The last week's worth of items on AOA

A look inside The Shop in Troy

The Shop bar

By Lauren Hittinger

This Friday marks the grand opening for The Shop, a new restaurant and bar in downtown Troy. It's the third commercial space to open at the former site of Trojan Hardware along 4th Street and Congress, following the May opening of Rare Form Brewing Co. and the Collar Works art gallery.

Looking to create a neighborhood bar, owner Kevin Blodgett says The Shop will have a "casual atmosphere, with no pretense. We just want people who are going to enjoy good food and good conversation."

I stopped by to talk to Blodgett and his partner Nada Rifai to get the scoop on the restaurant, the building, and how The Shop fits into Troy.

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Pizzaween

ghost in pizza illustrationPizza fact of the day: We've heard a few times that Halloween is one of the busiest days of the year for pizza shops. How busy? One example today from DC's Pizza in Albany via Twitter: "[Halloween is] easily double [a typical day], out of our top 10 all time highest sales days 6 are #Halloween." So, if you'll be getting pizza Friday evening for a party (or, um, because it's Friday) -- ordering ahead is probably not a bad idea.

NANOvember 2014

ualbany college of nanoscale science engineering exterior south side

The entity now known as the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is taking over the month of November again and dubbing it NANOvember.

The series of events starts with the annual Community Day this Saturday, November 1, from 11 am-3 pm. It's free. Blurbage:

In addition to getting an up-close look at CNSE's ever-expanding 1.3 million-square-foot megaplex, both adults and children will have the opportunity to interact with CNSE students, faculty and staff, and to participate in a variety of activities that promote a greater understanding of nanotechnology, including:
+ Tours of the cutting-edge cleanroom facilities
+ Hands-on experiments
+ Cleanroom gowning demonstrations
+ A Kid's Corner featuring several kid-friendly activities relating to nanotechnology
+ Sustainable Energy Activities
+ Nanotechnology overview presentations
+ Displays and hands-on activities showcasing research in CNSE's constellations, including health care, energy, electronics and economics
+ Presentations on CNSE's undergraduate program

Among the other NANOvember events: A public Q&A with Alain Kaloyeros at the Albany NanoTech complex on November 17 "bout the growth of the nanotechnology industry across New York State, its impact on the Capital Region, pertinent educational and economic opportunities, as well as any other topics of relevance."

By the way: As we understand it, there is no truth to the rumor the CNSE/SUNY Poly/Nano Empire will be acquiring other months beyond November and incorporating their date-based distinctiveness into its globally recognized high tech temporal ecosystem.

Campaign Yard Sign Design Election 2014, Part I

campaign yard sign design election 2014 governor composite

Election Day is next Tuesday, and that means campaign yard sign season is at its peak. Front lawns, street medians, parking lots, and many other spots are now filled with the signs -- they're everywhere.

So we thought it'd be fun to get together a few designers again to critique this year's crop of campaign yard signs as design objects. (Alternately, you might view this as test of how much questionable typography it takes to make a designer's spleen start throbbing -- and we now have an answer.)

Because it's a campaign yard sign bumper crop, we've split the signs into two batches. First up: governor, state Senate, and Schenectady Family Court.

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Schaghticoke cat house condemned, AG candidates debate tonight, Bethlehem police warn against grandparent phone scam, you can't put campaign signs outside the Governor's Mansion

The fugitive arrested in Hudson Falls on Tuesday had jumped bail and escaped from house arrest where he was awaiting trial on rape charges. Police believe he was headed east to try to kill his first victim. [TWCN][WNYT]

The Schaghticoke building where 150 cats were found earlier this week has been condemned and the four people who lived there have been offered housing and medical assistance by the county. Charges against the residents are still pending. Crews are still attempting to rescue cats living inside the walls of the home and trying to determine whether some of the cats actually belonged to other people. [TWCN][TU][Record][WNYT][News 10]

On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Andrew Cuomo visited Staten Island where he announced an Upstate Strategic Fuel Reserve system in response to fuel supply disruptions that occurred during the event. One of the locations where fuel will be stored for the initiative will be in Rensselaer.[TU][Record]

Andrew Cuomo says allegations that he spent Superstorm Sandy recovery money on television ads are "political baloney." [TU]

The NYT suggests that the handling of Superstorm Sandy and the handling of Moreland Commission have something in common. [NYT]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

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Impact Downtown Albany's vision of what the city's downtown could be

impact downtown albany vision map

The study identified four zones in downtown Albany.

This week Impact Downtown Albany -- the ongoing project to develop a "tactical" plan for downtown development -- released its vision of what downtown Albany could become over the next 5-10 years.

