The last week's worth of items on AOA

Today's moment of summer

A sky time lapse from Tuesday afternoon.

Faster, higher, butterier

Behold: This is the butter sculpture at this year's New York State Fair in Syracuse. It's a salute to the US Olympics team and athletes in New York.

The State Fair runs through September 5. Among the new things at this year's fair: text alerts for calf births in the Dairy Cow Birthing Center. [New York Upstate]

R. Kelly at the Palace

musician R Kelly

The Palace announced today that R. Kelly is set play a show there September 29. Tickets go on sale this Friday, September 2 -- they're $68 and up.

Kelly is, of course, one of the most successful R&B artists of all time. He's sold more than 40 million albums, won multiple Grammys, and worked with a bunch of different artists.

He's also become a very controversial figure, with a string of allegations that he had sexual relationships with underage women going back to the 1990s -- Kelly was acquitted of the charges that were filed against him -- and there was the whole issue of his marriage to Aaliyah. He has become a prominent example of the question of whether art can be separated from its artist.

Zelda in Hudson

The production of an Amazon streaming series about Zelda Fitzgerald -- Z: The Beginning of Everything, starring Christina Ricci -- shot scenes on the streets of Hudson this week. [Register-Star]

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: setbacks, the need to be heard, PR, maps, a blue ribbon, Lake Placid, All Things Oz, a relay, a beautiful mushroom, Travers, restaurant tipping, back to the kitchen, a culinary competition, Minissale's, and a goodbye.

Neighborhood in-post ad APL 2015

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ReZone Albany draft out, public meetings this week

rezone albany mixed use downtown concept drawing

A concept drawing from the part of the draft detailing the rules for a mixed-use downtown district: "The purpose of the MU-DT district is to provide for a wide range of uses and encourage infill redevelopment while reinforcing existing, well-defined urban character of Albany’s historic downtown area."

The draft of the city of Albany's new zoning code is out, and there are two public meetings this week to discuss it:

+ Wednesday, August 31 at the Albany Public Library Washington Ave branch from 2-4 pm

+ Thursday, September 1 at College of Saint Rose Lally School (1009 Madison Ave) from 6-8 pm

The Rezone Albany process has been going on for almost two years now, and it's the sort of thing that might be easy to just be like, "Zoning? More like zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzonig, amirite?!"

But the issues up for discussion are all the sorts of things that people regularly get fired up about: What sorts of buildings are built, complications that keep rundown properties from being redeveloped, what projects look like, what people are allowed to do with properties, and everyone's favorite topic, parking. Given that the city's zoning hasn't gotten an overhaul since the 1960s, there's plenty to update in order to make the code more in line with the direction the city wants to go, and along the way make the rules more clear, consistent, and predictable.

Here's a short, quick example of how the Rezone Albany process has already made a difference.

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AOA Startup Grant 2016 voting now open!

Startups2016 applicants poster billboard

Voting is now open for the 2016 AOA Startup Grant contest!: Here's the ballot!

Three finalists will be chosen to compete for the $2,500 prize. Crowd voting will pick two of the finalists, the Editors will pick the third. Voting closes this Friday, September 9 at noon.

The finalists will make presentations to a panel of judges that will pick the winner. Those presentations will be September 22 at The Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy. They will be open to the public. It's free to attend. (We'll post details closer to the event.)

As in past years, the pool of entries this time around includes a bunch of interesting projects. Go have a look at the applications

Thanks to this year's contest sponsors: CDPHP, Staff Ciampino & Company P.C., Certified Public Accountants, The Tech Valley Center of Gravity, The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region, The College of Saint Rose, and Berkshire Bank.

16-0375 All Over Albany Small Business online Ad_525x80

startup contest 2014 sponsor ad staff ciampino

Startup2015 Berkshire Bank in-post ad

Saint Rose in-post ad 2016

Nine Pin Cider Works AOA Startup Grant ad

Senate hearings on Rensselaer County PFOA crisis, more water main breaks in Colonie, President Obama commutes Schenectady man's sentence


