The last week's worth of items on AOA
The reported mountain lion sightings near Cambridge in Washington County recently is a familiar story. [Post-Star]
Mountain lions? Here? In 2011 The US Fish and Wildlife Service declared that the eastern cougar had likely been extinct since the 1903s. Even so, there have been people -- naturalists, hikers, people drinking coffee on their decks -- who say they've seen one of the big cats in the eastern US since then. And the rather wayward journey of one of the cats through New York and into Connecticut a few years back just stoked those rumors.
After covering this topic a bunch of years ago for another outlet, we've thought this was one of those fun mysteries -- the kind of thing people hoped was true. That maybe our part of the world was a little more wild than we all thought.
Many parts of the Northeast have been going through an interesting environmental change over the last century in that they've actually been gaining forest land as former farmland falls back into being forested. As it happens, these once-again-spreading forests aren't exactly like the Northeastern forests of centuries ago -- the mix of trees is probably different. And they lack many of the big predators that disappeared through hunting and habitat loss. Or, at least, they have lacked those predators -- because that could be changing. [Science Daily]
Amy Biancolli is a self-described mom, ink-stained wretch, and survivor of suicides.
We would describe her as a gifted and thoughtful writer with an ability to find the joy, truth, and humor in living -- even in the aftermath of great personal tragedy.
Three years ago, Biancolli's husband, well-known Capital Region writer Chris Ringwald, took his own life. It was not Biancolli's first experience with suicide. Years earlier her sister, Lucy, killed herself, and her father survived his own suicide attempt.
Biancolli -- a former film critic for the Houston Chronicle and the current arts writer for the Times Union -- has turned that experience into a new memoir. Figuring Sh!t Out (and her blog of the same name) take a look at her first year without Chris, and the, well, stuff she had to figure out -- from who she is now without her husband of 20 years, to how to help her children, to how to work the lawn mower, to whether she should bother to shave her legs anymore. Tales of "crisis ziti", memos to George Clooney, surviving a monkey attack only to be bitten by a dog in Ecuador, and whether to search for a "Mr. Manly Pants" alternately prompt laughter and tears -- and sometimes do both at once.
Biancolli spent a few minutes with us this week, to share some thoughts on the bizarre ways humor and grief can overlap, why she decided to share such a deep personal tragedy, and the experience of being carried by her Albany community.
Lucasfilm -- you know, the production company behind Star Wars -- is challenging a trademark application from Syracuse's Empire Brewing Co. over a beer called "Strikes Bock." [Post-Standard]
Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Ladder No. 1, a different ridge, Chatham, the Walkway over the Hudson, the time machine, entertainment options then, the Tour de Cider Donut, Italian sausage, falafel, comparing donuts, an order-again appetizer, savory and sweet, uncertain status, and a FATMUP issued.
+ Moderator: Peter Biskind, author and Vanity Fair contributing editor
+ Owen Gleiberman, former head critic for Entertainment Weekly and current critic for bbc.com.
+ Eric Kohn, chief film critic and senior editor at Indiewire.
+ Wesley Morris, 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner and staff critic at Grantland. (That's Morris on the right.)
+ Alison Willmore, film critic for BuzzFeed and co-host of the podcast Filmspotting: SVU.
The panel discussion is Saturday, October 25 at 10 am at Tracy Memorial Village Hall in Chatham. Tickets are $15 and available online.