"This is the shared definition of success based on the hundreds of stakeholders that have been part of this process," Sarah Reginelli -- the new president of Capitalize Albany -- explained to us Tuesday afternoon. "This is really what's been identified as the opportunities that we need to take advantage of to make downtown the best downtown that it can be at this point."

Among the identified possibilities: continued growth of new housing units, unique retail, a "high line"-type park connecting downtown with the riverfront, and transformation of part of the warehouse district.

Here are a few things that caught our attention.

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CDTA now offering realtime bus info

iride realtime bus info

From the iRide app.

CDTA officially announced today that it's now offering realtime info for regular route bus arrivals.* The functionality has previously only been available on BusPlus. Blurbage:

Customers will be able to access real time transit information for CDTA fixed route services through the free CDTA iride mobile application for Apple and Android devices, through Google Maps' mobile apps and maps.google.com, through the trip planner on its website (www.cdta.org) or by speaking with a customer service representative at CDTA's Call Center. Customers will now see a gray clock icon near a route that indicates real time information is available. Real time is currently not available on Northway Xpress service. ...
CDTA tracks its vehicles using GPS devices to report bus location data back to its servers. This information allows CDTA to estimate when the buses will arrive at a stop. If a bus goes off its regular route, the system may not be able to fully predict accurate arrival times.

Here are screenshots of the realtime info display on both Google Maps and the CDTA website.

As long as the realtime info is accurate, the function is a nice addition. In our experience, some CDTA routes and stops tend to have reliable arrival times -- and others less so. (Yep, we're looking at you #10. We know it's not totally your fault what with all the traffic lights and riders. But you've interpreted the concept of a "schedule" very loosely.)

By the way: If you ride the bus, even just occasionally, and you have a smartphone -- definitely get the iRide app if you don't have it already.

* This function has been at least partially active for at least a few days. Thanks to the person who pointed this out to us last week.

CDTA was a sponsor of the Rail, River, Hudson tour.

A young, active church congregation?

church windows pewsLiz emails:

I am looking to join a new church, and truthfully, one thing I'm really looking for is a congregation with a healthy number of members in their 20s and 30s who are active with the church and get together for fellowship activities (and fun). Can anyone recommend a church that skews a little younger or has an active group of younger congregants?

It's a bunch of years since we've had a church question, and it sounds like Liz has something specific in mind.

So, got a suggestion for Liz? Please share!

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: being the village, a wine tour, Taconic Sculpture Park, an autumn trip to the beach, old school, the new Maestro's, smallcheapunique, beloved soup, Mexican Radio, Soul Cafe, the Squirrelly Six, 8-bit fire, and a particular philosophical pickle of living.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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A look inside Wolff's Biergarten Schenectady

The new new Wolff's Biergarten in downtown Schenectady opens Wednesday around 4 pm.

This Wolff's looks a lot like the Albany location, but it's larger, with three garage doors, more picnic tables, lots of flat screens for viewing soccer matches, and the requisite indoor faux tree. The building has been vacant for about ten years. It started out as a service station and last belonged to KEM cleaners.

If the Erie Blvd location seems strange, Matt Baumgartner says, it is a little.

"I think that's also consistent with Wolff's in Albany, which opened before there was much down in that area. And hopefully it will grow the same way."

Renovations on Erie Boulevard and recent growth in Schenectady were encouraging factors, he says. And the building itself interested him. "It was really affordable, and I love an old, sad building -- and this one was really sad. But I knew you could have garage doors, and having the garage doors is a real asset. People love them."

So with a Bombers and a Wolff's, is there going to be a Schenectady Sciortino's too? Baumgartner just laughs.

"Well, that's a good question. There's an empty building across the street."

After the jump, a look inside Wolff's Schenectady.

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Alleged serial rapist captured following Fort Edward chase, 80 cats removed from "giant litterbox" in Schaghticoke, meeting on gun violence in Albany, Morette's reopens in Schenectady

An alleged serial rapist was captured overnight in Fort Edward, ending a multi state manhunt. Police say 26 year old Gregory Lewis was wanted in eight states for raping women he has arranged to meet through escort services. Police attempted to pull him over for driving without a license plate when he led them on a high speed chase that ended when he crashed into the Hudson River. [TWCN][WNYT][TU][News 10]

Troopers removed 80 of 150 cats from a Schaghticoke home one trooper described as "a giant litter box." The homeowner and her family were identified as having been involved in three previous cat hoarding incidents.[TU][WNYT][News 10]

A detailed account of the New York State quarantine order for travelers from West Africa - which goes beyond federal recommendations but would seek to allow people to choose where to spend their time under quarantine-- has been released by the Cuomo administration. [NYT]

A West African family in Schenectady County has ended their voluntary 21 day in home stay and has been shown free of Ebola symptoms. [TU][Gazette]

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Today's moment of autumn

view Corning Tower south 2014-10-28

Looking out over Lincoln Park to the south from the Corning Tower this afternoon.