Senate hearing on PFOA
Shifting guidelines from EPA were the target of criticism on Tuesday at the Senate hearing on PFOA contamination in Rensselaer County. Hoosick Falls residents told some painful personal stories of loss and fear, and some criticized the state for "talking down the risks" posed by PFOA exposure. There were no representatives of EPA at the hearing. An administrator for the EPA's Region 2 told the Times Union that the State Health Department made a judgement not to follow the EPA health advisory of 400ppt because of what they said was a built in margin of error, saying "The health department wasn't confused, they just simply disagreed."The Cuomo administration is seeking reimbursement from the federal government for the cost of responding to the Hoosick Falls PFOA crisis. [TU][NYT][TU][News 10][TU][TU]

Man shot in Schenectady burglary
A Schenectady man was shot during an alleged burglary at his Catherine Street home. Police say they are searching for three suspects in the incident. [TU][Gazette]

Albany County deputy salaries
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says lower salaries for deputies are costing the county money because deputies are leaving for other law enforcement jobs within a few years after the county trains them. [TU]

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Upcoming lunch options at the ESP: Bombers, Kuma Ani, The Dutch Pot

Empire State Plaza concourse with artComing to the Empire State Plaza main cafeteria in September: Bombers, Kuma Ani, and The Dutch Pot.

The state's Office of General Services, which manages the plaza, officially announced the upcoming additions Tuesday. Press release blurbage:

Bombers Burrito Bar Hours: Monday - Friday 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Locally owned since 1997, Bombers will serve its signature burritos, bowls, tacos and salads.  Favorites including ancho chili chicken, southern fried catfish, "Red Stripe" jerk pork, quinoa bowls, buffalo chicken salad and more.
Kuma Ani Express  Hours: Monday - Friday 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Kuma Ani burst on to the Albany sushi scene in 2015 and has earned a stellar reputation infusing authentic Japanese dishes with Western culinary techniques. Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, seaweed co‐mingle with, Spanish mackerel, king salmon, madai, rice paper, lobster, soy paper and more for sushi, salads, Shumai, miso soup and more.
The Dutch Pot  Hours: Monday - Friday 10:30 a.m. - 2:30p.m.     A favorite of Lark Street area residents, customers will enjoy fresh Jamaican delights including coconut shrimp salad, jerk chicken wraps, curried goat, rice & beans, plantains and homemade pastry

Kuma Ani is at 287 New Scotland Avenue in Albany's Helderberg neighborhood. The Dutch Pot is at 418 Madison Ave, just east of Delaware/Lark, in Albany. And Bombers, well, you know where the Bombers locations are.

Earlier on AOA: Eat This: Oxtail at the Dutch Pot (2013)

"Now they call me the doughnut king"

Deanna recently wrote a profile over at the Times Union about Golden Harvest's John Henry. He came here as on a migrant farm worker visa from Jamaica 40 years ago and over the years became a key member of the Valatie farm's staff. (Also: The farm says he perfected its cider donut recipe. And it has some seriously good cider donuts.) Just this past weekend it held John Henry Day, and Harvest Spirits -- the distillery at the farm -- named its single malt whiskey after him. [TU]

Restaurants with good gluten-free options?

alleycarte chocolate chip cookie

One of the things that's remarkable to us is that many places seem to have at least some gluten-free options now, and many spots work GF items into their menus as a matter of course. This cookie was part of the lunch from the from the Peck's Arcade Alleycarte pop-up in Troy -- it was gluten free. And as Peck's pastry chef Greg Kern notes in the comments, their entire dessert menu has been gluten free for the past year and a half. / photo: Steve Noisseau

Kara emails:

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a few months ago, and was wondering if you can solicit recommendations from your readers on area restaurants that are good for someone who has to follow a gluten free diet. I know you did this in 2011, but I'm hoping there are more places to add to the list at this point!
I have been to the New World Bistro Bar and El Loco so far and had great experiences at both. I'm especially interested in places that understand Celiac Disease and how to avoid cross contamination- that is really important but isn't always obvious from seeing a menu or website that has gluten free items listed (and may not be a concern for people who are following a gf diet for reasons other than Celiac). Thank you!!

As Kara mentions, this question has come up before -- and we even turned the suggestions into a map/listing. But that was five years ago, and things change. (Looking at that old listing, some of those places are no longer in business.)

So, got suggestions for Kara? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're suggesting a place can be very helpful.

Twiddle at The Palace for New Year's Eve

twiddle the band

The Palace announced this week that Twiddle will be playing a New Year's Eve show there this year. Tickets go on sale this Friday (September 2) -- they're $39 ahead / $44 day of.

