation of the State Insurance Fund because of accusations of mismanagement by a whistleblower. The whistleblower came forward after the story of the guy making $94k/year to do nothing came to light in the TU. Noted: John Sweeney's first wife, Elizabeth, works at the Insurance Fund as a secretary and makes $94,000 a year. [TU] [SeeThroughNY]

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Here comes the stimulus money, APD says Bailey case isn't cold, jailhouse marriages, TV station's parent company files for bankruptcy, the flamingos are back

New York State is in line to get almost $25 billion in federal stimulus money, according to an analysis by the state. Among the many projects that could get funding in the state: high speed rail service from Buffalo to NYC. Local municipalities have also been getting their wish lists together. [AP/TU] [Troy Record]

The two candidates in the race for Kirsten Gillibrand's former House seat are in a race to see who can smear the other guy first. The mud boiled down: Jim Tedisco's campaign says Scott Murphy is a light-weight and tax dodger, Murphy's campaign says Tedisco is a career politician who's milked taxpayers for car costs. In a more positive direction, Murphy is hoping to get his wife's large extended family -- many of them Republicans -- to vote for him. And Tedisco is picks up his dogs' poop. Also: Kirsten Gillibrand and Paul Tonko were in Albany over the weekend to endorse Murphy (no, Albany is not in the 20th Congressional district). [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

The Albany Police Department says the murder of UAlbany student Richard Bailey "is absolutely not a cold case." Bailey's father, a retired NYC cop, says he has faith in the APD's ability to find the murderer. [TU] [TU]

The vast majority of restaurants in Albany County did OK on county health inspections in 2008, according to a Times Union analysis. Among the few that didn't: Tandoor Palace on Lark Street, the Corner Food Court at the corner of Lark and Washington, and the Metro 20 Diner on Western. [TU]

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Dan Savage at UAlbany Tuesday

Dan SavageDan Savage -- of "Savage Love" fame -- will be giving an "educational lecture" at UAlbany Tuesday night as part of the school's "Sexuality Week."

In addition to his weekly sex advice column, Savage has gotten a lot of attention for stirring things up on the political/cultural front -- whether it's trying to infect Gary Bauer with the flu or redefining the term "Santorum" (you might not want to click that last link at the office).

The talk starts at 8 pm in the Campus Center Ballroom. It's free.


photo: Dan Savage

Albany's ghost ticket scandal widens, Tutunjian plans for new city hall, mud flying in Gillibrand replacement race, UAlbany narrows list of potential presidents,

The roster of vehicles eligible for "ghost" parking tickets apparently extends to a "VIP" list of 270 vehicles owned by the government and private citizens. Among those with a park-for-free pass: the head of the Downtown BID, who has previously said that people should expect to pay for parking. Albany police chief James Tuffey says the program has been shut down. [TU] [CBS6]

Nelson Costello, the man accused of murdering David Bacon 40 years ago in Waterford, was indicted yesterday on charges or murder and witness tampering -- he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. Authorities say Costello and Bacon were involved in a rivalry over Bacon's then-fiancee -- the woman now lives in Schaghticoke. The Saratoga County DA says Costello was arrested last week in Cohoes after crashing a rental car and then trying to cover up the location of the accident. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record]

Troy mayor Harry Tutunjian announced during his state of the city address last night that the city would seeking $22 million of federal stimulus money to build a new city hall on the site of the old one. [TU] [Troy Record]

The council meeting after Tutunjian's address turned into a verbal spat as the council argued with Troy deputy mayor Dan Crawley over the implementation of a new landlord registration law. After a council member accused Crawley of not responding to email, Crawley reportedly shouted: "Not from you. Approach me like a man and quit hiding behind your computer." [Troy Record]

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Live with Less at UAlbany

By Jessica Pasko

UAlbany trash exhibit .jpgThe new art exhibit at UAlbany is kind of trashy.


But it's also kind of cool. And it makes you think.