Albany's First Mass Transit System

Albany city historian Tony Opalka is giving a talk titled "Albany's First Mass Transit System: Horse Cars and Trolleys 1862-1946" this Thursday, October 30 at 10 am at the Albany County Hall of Records. That might be a little hard to get to because of the time of day -- but, you know... trolleys. Earlier: Riding the trolley -- everywhere

Chicken parm at D'Raymonds

D'Raymonds chicken parm

By Deanna Fox

There are two types of Italian restaurants in the Capital Region: The eh-talian, and the EYE-talian. The former are the restaurants that serve food more in line with something plucked from the Tuscan hills. The latter are the checkered tablecloth joints where most dishes come slathered in red sauce.

Unless you count D'Raymonds in Loudonville. Then I guess there are three.

D'Raymonds lies somewhere in the middle of the two mentioned above. It embodies the cuisine of red sauce joints with a more upscale vibe. It's Little Italy meets Upper West Side. It's Nonna meets your hot WASPy girlfriend. It's comfort, with class.

No dish on the menu emphasizes this more than the D'Raymonds chicken parmesan.

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A good HVAC contractor?

generic ductworkSean emails:

We just opened up a wall between our Kitchen and Dining room and the new view and copious amount of daylight is spectacular!!.. well, except for that ugly metal heating duct. So with that in mind, I was wondering if any of your readers could recommend someone who could help relocate that duct-work to somewhere much less visible. Thanks!

Having never done something like this, we're curious if you can just call a typical heating/cooling contractor for something like this, or whether it requires a company with a different set of skills.

Got advice for Sean? Please share!

Cuomo/Christie and CDC differ on Ebola policies, police say Albany shootings not connected, former police officer accused of stalking attorney, the ring wanted to be found

The Ebola quarantine policies announced by Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie on Friday -- and then adjusted over the weekend -- caught criticism for being more motivated by politics than science. On Monday the CDC announced new guidance to states on how to handle people who might have been exposed to Ebola, and it's not as restrictive as the policies announced in New York and New Jersey. Said Cuomo Monday: "I disagree with the CDC, and at the end of the day, I'm the governor of the state of New York, and my No. 1 job is to protect the people of the state of New York." [NYT] [NPR] [AP/TU]

Albany police chief Steven Krokoff says the five shootings in the city this month are not related, nor are they gang related. Said Krokoff: "These are people that have some level of connection and in some way, shape or form got into an argument, and it resulted in gun violence." There's a community meeting at the Capital South Campus Center Tuesday evening about gun violence. [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

NYPIRG's Blair Horner on the public campaign financing pilot in the state comptroller's race: "It was designed to fail, and it has." [TU]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

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Pittsfield State Forest

pittsfield_state_forest_hiking_path_in_fall.jpg

By Lauren Hittinger

This year I've been visiting local state parks. Well, mostly state parks -- last time it was Saratoga National Historic Park. This time, it's Pittsfield State Forest in Massachusetts.

Fall is very much in progress and it will soon be over. So now is the time to go on a hike and get a look at the last part of foliage season.

To do just that I headed over to Pittsfield State Forest this past weekend. It's very beautiful and a great place to enjoy a beautiful autumn day. And it's just across the border in Massachusetts.

My suggestion: Head over to the forest for a walk, and then make a day of it by exploring some of the small towns in the Berkshires.

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Getting some work done

Over at the Times Union, JCE has details on the proposed $13 million "face lift" for the TU Center's Pearl Street atrium, along with a rendering from the architecture firm that's apparently in the lead for the job. [TU]

Rocket launch could be visible here Monday evening

antares rocket launch visibility map 2014-10-27

Update update: The rocket did launch Tuesday. But it exploded shortly after take off. [CNN]

Update: The Monday launch was postponed to Tuesday at 6:22 pm.
____

A rocket with supplies for the International Space Station is launching from a NASA site in Virginia early Monday evening -- and we might be able to see it here. The launch is scheduled for 6:45 pm -- and the rocket could be visible here about 3 minutes after launch.