The New Year's Eve date at the Palace has been occupied by moe. in recent years. So the venue has decided to keep it jammy.

Openers for the Palace show are Aqueous, and Soul Monde.

By the way: There's a pre-sale via the band's website starting this Wednesday.

The time zone next door

Massachusetts is studying the possibility of shifting the state to the Atlantic Time Zone -- so, one hour ahead of the Eastern Time Zone -- and then not observing Daylight Savings Time. Why? The idea first bubbled up in a Boston Globe op/ed arguing the shift would be worth it to avoid the back-and-forth of DST and... as a way of attracting college grads. [Bloomberg]

An 18th century Albany wedding cake (maybe)

schuyler wedding cake documentThe Albany Muskrat pointed this out today, and given the interest in the early 19th century "Albany Cake" recipe last fall, we figured you might be curious: This is said to be the recipe for the cake served at the 1780 wedding of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler at the Schuyler Mansion in Albany.

The recipe is from a document dated 1941 from the NYS Archives, and posted online by the What America Ate project. The document -- which, somewhat oddly has the title "Schuyler Wedding Cake 1690" -- attributes the recipe to a Mrs. Richard Schuyler of Ballson Spa, "for many years mistress of the ancestral home, The Flatts." (The Schuyler Flatts property is in what's now Menands.)

Anyway, check out the recipe:

12 pounds brown sugar
12 pounds butter
12 pounds of browned flour
12 dozen eggs
46 pounds raisins
24 pounds citron
Molasses [handwritten] - 1 gallon
3 quarts Brandy
1 quart Jamaica Rum
12 ounces each of cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg, pounded fine in a mortar.
10 teaspoons salt
12 teaspoons pearl ash
mix in large oaken tub. and bake 16 hours.

This is obviously for a very large batch, but... yeah, three quarts of brandy and one quart of rum.

Pearl ash? As historian Sarah Evenson explained to us last year, "Pearl ash is potassium carbonate, a leavening agent used before baking powder or baking soda. You don't see much mention of this until the late 18th/early 19th century. Prior to that, yeast and whipped egg whites were the chief leavening agents."

The recipe documented appears to be from some sort of almanac, and is attributed to J.A. DeHollander. We mostly came up empty of a few quick searches today, though. Maybe you know more about this person? Update: Pamela provides the backstory in the comments.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Baking that Albany Cake
+ What did Albany eat in the 18th century?
+ "You maintain your empire in spite of all my efforts..."

image via What America Ate / NYS Archives

Hearings in Hoosick Falls, third person pleads guilty in Lansingburgh arson case, how 'bout those (smaller) apples

Hoosick Falls
There's a state Senate hearing scheduled for Tuesday in Hoosick Falls about the contamination of the water supply there with PFOA:
+ A look at some of the key questions about the situation. [Politico NY]
+ Chris Churchill on skepticism with which some residents are viewing the hearings. [TU+]
+ State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin on the apparent delay in officials telling people to stop drinking the water: "It's crucial, I mean this is on a level of Flint, Michigan-type of a problem with government not letting folks know what was going on." [TWCN]
+ The creator of the PFOA Project Twitter account, ahead of the hearings: "Clean drinking water is necessary for survival, and we shouldn't have to fight our state to get it." [TWCN]

In the dumps
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has marked municipal landfills in Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh, and Berlin as "potential state Superfund sites" because of potential PFOA contamination. [TU]

Alleged Schenectady fire attack
The 29-year-old man accused of setting his stepfather on fire last Friday has pleaded not guilty and he's being held without bail. The man's mother tells News10 he suffers from bipolar disorder, and possibly schizophrenia, and had sought treatment in the days leading up to the incident. [Daily Gazette] [News10]

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Here's the list of entries for this year's AOA Startup Grant

Startups2016 applicants poster billboard

Crowd voting for two spots in the final of this year's AOA Startup Grant contest starts this Wednesday. So let's have a look at the entries for 2016. Here they are, listed in the order the applications were received (links go to their applications):

+ Nut Zez

+ Weird Beard Candle Co.