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Ice and freezing rain on the way, budget process again focus of Capitol, Bruno calls indictment "garbage," texting gets UAlbany teams in trouble, don't be a spigot pig

The storm that's moving the through the area today has already glazed large portions of the South and Midwest. Ice and freezing rain are expected here this afternoon. [AP]

With the Senate selection circus over, things returned to normal at the Capitol -- which is to say, gridlock and complaining about the budget. [AP/Troy Record] [TU]

New York State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says year-end bonuses on Wall Street were down 44 percent this year -- and that will cost the state $1 billion in tax revenue. [Biz Review]

David Paterson says he won't pursue the source(s) of the leaks about Caroline Kennedy from his administration. That's created a weird situation where many members of the press know who the leaker (or leakers) is -- and the governor's telling them not to tell anyone. [AP/Troy Record] [NY Post]

Kirsten Gillibrand officially became a US Senator yesterday (99th on the seniority list), as she continued to take heat over her views on guns and immigration. [NYDN] [Daily Gazette] [NYT]

After officially being tapped as the Republican candidate in the upcoming special election to replace Kirsten Gillibrand, Jim Tedisco said his focus will be "jobs, jobs, jobs." Tedisco doesn't actually live in the Congressional district (he's not required to), but says he'll move there. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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People gather to watch inauguration, Paterson keeps everyone guessing, Alaei brothers sentenced, hot fudge business is sweet

People got together in places all over the Capital Region yesterday to watch the inauguration, including living rooms, restaurants, senior citizen homes, Proctors Theater, fraternal organizations, a think tank and a lot of schools. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [Saratogian] [Troy Record] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

There were also a bunch of local people at the actual event, some with better spots to view the ceremony than others. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [Saratogian] [Fox23]

Hillary Clinton was not confirmed by the full Senate yesterday as Secretary of State. The vote on her confirmation was held up by Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who expressed concerns about donors to the Clinton Global Initiative. [NYT]

David Paterson told reporters yesterday morning that he had a "good idea" about who he's going to pick to replace Hillary Clinton. Then he told Katie Couric and Bob Schieffer later that he's "not totally sure who I'm going to appoint yet." (video) He also told Couric and Schieffer that Andrew Cuomo is among the people he's considering. [Daily Politics] [CBSNews] [Buffalo News]

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Kamiar Alaei Update

Kamiar AlaeiReports on the status of Kamiar and Arash Alaei have been a bit confusing, but the latest news out of Iran suggests the UAlbany graduate student and his brother have now been convicted of attempting to overthrow Islamic rule in Iran as part of an alleged $75 million US-backed plot.

The brothers, both internationally known AIDS doctors, have been detained in Iran since June. Earlier reports suggested they were convicted several weeks ago, but on Saturday Iranian intelligence officials announced four people were convicted of plotting a "velvet revolution" as part of a CIA plot. Today it was announced that the Alaei brothers were two of the four. Some analysts say the conviction is intended to send a message to Barack Obama about U.S. policy toward Iran.

Kamiar and Arash are now facing prison terms of 1 to 10 years.

Paterson budget proposal out today, thousands still without power, CDTA says rapid bus line moving forward, UAlbany plans to chill out

David Paterson is releasing his proposed 2009 state budget today -- and it's expected to include the elimination of 3,000 state worker jobs, some of through layoffs. The governor's people say many of the layoffs could be averted if the state worker unions agree to defer their raises next year and delay a week's-worth of pay. [TU]

Caroline Kennedy says she wants to succeed Hillary Clinton and is actively pursuing the seat. [NYT]

As of this morning, about 40,000 homes in the Capital Region are still without power. National Grid says it brought 900 line and tree crews into the region and they've been working 18 hour shifts to get things repaired. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Chuck Schumer and David Paterson are calling on the federal government to provide disaster aid to the area. [Troy Record]

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Deal for state Senate control crumbling, ban on texting and driving, Lydia Kulbida being let go, Tutunjian says he'll go to jail over budget, reps speak out against cow fart tax

That deal Malcolm Smith reportedly struck with the "Gang of Three" to solidify control of the state Senate appears to be falling apart. It seems the trio is upset that Smith was trying to strip many of the powers away from the majority leader title (under the reported agreement, Smith would become Senate president pro tem and one of the trio would become Senate majority leader). The Gang of Three seems upset, with one member blaming, among others, "The gays." [NYT] [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics]

A Marist poll reports that New Yorkers favor either Andrew Cuomo or Caroline Kennedy for Hillary Clinton's seat. Well, either them, or "unsure." [Marist]

The Schenectady County Legislature passed a ban on texting while driving last night. It takes effect next March. Getting caught violating the ban will cost $150. [Daily Gazette]

WNYT has decided to not renew the contract of popular anchor Lydia Kulbida. Her contract runs through mid January, though the station's not sure if she'll be back on the air again. Seventeen other people at the station are also being let go. [TU]

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Democrats strike deal for control of state Senate, Schumer touting Gillibrand, longtime Saratoga sheriff gets challenger, wrong way driver causes four accidents, students organize for french fries

Note: the TU's site wasn't loading this morning.