The map above displays when the rocket could be visible in areas along the East Coast:

This map shows the rough time at which you can first expect to see Antares after it is launched. It represents the time at which the rocket will reach 5 degrees above the horizon and varies depending on your location. We have selected 5 degrees as it is unlikely that you'll be able to view the rocket when it is below 5 degrees due to buildings, vegetation, and other terrain features. However, depending on your local conditions the actual time you see the rocket may be earlier or later. As an example, using this map when observing from Washington, DC shows that Antares will reach 5 degrees above the horizon approximately 117 seconds after launch (L + 117 sec).
Note that because the first stage of Antares is liquid fueled, its ascent is slower than the Minotaur rockets that were launched from Wallops last year. Also keep in mind that the video web-cast of the launch is sometimes delayed by up to one minute, if you rely on the web-cast for timing, it may be too late when you look up. In addition to the web-cast we recommend subscribing to our Twitter Feed for up to the minute status.

If conditions are right, the rocket will be visible just above the horizon to the south southeast.

Another rocket was launched from this same site last November, and apparently it was visible here.

Space station: Speaking of the space station, it could be visible here shortly after the rocket launch.

map: Orbital Sciences

Lincoln, the robot apocalypse, bacterial nano wires

Pecha Kucha returns to the Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy this Tuesday, October 28. The theme this time around "Ghost in the Machine." The topics of the short talks lined up include Lincoln's last rail journey through New York, the robot apocalypse, and bacterial nano wires. Doors at 7 pm, talks start at 7:30 pm. Beer from Rare Form, and snacks from First Choice Caribbean. Free.

Washington Park's former life

albany archives washington park cemetery overlay

Historical fact of the day, because Halloween: The site of what is now Albany's Washington Park was once a cemetery -- a rather large cemetery.

The image above was created by Albany Archives. It's an overlay of a map of the old cemetery on Washington Park. It covered a big portion of what's now the park.

A few years back Paula Lemire wrote about the "State Street Burying Grounds" over at Albany History. A clip:

The State Street Burying Ground, founded in 1800 as an alternative to the overcrowded churchyards and private family graveyards, was located at the present park's northeast corner. Enclosed by a ten-foot high wooden fence, the grounds were divided into four large section for various churches, as well as an area set aside for strangers, African-Americans, and deceased persons not associated with any religious congregations. Graves from a number of smaller burial grounds were relocated here as progress encroached on downtown churchyards, raising the real estate value of land previously dedicated to the dead.
Within a few decades, however, the State Street Burying Ground was already in serious decline. The high mortality rate of the early 19th-century, combined with epidemics such as an 1832 cholera outbreak, had resulted in a badly overcrowded graveyard. The fence had suffered from neglect and vandalism, livestock wandered freely among graves, headstones were stolen or damaged, and immigrant gangs used the forlorn spot for violent brawls.
After the opening of the Rural Cemetery in 1844, the State Street Burying Grounds' condition became so pitiful that it was deemed "in the highest decree discreditable to the city authorities and the churches interested." A future Superintendent of Albany's parks later recalled that there was "a mouldy and neglected air about the place."

The situation eventually prompted the Common Council to close the cemetery, and the graves -- said to be 40,000 in number -- were moved to the then-new Albany Rural Cemetery all the way out in the far, far reaches in would come to be called Menands.

Of course, the Albany Rural Cemetery still exists (even if it's no longer rural). And it's a nice place to walk as you take in the monuments to the many Albany-famous figures from the past.

Earlier on AOA: Capital Region haunts

Drawing: Tickets for BUILT

historic albany BUILT 2014

Drawing's closed!

The Historic Albany Foundation's annual BUILT art event is this Saturday, November 1 at the currently-being-redeveloped DeWitt Clinton Hotel in downtown Albany. We have a pair of tickets and we're giving them away.

To enter, please answer this question in the comments:

If you could build anything in the Capital Region, what would it be?

It could be something totally new. It could be rebuilding (so to speak) something old into something new. Whatever. We'll draw one winner at the random.

BUILT is an exhibit and auction of artwork inspired by Albany's built environment, and is a fundraiser for HAF's programming and technical services. And as a bonus this year, attendees will get an early look at the event spaces in the DeWitt Clinton, which is being transformed into a boutique hotel.

The event is from 7-10 pm on Saturday, November 1. Tickets are $78 each and available online.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 5 pm on Tuesday, October 28, 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 10 am on Wednesday, October 29 and must respond by 10 pm that day.

AOA is a media sponsor of this event.