photo via Wesley Morris Twitter
Siena Poll reports Cuomo still ahead but with highest unfavorables to date, Capital Region's first START-UP NY designee, Schenectady knocks down the first of 80 buildings
The newest Siena College poll reports Andrew Cuomo and Eric Schneiderman both more than 20 points ahead of their challengers. Still, Cuomo had his highest unfavorable rating since becoming governor.[NYT][TU]
WMHT will televise what it appears will be the only debate between Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino, tonight at 8pm.[TU]
Andrew Cuomo's reelection campaign rented its email list to Harper Collins to promote the governor's new memoir.[TU]
An "eTextbook delivery" company that currently employs 11 people is the Capital Region's first tax free START-UP NY designee. ClassBook.com expects to move into downtown Albany and create about 70 new jobs. [TU][WNYT]
A Green Island man is dead after his car crashed into a school bus on Route 7 in Rensselaer County on Tuesday morning. No serious injuries were reported among the 26 children onboard the bus. [TWCN][Record]
The Capital Region's unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in September -- one of the lowest rates of any metro in the state -- according to figures out this week from the state Department of Labor. And it was down from 6.1 percent in September 2013.*
New York State's unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in September, down from 7.4 percent the year before. And the upstate unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, down from 6.9 percent the year before.
The numbers for September continue a trend for the Capital Region in which each month's unemployment rate has been lower than that same month the year before, dating back to 2012 November.
Have you ever sold your old gold and silver? I have dozens of single earrings and broken chains that I need to get rid of. Where did you sell it and did you feel you got a fair price?
We see ads for this kind of thing all the time, but they often have a Crazy Louie's House of Ridiculous Deals feel about them. And a few years back News10 looked at the prices quoted at a traveling gold and silver road show -- there was quite a difference between when the camera was on and off.
So, got a suggestion for CAOD? Please share!
The Schenectady Wolff's Biergarten is set to open October 30, pending approval of its liquor license. Matt Baumgartner talked with the Gazette's Bethany Bump about what's planned for the new location. [Matt Baumgarnter Instagram] [Daily Gazette]
The pop song cover/re-interpretation act Postmodern Jukebox will be at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall this Saturday, October 25. The group takes modern pop hits and reinterprets them in other styles, often from previous eras. A few examples: a ragtime version of "Call Me Maybe" and and 1920s jazz take on Iggy Azalea's "Fancy."
We have a pair of tickets to the show and we're giving them away. To you? Maybe!
To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:
What's something in the Capital Region that you'd like to see reinterpreted?
This could be anything. Non-redeemable bonus points for creativity.
the show at the Troy Music Hall starts at 8 pm Saturday. Tickets are $29.
Important: All comments must be submitted by 5 pm on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by midnight that day and must respond by noon on Thursday, October 23.
Troy Music Hall advertises on AOA.
The Albany Common Council passed the ordinance for a red light camera demonstration project in the city Monday night. The ordinance passed 11-4 after some impassioned comments from council members.
Pending a signature on the bill from mayor Kathy Sheehan, who supports the measure, Albany will be on its way to becoming the first municipality in the Capital Region to get the automatic cameras.
Comments, the votes, the ordinance, and a few thoughts...
Albany red light camera ordinance passed, Kaloyeros says IBM-GloFo will lead to more jobs at NanoCollege, artists' lofts proposed for Troy
The Albany Common Council passed the red light camera ordinance 11-4 during Monday night's meeting. We'll have a lot more about the vote a little later today.
Alain Kaloyeros says he expects that GlobalFoundries taking on IBM's chip fab's in the Hudson Valley and Vermont will result in more jobs for both companies in the Albany area. (IBM is one of the research partners at the NanoCollege.) He also touted investment at the NanoCollege as key part of the deal: "The governor is calling it 'mAlbany' -- a combination of Malta and Albany -- because in his mind investments have been made for a high-tech mall at CNSE." [TU] [Daily Gazette]
Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan on the fight over her proposed budget closing the Ladder No. 1 company: "Firefighters are out there telling people that they're not going to be safe, and that's just patently wrong." [TU]
Albany police say the man shot on South Pearl Street in the South End last Thursday morning died over the weekend. APD took a suspect into custody, but no charges have been filed yet. APD says it's investigation continues and it's looking for tips from the public. [APD FB] [TU]
We tied the knot recently and received our professional pictures from our photographer. We had a limited wedding budget so we weren't able to hire a very expensive photographer. Unfortunately that is now my biggest regret as we are pretty disappointed in the quality of most of the pictures : ( It appears that a majority of them weren't touched up at all and some are even downright unflattering : (
I know that with a little editing they can be salvaged so that going forward we can have a handful amazing pictures of the most important day of our lives. I know there are programs out there like Adobe Lightbox/Photoshop that could do the trick.