Democrats in the state Senate have worked out a deal with the "Gang of Three" senators who were threatening to side with Republicans in the upcoming leadership vote. As part of the deal, Malcolm Smith will become head of the state Senate (president pro tem), but Pedro Espada will become majority leader (no, it usually doesn't get split like that). Also apparently part of the deal: the chamber won't bring up a vote on gay marriage, which one of the Gang of Three opposes. [NYT] [NYDN] [NYP]

Chuck Schumer is reportedly encouraging David Paterson to pick Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton. [NYP]

The solider from Rensselaer County accused of killing two superiors in Iraq was found not guilty by a military jury yesterday at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. The judge had to clear the courtroom after the verdict prompted yelling from the victims' families. [AP/Daily Gazette]

Police say bystanders flocked to the aid of the family hit by a pickup truck on State Street in Schenectady Wednesday. An SPD spokesperson says the accident scene was one of the worst he's ever seen, with little kids "lying in the street screaming for their mother." [Daily Gazette]

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Fence Mag obama coverThe New York Writers Institute will be hosting the launch of the latest issue of Fence Magazine this Thursday. Not familiar with Fence? From the mag's site:

Founded in 1998, Fence is a biannual journal of poetry, fiction, art, and criticism that has a mission to redefine the terms of accessibility by publishing challenging writing distinguished by idiosyncrasy and intelligence rather than by allegiance with camps, schools, or cliques.

The Thursday event will feature readings from three contributors to the issue:

  • Ira Sher, who's appeared on This American Life
  • Edward Schwarzschild, UAlbany English Department Professor
  • Shelley Jackson, who's described as a "groundbreaking creator of hypertext fiction"

The reading starts at 7 pm in the Standish Room of the Science Library on the uptown campus. It's free.

Paterson goes looking for help in DC, Gillibrand on list to replace Clinton, Albany gets an upgrade, infamous B&B gets new purpose

David Paterson and other top state officials were in DC yesterday lobbying for federal aid -- with little progress. Chuck Schumer said help -- if there is any -- would not arrive before there's a new Congress in January. [TU] [NYDN]

In what was perhaps not the best PR move during a budget crunch, the state's Office of General Services bought a $21,000 custom rug for the Governor's Mansion. Upside: Turkish rugs are apparently very much in style now. [TU]

Kirsten Gillibrand is reportedly on the list of people David Paterson is considering to replace Hillary Clinton -- if Clinton takes the Secretary of State job in the Obama Administration. Paterson apparently would like to appoint someone who's a woman or Latino or from upstate. [NYT]

Jerry Jennings said yesterday that he wants to "create a new template for urban education" in Albany. He didn't elaborate, though. [TU]

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Troy deploys gun shot detector, Albany targets blight, movies for gym class, poll worker says students weren't turned away, IMAX screen opens

The City of Troy demonstrated its new system for monitoring and locating gun shots. The "ShotSpotter" cost $250,000. So where's the coverage area? The location of the monitors is a secret. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Troy City Council voted unanimously to ask RPI to start paying a public safety fee to offset the costs of the emergency services coverage at the campus. Mayor Harry Tutunjian says he's already been talking with the school and is concerned the council is trying to negotiate the deal itself. [TU] [Troy Record]

The City of Albany says it's using mapping software and a multi-department effort to focus on cleaning up the 50 most blighted blocks in the city. The program is being coordinated by the city's police chief. [TU]

A woman climbed down a steep 75 foot embankment yesterday in Ravena to help the passengers of a pick up truck that had just slammed into the back of her car. The woman, a nurse, says "I like to help people." [CBS6] [WNYT]

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Who needs a magic wall or holograms?

UAlbany WCDB election map

Patrick Donges, the news director at WCDB.

This photo by Patrick Dodson made us smile. We love the fantastically lo-fi map posted in the studio at UAlbany's WCDB radio station last night.

Here's a larger version of the pic.

photo: Patrick J. Dodson

Search continues for UAlbany student's killer, number of local foreclosures jumps, push to register organ donors, ready for NANOvember?