+ Stone Hard Hopyard

+ The Makeup Curio

+ Marquise Productions

+ The Musicians of Ma'alwyck

+ RE: WORK Editing

+ Gentle Persuasions

+ #EatMeAlbany

+ Clean Is The New Dirty

+ Tivoli Park Peace Farm

+ Collar City Candle

+ Electorate

As mentioned above, crowd voting for two of the three spots in the final starts on Wednesday. (Don't worry, we'll post a link.)

Thanks to everyone who entered this year! Good luck!

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startup contest 2014 sponsor ad staff ciampino

Startup2015 Berkshire Bank in-post ad

Saint Rose in-post ad 2016

Nine Pin Cider Works AOA Startup Grant ad

J.D. McPherson at The Hangar

musician jd mcpherson

Singer/songwriter J.D. McPherson is set to play two shows at The Hangar in Troy, September 24 and September 25. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $20.

McPherson's style is sort of old-school rock 'n roll/rockabilly. Here's a Rolling Stone article from last year in which McPherson talks about taking inspiration from late-1950s rock and Sun Records artists.

The last McPherson played The Hangar, at the end of August 2015, the show sold out. So if you'd like to go this time around, it's not a bad idea to get tickets sooner rather than later.

photo: Jimmy Sutton

The Irish Alps

Over at NYT, Michael Malone revisits "The Irish Alps" a collection of resorts around East Durham in northern Greene County that were once a popular vacation spot for Irish families from around the NYC area. "My memories call up a miniature Emerald Isle in Greene County, where the resort's dining room was always full, the pub teemed with revelers and there were always enough children for a ballgame." [NYT] (Thanks, Jess!)

Sarah and Brianna's apartment on the park

Open House Willett apartment composite

By Nicole Lemperle Correia / Photos by Paul Gallo

Sarah and Brianna's apartment is in an "old Albany" building, perfectly situated on Washington Park. But while the architecture and details throughout the apartment are beautiful, the most notable thing about their space is the way they've filled it with items that are meaningful to them. Their apartment tells the story of their travels, the people in their lives, and their interests. The artwork, the photographs, and the books on the shelves tell their story in a very personal way. The apartment is comfortable and welcoming, clearly a space they love and enjoy opening up to others.

Sarah and Brianna also offer an interesting perspective on life in Albany versus life in New York City (spoiler alert: Albany wins), their reasons for choosing this spot on the park, and the things that make a place feel like home.

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Albany History Race 2016

APL albany history race logoThe Albany Public Library's Albany History Race returns September 24 and this year's event is focused on historic buildings. Blurbage:

Anyone interested in Albany's storied past is invited to participate in this "Amazing Race"-style scavenger hunt around the city. For this year's race, the Albany Public Library is partnering with Historic Albany Foundation and showcasing the endangered buildings of our city. Over the course of a couple of hours on that Saturday afternoon, teams will receive clues and location histories written by Historic Albany Foundation and dash around Albany making quick stops at historic locations. The final stop of the race is McGeary's Pub (4 Clinton Sq.) where all participating teams will receive 20 percent off their food and drink that day. The fastest teams will receive bragging rights and prizes from The Albany Distilling Company, Historic Albany Foundation, and other Albany businesses.

The event starts at 1 pm on Saturday, September 24. It's free to participate, but registration is required (registration starts September 1). See the link above for details.

APL advertises on AOA.

Marking the damage and recovery from Irene, man accused of setting stepfather on fire, search for bikini bandit, Travers victory in record time

The damage -- and recovery -- from Irene
It was five years ago that rain from Tropical Storm Irene caused major, destructive flooding across Schoharie, Greene, and Schenectady counties. So many local outlets looked back over this past weekend:
+ Visiting Prattsville, said to be the spot hardest hit by the flooding, to see how the recovery has gone. [TU+]
+ Recalling the surge of water the inundated Rotterdam Junction, where the rose to a level 14 feet high on a flagpole outside a house. [Daily Gazette] [News10]
+ Looking at the recovery and planning efforts of Schoharie Area Long Term as it looks to the future. Said the former Schoharie recovery director: "I want my son and the future generations of this county to learn from the stories of the resilience of the men and women who I saw achieve amazing things in the wake of disaster." [Daily Gazette x2] [TWCN]

Man accused of setting stepfather on fire
Schenectady police a 29-year-old man was arrested for allegedly throwing gasoline on his stepfather and lighting him on fire Friday. He's facing charges that include attempted murder. The stepfather airlifted to a medical facility in Westchester County for treatment. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

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The week ahead

Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on stage

Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me is at Tanglewood this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (cooler), to county fairs, the last week at The Track, to EMPAC, to comedy news quiz, to all the summer things, to music...