Could someone please recommend a local capital region photo editor? I would even be open to contacting a photo editing student that knows how to use Lightbox and wants to make some money on the side. Note: I researched a site called Fotofix online but the prices were really high so I prefer to not go to that direction.
Any help is greatly appreciated!! Thank you!
We're betting someone can help SB's photos -- but it might be within a range. At some point a photo can only be fixed so much.
So, got a suggestion for SB? Please share!
Just announced: St. Vincent is set to play a show at Upstate Concert Hall March 7. Tickets go on sale this Friday, October 24 -- they're $25 ahead / $28 day of.
St. Vincent is the stage name used by Annie Clark. Her music doesn't really fit into one genre -- maybe indie pop. But however it's categorized, it's consistently scored very strong reviews. And Clark has toured with or collaborated with a bunch of artists.
The opener for the UCH show hasn't been announced, yet.
photo via St. Vincent FB
Here's another quick trip that could be fun this time of year: Beebe Hill and its fire tower.
Christine asks via Twitter:
[B]est downtown troy activities for a bachelorette type event? @CapCtyBrewCycle is weather dependent!
[A]bout 14 ladies, low key, starting around 3 on a Saturday in late November. Possible dinner upstairs at @GetRuckedTroy
Got an idea for Christine and her friends? Please share!
GloFo taking over IBM chip fab plants, more than 30k tagged by state as too mentally unstable for a gun, neighborhoods that lack access to food stores
GlobalFoundries is taking over IBM's chip fab facilities in the East Fishkill, New York and Essex Junction, Vermont. More than 5,000 IBM employees will become GloFo employees. IBM says it's continuing its research investment at the NanoCollege. [Bloomberg] [TU] [IBM]
About 34,500 people in New York State are tagged as being too mentally unstable to have a firearm as part of a databased compiled by the state under the SAFE Act, according to documents acquired by NYT via FOIL. Andrew Cuomo responded to criticism that the number is too high by stating there are concerns that the number is still too low. [NYT x2]
Albany police are investigating a stabbing in West Hill early Saturday morning. They're also investigating another stabbing in West Hill from Friday afternoon. [APD FB x2]
Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (drippy), to film, to authors and entrepreneurs, to art, to comedy, to music...
This week was brought to you by the lovely, albeit temporary, return of summer.
It was also brought to you by a group of awesome AOA advertisers, like Shmaltz Brewing, host of the 2014 Tournament of Pizza people's choice tasting at their Clifton Park tasting room.
You'll find more of the advertisers that make AOA possible in the list below. Please patronize them when you can, and thank them for their support. If there's something you want to pass along to the AOA crowd, we can help get you started. It's easy and affordable. Just send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stuff to drive
Keeler Mini, sponsor of AOA's Tournament of Pizza to end all Tournaments of Pizza.
Stuff to do
Beverage Trail tour
Check out the wineries, breweries and distilleries along the Columbia County Beverage Trail.
The Albany Institute of History and Art, presenting the 2014 Exhibition by artists of the Mohawk-Hudson region,highlighting the work of the best visual artists in the region.
Dutch Apple Cruise Lines, sponsors of the All Over Albany Rail, River, Hudson trip. Dutch Apple offers sight seeing and charter tours as well as trolley tours of the Capital Region.
The Mop & Bucket Improv Company has started a new season of improvisational comedy at Proctors Underground. Every show is created by audience suggestion, so ever show is totally different. MopCo is also offering classes in improv, creativity, writing and more.
Live Nation presents Grammy winner Ray LaMontagne at The Palace, November 9th.