Police say there are still no leads in the murder of UAlbany student Richard Bailey. But another person has said he saw two people on bikes hurrying away from the scene. "Those guys were in a hurry to get somewhere," the neighbor told the TU. A woman driving by the scene said earlier this week she believed the two bikers were somehow involved. The APD says it's looking for the pair, but also says they're not suspects. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [CBS6]

A lawyer for Charles O'Byrne, David Paterson's chief of staff, says his client suffers from "late-filing syndrome." Yes, he really did say that. No, it's not a recognized psychological condition. O'Byrne owed almost $300,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest after not filing a return between 2001 and 2005. Paterson aides attribute O'Byrne's filing problems to bouts of clinical depression. [NYT] [TU]

The number of home foreclosures in the Capital Region more than doubled last quarter from the same period a year before. Even so, the region has one of the nation's lowest foreclosure rates. [TU]

A former Saratoga Springs employee is suing the city for racial discrimination. The man says he was passed over for promotion because he's an African-American. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in 2007 that the city had discriminated against the man. [Daily Gazette]

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No leads in UAlbany student shooting, probable safety violations at site of ditch death, Paterson dials wrong number, spellcheck blamed for Obama/Osama mixup

Richard Bailey, the UAlbany student shot in the head Monday night, died yesterday afternoon. He was from Long Island and planned to become a cop. The APD hasn't identified a motive for the shooting. It says it's looking for two people who were riding bikes past the intersection of South Lake and Yates at the time of the shooting. Police say the two bike riders aren't considered suspects, but a woman who was driving past the same point that night says she thinks the they were involved. [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Gazette] [CBS6]

Kirsten Gillibrand and Sandy Treadwell met for their first debate / candidate forum last night in Poughkeepsie. The main exchange between the seems to have been of the "Yes, you did/No, I didn't" variety on tax increases. [TU] [Fox23]

OSHA says the death of a construction worker after a ditch collapse in Clifton Park this week was "preventable." An official says a complete investigation could take several weeks. An attorney representing the contruction contractor says it appears the man who died did not follow instructions on how to properly dig the ditch. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Leaders of the state worker unions met yesterday with David Paterson to talk about ways the state could cut costs. Layoffs did not come up in the discussion, though the Gov reportedly did say "there are no sacred cows." [TU]

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Construction worker buried alive, UAlbany student shot in the head, falling oil prices a sting for some, forced time off for city employees?

A construction worker died yesterday in Clifton Park after the walls of a ditch collapsed on him, burying him alive. Co-workers didn't notice the mishap at first, thinking the man might have gone inside to have coffee. The man had been digging the 8-foot-deep ditch for a home addition (pictures of the site). An OSHA official says there "clearly" were violations of safety regulations at the site. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [Troy Record] [TU]

A UAlbany student was shot in the head last night at the intersection of South Lake and Yates St in Albany (map). He's on life support at Albany Med. Police are looking for the shooter -- they say a motive isn't apparent right now. [CBS6] [TU]

It seems absentee ballots in Albany County were more screwed up than originally thought. Not only was David Soares not listed on all the appropriate lines, but neither were assemblyman Jack McEneny and state senator Neil Breslin. Also, some ballots apparently listed the wrong assemblyman for the district to which they were sent. One of the county's elections commissioners say the board is understaffed. [TU]

Both Governor Paterson's top advisor, Charles O'Byrne, and the state's top cop, Harry Corbitt, have yet to get security clearances from the FBI -- even though their applications have been in for six months. That means the two officials aren't allowed to view or handle secret intelligence from the federal Department of Homeland Security. [TU]

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Former Schenectady police chief indicted, Governor talks of more budget cuts, huge reptiles rescued from house fire, UAlbany home to largest death penalty collection

Former Schenectady police chief Greg Kaczmarek and his wife, Lisa, were both indicted yesterday on drug charges. Among the allegations: that Kaczmarek provided strategic advice to the drug ring's leader during a meeting at DiCarlo's, the strip club on Central Ave. There have been suspicions about Kaczmarek and drug use dating back to the 1990s. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

A clerk for the Saratoga Springs department of public works has been arrested on charges she was skimming money from the sale of trash bags. Police say she might have stolen as much as $21,000. The head of the DPW says a lot of people were "very surprised" by the allegation. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

David Paterson said yesterday that it's "very likely" he'll call the Legislature back for another special session to possibly make more cuts to the state budget. Paterson seemed to indicate that state worker layoffs are not on the table. [TU]

The steel suspension cables on the Twin Bridges are being replaced. The current cables are showing signs of rust and fraying. [Daily Gazette]