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This week was brought to you by

Thumbnail image for spectrum marquee at night.

See a summer movie at The Spectrum

This week was brought to you by bike lanes, breezes and back to school clothes.
And of course, by AOA advertisers like the folks at The Spectrum theater. Eight theaters showing new feature films, foreign films,plays and special events with a side of great popcorn and mint brownies.

Want to advertise on AOA? It's easy and affordable. Just send us a note at advertising@alloveralbany.com and we'll get you started.

Meanwhile, here are the other advertisers that made this week on AOA possible. Stop in and visit them when you can, and thank them for supporting the information you look for in the Capital Region.

Food and Drink

Snacks and movies
Tierra Coffee Roasters and the Madison Theater.Tierra treats are available at their Madison Avenue shop and at the Madsion Theater.

New World
New World Bistro Bar's featuring their summer seafood bowl and Puerto Rican Asopao, as well as your New World favorites.

Local, healthy, delicious
Honest Weight Food Coop. Eat healthy, eat local.

Catering
New World Catering, bringing small dinners, big parties and weddings to you.

Fine wine
Capital Wine at the corner of State and Lark Streets, with a wonderful supply of wines from around the world.

Ways to get where you're going

CDTA: whether it's work or play, CDTA can get you where you're going and safely back home again.

Capital Car Share. Share cars for just $8 an hour.

Stuff to do

Kids in Free
GE's Kids in Free program, providing free admissions to kids under 12 with a paying adult at special events around the Capital Region.

Troy Flea
Troy Flea, a collective market filled with vintage and homemade goodies on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month in Troy's Riverfront Park.

Make stuff
Tech Valley Center of Gravity. This maker space in a renovated historic Troy building currently has co-working available for just $50 per month. The Center of Gravity also offers space, equipment, education and camaraderie to makers, hackers, crafters, tinkerers and artists.

Learn to dance
Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Learn to dance in 2016.

Museums
The Albany Institute of History and Art, mummies, art, history and now the home of Cafe Crisan.

Films
Spectrum 8 Theaters.

Places to Visit
Columbia County Tourism
Getaway and play in Columbia County

Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Staycation in Albany County and make your day amazing.

Places to Live

The Capital Team
Brian Brosen and Reggie Monroe at The Capital Team at Realty USA. Brian and Reggie can help out with your residential and commercial real estate needs in the Capital Region.

Downtown Albany BID
The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District. Hosting a residential open house on August 12, featuring tours of eight downtown residential spaces.

Harmony Mills
Harmony Mills Lofts in Cohoes -- Manhattan style loft living in the Albany area.

Helpful stuff

Weddings/Events
Takk House -- a unique wedding and event venue in downtown Troy.

Linium Staffing
Linium Staffing, employment and career solutions to move your company forward.

Accounting
Staff Ciampino & Company, P.C.. Staff Ciampino can help you with your business and personal tax needs. They're also the sponsors of the All Over Albany Start Up Grant business contest, so they're not only good at what they do, they're awesome too.

Banking
Berkshire Bank, providing the $1,500 prize money for this year's AOA Startup Contest. Great rates on home equity loans.

Libraries
The Albany Public Libraries. Their mobile app helps you find library locations and hours, check your library card account, learn about upcoming events, download eBooks, audiobooks, music and more. You can even check ISBN bar codes on books, DVDs and CDs to see if the library owns what you need.

A quick recap of the week

week review 2016-08-26

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:

+ We talked with the creator of the Troy Poem Project.

+ Cristin offered suggestions about hikes to start with as you set out hiking the High Peaks.

+ In business since the 1920s, the VanCurler music store is closing.

+ Deanna stopped into a new tacqueria in Albany.

+ The city of Albany did the striping for the Madison Ave Road Diet -- and the new road design prompted a lot of reactions. Officials asked for patience, and called for people to adapt.