Troy Music Hall
Troy Music Hall presents Postmodern Jukebox on October 25 and Bruce Hornsby on November 1st.
Places to live
Brian Brosen and Reggie Monroe at The Capital Team at Realty USA,created a bonafide tournament of pizza miracle, when they bought out all of the tickets to last weekend's TOP final at Shmaltz brewing and gave them away to 100 hungry readers. In addition to being pizza philanthropists, Brian and Reggie can help out with your residential and commercial real estate needs in the Capital Region. Because that's how they roll.
Food and Drink
Farmie Market -- Farm fresh food delivered right to your door.
Nine Pin Ciderworks in Albany, sourced entirely from Capital Region apples.
New World Bistro Bar, named #1 Best Restaurant, according to Times Union 'Best of the Capital Region' Readers' Poll and also listed as one of 'the 13 Best New York Restaurants, not in NYC' according to Thrillist.com.
The Cheese Traveler has launched Cheese School. Upcoming classes include: Cheese 101, Cheese 102, Charcuterie, and Artisanal Foods from Spain. Information and tickets can be found here. Sign up for the Cheese Traveler Newsletter to be notified of weekly specials and events here .
Honest Weight Food Coop, offering all the flavors of the season.
Broadway Plaza Liquor is now open at 418 Broadway, next to Coulson's News.
+ Mingle on Delaware Ave in Albany. Be on the lookout for Fin the Fishmonger's "Fin"-tastic specials, including fresh haddock fish tacos & pan-seared whole trout. Their chef will be using local products to create new specials daily to keep the menu fresh. Try the Kimchi fries.
Capital Wine at the corner of State and Lark Streets, with a wonderful supply of wines from around the world.
Food and beer
Historic home help
Historic Albany's architectural parts warehouse -- the Capital Region's only not-for-profit architectural parts warehouse.
April 15 has come and gone, but Staff Ciampino & Company, P.C. can still help you with your business and personal tax needs. They're also the sponsors of the All Over Albany Start Up Grant business contest.
Berkshire Bank, providing the $1,500 prize money for this year's AOA Startup Contest. Great rates on home equity loans.
Stuff to learn
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. APL's
Stuff to help you stay healthy j
CDPHP's new InMotion app, a free fitness tool to help start or maintain an exercise plan.
Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:
+ It the final final of the Tournament of Pizza! And it lived up to the hype! Congrats to both finalists!
+ We gave away tickets to the Albany Barn's Fusion event by asking: If you could fuse two aspects of the Capital Region together, what would those two aspects be and what would it create?
+ A new map quiz: In the round.
+ Deanna says don't waffle about the waffles at Iron Roost.
+ What "they" are saying about ZIP codes in the Capital Region.
+ An animatronic Andrew Cuomo was on the Late Show with David Letterman.
+ Behold: The official snack of New York State.
+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: the Tournament of Pizza, taking on TWC, three days and three lakes, Vroman's Nose and beer, Crane and Hurricane, the Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon, Normanskill Farm, iconic documents of the modern state, grave stones, striking up conversation, sushi, dinner for six, Nibble, pie, vinegar peppers, and guidelines.
+ Lauren checked out the new Lord & Taylor at Crossgates.
+ Oh, and Colonie Center is getting a Nordstrom Rack.
+ That time a giant spaceship-like arch was proposed for the Empire State Plaza.
+ We got a look at the new performance venue space the Madison Theater is opening.
+ We talked with a local author who's putting a fun spin on history.
+ And we're giving away tickets to Chemistry and Cocktails at miSci: What is the food of the future?
Here's the whole week all lined up.
Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea or photo this week!
ESP rendering via the M.E. Grenander Special Collections and Archives at UAlbany
The National Weather Service has released its winter temperature outlook for the US -- and it reports the climate signals are pointing toward an increased probability of this part of the country having a warmer-than-average winter.