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Former police chief accused of drug ring involvement, Grandma's gets a new owner, UAlbany nanotech aims for another building, giant pink bike rider assaulted

Former Schenectady police chief Greg Kaczmarek is scheduled to appear in court today where he will reportedly face charges for his involvement with a drug ring. Kaczmarek's wife and stepson already face charges for being involved with the same operation. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The media sale price for a Capital Region home was down 2 percent last month from the same period last year. Albany County median prices saw the biggest local drop -- 6 percent to $202,500. [Daily Gazette]

One of three developers pick to submit proposals for the redevelopment of the Harriman Office Campus has dropped out of the process. One of Harriman's board members says tightening credit markets and competition from other tech park developments could slow the project. [TU]

Grandma's Country Restaurant on Central Ave has been sold to the owner of Ralph's Tavern (also on Central). The new owner says Grandma's gift shop will be closing, but says everything else -- including the pies -- will remain exactly the same. [Daily Gazette] [Biz Review]

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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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Candidates stretch for primaries, Albany High schedules still not totally fixed, new details in UAlbany roof stabbing, parking fees at airport might be going up, train runs over man

The Democratic candidates vying to replace Mike McNulty in Congress are stretching toward the de facto finish line -- tomorrow's primary. Phil Steck took out a home equity loan worth almost $100,000 to fund his campaign and Tracey Brooks has loaned her campaign $50,000. [Daily Gazette]

Waterford and Halfmoon are fighting with the EPA over how and when they should get water during the Hudson PCB clean-up. The federal agency is now threatening the towns with $32,500 a day in fines if they don't allow access for the construction of a back up water pipeline. The towns say they have no problem with the pipeline -- they just want a guarantee the pipeline will be ready when dredging starts. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

No one seems to know which way heating prices are headed this winter. That hasn't stopped state politicians from making them an issue. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Albany High is scheduled to start its school year, again, today. It still hasn't completely fixed its scheduling problems, though. [TU]

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UAlbany's walk-through fountain

UAlbany walkthrough fountain

Every day can be fountain day now.

UAlbany dedicated a new "walk-through" fountain this week at the Collins Circle campus entrance on Washington. And, yep, you really can walk through the fountain.

It's basically just a plaza with spouts that shoot water straight up from the surface. There's a sort of runway to follow through the water, but you do get wet.

While we were there today checking it out, a handful of people stopped to take a look. It seemed like the most common reaction was, "Huh?" (Katherine had a similar reaction.)

More pics after the jump.

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Something stinks on the backstretch, workers overcome by fumes, schools big into bilingual, scholarship participation yanked over scuffling football coach, paying more at the dollar store

As if shoveling horse manure all day wasn't bad enough, the New York State Department of Labor says many backstretch workers at The Track are not only not getting paid overtime, they're not even making minimum wage. The labor department says horse trainers, who employ the backstretch workers, are engaged in "widespread violations labor law." [TU]

Two workers for Precision Industrial Maintenance in Schenectady were overcome by toxic fumes yesterday when they stepped inside a tanker truck used to collect raw sewage. Both were taken to the hospital in critical condition. Precision was cited for violating workplace safety rules on a different project earlier this year. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A plan to turn an apartment building in Troy's Little Italy neighborhood into housing for homeless people with mental illnesses is catching flak from residents of the area. They say they're worried the building could hold back the neighborhood's revitalization. [TU]

Two crime reports from locations you don't normally see them from: a stabbing in Niskayuna and shots fired in Glenmont. [CBS6] [TU]

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Troy prostitution sting, local synchro swimmer competing today at the Olympics, on the trail of a campaign sign thief, Mr. Subb goes upscale

The Troy police busted 16 men this week during what they've described as an undercover prostitution "reverse-sting." As you might expect, there were some complaints from the busted. One guy says he didn't actually ask the undercover policewoman for, um, service (police say the same guy was arrested on the same charges last year). And another says he had a stick stuck up his nose during the arrest. [TU] [Troy Record]

After having their Schenectady store broken into eight times over three years, the owners of Funn Electronics and Keys World say they're moving back to Brooklyn, where they didn't have any trouble. They say they might stay if the city would allow them to install a metal gate that could be pulled down over the business while it's closed -- but the city doesn't allow them. [Daily Gazette]

Troy native Kim Probst is competing in synchronized swimming today at the Olympics. She's co-captain of the US team. [Troy Record]

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Stabbed where?