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: bike lanes, summers past, a photo with a photo, morning at The Track, telephones, steampunk, genealogy, flora, topiary, careers, summer food, fish fry, Hamlet & Ghost, Villa Balsamo, diners, grilling, subs, pretend cattle ranching, and the rest of the story.

+ The apartments in the Sheridan Hollow redevelopment have rented.

+ And The city of Troy held a public meeting asking for input about how to move forward at 1 Monument Square.

Here's the whole week in one place.

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea this week!

Symbolic change

new active people with disabilities symbol Market32 parking lot

It's been about two years since a change in New York State law required the more-active disability symbol on new state signage. But for whatever reason, we've noticed the new-style symbols popping up a bunch local places this summer.

That pic above is from a Market 32 parking lot earlier this month.

The new version of the symbol started back in 2010 as a form of activism intended to help reshape the perception of people with disabilities -- two designers in Boston ended up making stickers to apply over the old, more passive-looking symbol. And from there it grew into a collaborative design project with other people, and then a widespread shift.

Reasons to improve walkability

Not local, but it touches on many of the topics we all end discussing here: An international engineering/design firm recently released an overview -- "Cities Alive: Towards a walking world" -- of all sorts of research related to making cities more walkable. And Fast Company has condensed it into an easy-scan list: "50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets." (Some of these seem like a stretch, but many of them also rang true based on our own experience.)

The Capital Region leads Upstate in job growth

nys osc upstate jobs report regional employment change

The Capital Region led Upstate New York* in employment grown between 2009 June and 2016 June -- that's from a new report by the state comptroller's office. The Capital Region* was up 2.2 percent over that period, while all of Upstate employment was up just 0.3 percent. It was one of just three (of eight) regions Upstate to see employment growth.

So... good for the Capital Region, right? Yep, but it's not all great.

Here are a few more interesting bits from the report about jobs Upstate...

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The Creative Life at UAlbany: Joyce Carol Oates, Savion Glover

joyce carol oates savion glover ualbany

UAlbany announced a new series -- "The Creative Life" -- this week that's bringing Joyce Carol Oates and Savion Glover to the university this September and October. Blurbage:

The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany is an exciting new initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum, all of which are housed and function on the main campus of the University at Albany. Presented by the University at Albany Foundation, the series features live onstage interviews conducted by WAMC's Joe Donahue with artists of national and international prominence in conversation about their creative inspiration, their craft, their careers and the demands of sustaining an artistic practice over time. A question and answer period will close all of the programs.

The event with author Joyce Carol Oates is Thursday, September 15 at 7:30 pm in the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus.

The event with tap dance king Savion Glover is Saturday, October at 1 pm in Page Hall on the downtown campus. (And, as mentioned, Glover's also set to perform at The Egg October 15.)

Both events are free and open to the public.

UAlbany says it's planning for events of this type for the spring.

photos: Joyce Carol Oates - Dustin Cohen | Savion Glover - Savion Glover Productions

Stuff to do this weekend

Enchanted City by Slyer Image

The Enchanted City Festival returns to Troy this weekend.

It's starting a little soggy, but it's going to be a lovely summer weekend -- and one of the last of the season. So go find something fun to do that you can look back on fondly in February.

After the jump, a few suggestions, from steampunk to baseball to the Travers to drive-ins and theater in the park. Pick your favorites and squeeze the most out of summer.

And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend.

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YNHW in-post ad Columbia County Tourism

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Vega sentenced to maximum, Troy man found not guilty in death of toddler, shift in APD recruit training to focus on community policing

Vega sentenced
Gabriel Vega -- convicted of killing Vanessa Milligan, pregnant with his child, in Lansingburgh in 2014 and then setting fire to her apartment -- was sentenced to the maximum, 50 years in prison. Said Rensselaer County Court judge Andrew Ceresia: "This defendant deserves no mercy from the court, and he will get none." Vega's attorney said his client maintains his innocence in the case. Said Milligan's father of Vega: "This should be his funeral. This should be his demise. This should be the last day that he ever sees Troy." [TWCN] [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

Acquittal in Troy 2 year old's death
Michael Davis -- accused of causing the death of a 2 year old in Troy last year -- was found not guilty of all charges. The prosecution had argued that Davis had squeezed the girl, causing internal injuries -- but Davis's attorney argued his client found the girl unresponsive and tried to resuscitate her. And he credited Davis's testimony on the stand for convincing the jury. [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]

Sheldon Silver
A federal judge's ruling Thursday allows Sheldon Silver to stay out of prison on bail while appealing his corruption conviction, which carried a 12-year sentence. [NYT]

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Today's moment of yarn

Madison Ave parking meters yarn

Behold the yarn bombing of the parking meter poles on Madison Ave in Albany between Main and West Lawrence.