If this winter does end up heading that direction -- and that's not a lock, just the way forecasters figure the probabilities are lined up -- it would be a contrast to last winter, which was a bit colder than typical.
Also noted: "This seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance."
In honor of National Mole Day -- October 23, of course -- miSci is hosting a "Chemistry and Cocktails" event at the museum. Blurbage for the evening:
Enjoy a night of mixology and molecular gastronomy with specialty drinks, food science, live music, interactive exhibits, planetarium shows & more!
Sip a special "Mole"ito in honor of National Mole Day (10/23), which commemorates Avogadro's Number (6.02 x 1023), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry.
Sample molecular gastronomic treats as you explore the science of food by Chef Stamets and the SCCC Culinary Arts Students:
+ Cheese Board with CO2-infused Fruit
+ Shrimp Cocktail with Pipettes of Cocktail Sauce
+ Caesar Salad Foam
+ Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Basil Oil Powder and Balsamic Pearls
+ Butternut Squash Soup in Test Tubes
+ Sous Vide Pork Loin, Goat Cheese Pokenta Cakes, Apple Cider, Mustard Jus
+ Ice Cream Station: Liquid Nitrogen, Nutella and Peanut Butter Powder
We have two tickets for the event and we're giving them away. Maybe to you. To enter, please answer this question in the comments:
What's the food of the future?
This could be anything. (Maybe it helps you think of it as... the future.) Freeze-dried bacon ice cream. Kale-flavored Tang. Self-tending farms in each backyard. Whatever. We'll draw one winner at random.
Tickets for Chemistry and Cocktails at miSci are $35 ahead / $40 at the door. It's from 6-8 pm. And it's a 21-and-over event.
Important: All comments must be submitted by 10 pm on Monday, October 20, 2014 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by midnight that day and must respond by noon on Tuesday, October 21.
AOA is a media sponsor of this event.
Giacomo Calabria grew up watching movies like Back to the Future, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Indian Jones and The Last Crusade, and listening to his parents tell bedtime stories about Genghis Kahn. Maybe that explains a little about how this Albany resident approaches history.
Under the pseudonym Jacopo Della Quercia, Calabria has been a frequent contributor on fun and fascinating bits of history at the humor website Cracked. He came to Albany a few years ago to be closer to family (his brother and sister-in-law own the popular Lark Street bakery Crisan) and started work on his first novel -- the newly released Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy -- "an equal-parts cocktail of action, adventure, science-fiction and comedy" that brings together William Howard Taft, Robert Todd Lincoln and other historical figures to solve a mystery that stretches back to the Lincoln assassination.
Calabria will be at Northshire Books in Saratoga Friday evening for a reading and signing of The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy.
He talked with us this week about his passion for history, leaving Easter eggs for curious readers in the age of Google, and Albany's disturbing connection to the Lincoln assassination.
Into some weekends a little rain must fall. But a slightly soggy weekend is better than no weekend at all.
After the jump, a few things that are happening this weekend that we thought might interest you. Got something planned that you don't see here? Drop it in the comments so the rest of us can see.
And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend.
Shooting prompts manhunt in the South End, Cuomo addresses state's prep for potential ebola cases, residents rallying to save their Stewart's
A part of South Pearl Street in Albany's South End neighborhood was closed Thursday as police hunted for a suspect in a shooting outside a pharmacy that morning (map). APD says the man shot was in critical condition. Police ended up surrounding a building and using tear gas and a robot to flush out a man who was taken into custody. [TU] [News10] [WNYT] [@Redick_TWCNews] [TWCN]
Commented Andrew Cuomo Thursday during a public briefing of the state's plans for handling potential ebola patients: "The anxiety is higher than the probability right now." Schenectady County officials followed their protocols for dealing with a potential case this week after a woman in a Schenectady reported that she wasn't feeling well and it was determined she had been to west Africa -- there was some confusion about which country she had been in, and after straightening it out officials determined ebola was not a risk in the case. [TWCN] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]
A televised debate between Chris Gibson and Sean Eldridge for the NY 19th Congressional District included a number of jabs at each other, and touched on topics such as energy and the environment. [Daily Gazette] [TU]
The Madison Theater in Albany will be opening its new performance venue space October 25. A jazz group -- the Nancy and Spencer Reed Quartet -- will be playing the 170-seat space.