Adapting to the Madison Ave Road Diet

Madison Ave bike lane 2016-08-25

Some follow-up on the roll out of the Madison Ave Road Diet in Albany...

Since the new striping has gone down on the section of Madison Ave starting at Allen Street this week, we've heard a lot of comments from people hailing the traffic calming project for slowing vehicle speeds and providing bike lanes.

We've also seen a few complaints that traffic has become very slow during the late afternoon. For example: one person said it took her 25 minutes to get from New Scotland Ave to Allen Street on Wednesday, a distance of 1.3 miles. (Though maybe there was an unusual circumstance contributing to the backup.)

So at the city of Albany's official unveiling of the project's first phase Thursday afternoon, we talked with city officials about these complaints.

They urged patience as construction continues and they work out the snags. But they also called for people to adapt.

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Last of the HoJo's

Noted: When the Howard Johnson's restaurant in Bangor, Maine closes in September, the location in Lake George will be the last one -- anywhere. The chain once had more than 1,000 locations. (The Lake George location was closed for a few recent years, but reopened in 2015. It's also the HoJo's at which Rachael Ray once worked. So it's probably on its way to becoming a historic site or something.) [AP/Post-Star]

How to move forward at 1 Monument Square?

1 Monument Square site 2016-08-25

What should go here?

More than a hundred people showed up for a public meeting Wednesday evening in Troy to talk about how to redevelop the 1 Monument Square site. And toward the beginning of the event, mayor Patrick Madden mentioned that the city was hoping to have a request for proposals out to developers sometime early this October.

But by the time the event was ending, Madden said his administration would be rethinking the process.

Here's what happened in between...

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Sheridan Hollow redevelopment: now rented

Sheridan Hollow redev 2016-August

Looking east along Sheridan Ave toward downtown Albany. Those two larger buildings in the foreground are the mixed-use buildings that will eventually include space for Habitat for Humanity Capital District and The Hungry Hollow cafe.

Here's a quick update on the ongoing Sheridan Hollow redevelopment project in Albany, one of the most interesting real estate projects in the Capital Region...

The 57 rental units centered around Sheridan Ave and Dove Street have been rented or otherwise set aside, and a large majority of them are now occupied. (There was an official ribbon cutting this week.) The units are distributed among 17 buildings constructed by the Syracuse-based org Housing Visions, and they join the 20 owner-occupied single-family and two-family homes already built there by Habitat for Humanity Capital District. (Habitat's now working on 10 new homes nearby.)

The rents for the affordable housing units are based on a sliding scale, according to Housing Visions. For example: rents for a 1BR unit range from $615-$1076 based on a household's income. If you're curious, there's a more detailed breakdown of the rents after the jump.

Housing Visions has also built two mixed-use buildings at the site. Both will include residential units upstairs, one of them with units set aside from tenants referred to Housing Visions by social services orgs. Also planned for the mixed-use buildings: office space for Habitat and a cafe -- the Hungry Hollow -- scheduled for a grand opening in October.

(there's more)

Cuomo signs ethics reform, public weighs in on 1 Monument Square, Paul Ryan headed to Saratoga, the 38 second pint

Ethics reform
Without fanfare on Wednesday, Andrew Cuomo signed an ethics reform package that would impose tight restrictions on outside spending groups in an effort to curb the impact of the Citizens United decision, but critics say it is nowhere near strong enough, since it doesn't put restrictions on lawmakers outside income or affect the "LLC loophole."[WNYT][TU][TWCN]

1 Monument Square
The City of Troy is putting the brakes on the development of 1 Monument square after residents who came out for a public hearing about the space on Wednesday made it clear that any project there is developed slowly and correctly, with the city's future needs in mind. [TU]

(there's more)

Today's moment of summer

Troy Congress Street late afternoon summer sun

Congress Street in Troy. Love the way the late afternoon sun filters through the locust trees.

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