We stopped by the theater Thursday to get a look at the space, and talk with one of the theater's owners about how things are going on their plan to turn the Madison into a location for entertainment, food, and retail.
Because trains, two articles from City Lab that both ask similar questions: "Why Can't the United States Build a High-Speed Rail System?" and "A Chat with Amtrak's CEO on the State of U.S. Passenger Rail." (Answer spoilers: money, infrastructure, politics.) Earlier: Thinking about high-speed rail in New York
Check out this goal scored by Cassy Landis for Siena against Canisius Wednesday -- her back to the goal, the ball volleyed overhead and then into the net after a wicked bounce past the keeper. (We'd give her credit just for trying it.) Even better: It was in overtime and won the game for the Saints 1-0.
Because of the wide angle of the shot, it's a little hard see -- so definitely watch it in full screen in HD.
[via TU College Sports]
I enjoy shopping. And though there are spots that I love in the Capital Region, I've been a bit underwhelmed with the overall range of options for clothes shopping here.
In my experience there's a rather lackluster diversity of styles, and what is available is often disappointing, especially for items that might skew a bit more toward younger women and men. And the few good places are spread out, so if you're shopping for something specific to wear to an event, you have have to travel to multiple different locations around the area. I usually don't have time for that, so I end up browsing at one shopping mecca and leave disappointed.
So, with all that in mind, I was excited by the announcement that Lord & Taylor was moving back to the area. A little competition and invigorated selection is always good for shoppers, right?
The store has been open for a few weeks now at Crossgates, and I figured it was a good time to check it out to see if the store matched all the hype.
Weather fact of the day: During the 24-hour period that ended Thursday morning around 9 am, it had rained as much in the Albany area as it had during the entire month of September -- .89 inches. (This past September's rainfall was about 2.4 inches below the typical mark for the month.) [NWS x2] Earlier: The nicest weather days of the years, ranked
Tickets for the popular next Albany Wine & Dine for the Arts Festival are now on sale. The annual Albany chefs wine and food festival is January 15-17 in downtown Albany.
Here's the schedule for this year's festival, which includes events such as the grand tastings, slider slam, barista competition, and battle of the bartenders. Event tickets range from $10-$175. Here are the arts orgs tapped as beneficiaries for this year's festival.
Many of these events have sold out in the past, so if you're interested in going, getting tickets sooner rather than later is not a bad idea.
Also newly announced: The finalists for the festival's rising star chef award. This year's list is after the jump -- it includes chefs from a range of restaurants, some established spots and others just getting started. The nominations can be a good prompt to try a place you haven't been to, yet.
Public meeting heats up over Ladder No. 1, AG's office says many Airbnb listings in NYC are illegal, Rembrandt uncovered at The Clark
Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan is standing by the decision in proposed budget to cut Ladder No. 1 from the South End fire station. Residents turned out at a public meeting to protest the move. The meeting was cut short by councilwoman Vivian Kornegay, who said the gathering was too unproductive to go on.[WNYT][News10][TWCN]
Cecilia Tkaczyk and George Amedore squared off in a debate for the 46th state Senate seat on Wednesday in Altamont, at which they discussed jobs, school funding and the NY SAFE Act.[TU]
Chris Gibson and Sean Eldridge will debate Thursday night on WMHT.[TU]
Land banks in Troy and Schenectady have received grants totaling $4 million to help rehab or demolish buildings. [TU][Gazette][WNYT]
Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen wants the state comptroller's office to review water connection fees that were waived by the city's DPW for developers after it was revealed that more than $900k in fees were waived over the last four years. [Gazette]
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