APD investigating two shooting incidents, video in Mount case released, push for lower speed limits, Castleton Stewart's closes

Albany police say they're investigating two separate shooting incidents from over the weekend in which three people were apparently shot. APD says two people were shot during an incident in the South End Saturday night. And Sunday afternoon officers found a man who had been shot while responding to a call in West Hill. It's the second time in recent weeks there's been at shooting near South Pearl Street and Alexander Street in the South End, and Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin says residents would like to see a stronger police presence in the neighborhood. Five people have been shot in Albany during October. [APD FB] [TWCN] [TU]

Saratoga Springs police have released surveillance camera footage from the start of the chase involving Daryl Mount Jr. The video was released at 5 pm on Friday. The city's police chief said the video was finally released 14 months after the incident on "advice from legal counsel." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

A Colonie woman whose 18-year-old daughter died of heroin overdose is pushing for a state law that would increase penalties for drug dealers when a sale leads to a fatal overdose. [TU]

On Friday Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced a mandatory 21-day quarantine for anyone returning to JFK and Newwark airports from West Africa after having direct contact with anyone infected with Ebola. That resulted in a nurse returning from Sierra Leone being put in an isolation tent at a Newark hospital, despite not showing any symptoms, and testing negative for Ebola -- and she hired a civil rights attorney. After urging from the Obama administration, Cuomo said the policy would be adjusted and health care workers who didn't exhibit symptoms would be allowed to stay at home. [Cuomo admin] [NPR] [NYT]

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The week ahead

evil dead the musical touring company

Evil Dead: The Musical is at Proctors Tuesday.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (not bad), to film, to privacy, to authors, to Halloween, to music...

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This week was brought to you by

College of Saint Rose Sign.jpg

the College of Saint Rose. 52 graduate programs -- one right for you.

This week was brought to you by the return of sweaters, rain boots, hot tea and soup.

It was also brought to you by a group of awesome AOA advertisers, like The College of Saint Rose, offering 52 Graduate Programs with a purpose. Programs include: MFA in Creative writing, MBA, Computer Information Systems and more.

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 advertising@alloveralbany.com.

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.

Albany Institute
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.

Ghost Tours/Cruises
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.

Laugh
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.

Ray LaMontagne
Live Nation presents Grammy winner Ray LaMontagne at The Palace, November 9th.

Troy Music Hall
Troy Music Hall presents 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

Beer
Shmaltz Brewing, host of the All Over Albany Tournament of Pizza People's Plate tasting event.

Farmie Market
Farmie Market -- Farm fresh food delivered right to your door.

Cider
Nine Pin Ciderworks in Albany, sourced entirely from Capital Region apples.

New World
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.

Cheese
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 .

Local goodness
Honest Weight Food Coop, offering all the flavors of the season.

Now Open
Broadway Plaza Liquor is now open at 418 Broadway, next to Coulson's News.

Kimchi fries
+ 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.

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

Food and beer
+Brown's Brewing

Helpful stuff

Historic home help
Historic Albany's architectural parts warehouse -- the Capital Region's only not-for-profit architectural parts warehouse.

Taxes
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.

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. APL's

Stuff to help you stay healthy
CDPHP's new InMotion app, a free fitness tool to help start or maintain an exercise plan.

A quick recap of the week

week review 2014-10-24

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

+ Christine asked about bachelorette party ideas in downtown Troy.

+ We took a quick trip to the Beebe Hill fire tower.

+ SB asked about getting help fixing some unfortunate wedding photos.

+ Albany is close to becoming the first municipality in the area to get red light cameras after the Albany Common Council passed the ordinance for them -- lots of quotes and thoughts.

+ We gave away tickets to see Postmodern Jukebox at the Troy Music Hall by asking: What's something in the Capital Region that you'd like to see reinterpreted?

+ CAOD asked about places to sell old silver and gold items.

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: 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.

+ We talked local writer Amy Biancolli about her new memoir, and keeping a sense of humor through a whole of lot @#$%.

+ Thinking about a more wild Capital Region.

+ Omar asked about finding a contractor to build something that goes along with a historical building.

+ We looked into some of the numbers about New York school districts, graduation rates, and income.

+ And 10 reviews or statements, each in no more than 10 words.

Here's the whole week all lined up.

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

Amy Biancolli photo: Danny Richardson

In no more than 10 words

next door kitchen bar ballston spa exterior

Long story short (because that's the point here): We had a chance to stop in to the Next Door Kitchen & Bar in Ballston Spa recently and had a good time. Because of Twitter brain (or something) we got to thinking how we could talk about the experience as concisely as possible -- in no more than 10 words. Here's what bubbled up:

Next Door Kitchen & Bar: Cozy space. Nice food. Friendly staff. Fair prices. Return happily.

Boiling down the thought was kind of fun, so we figured we'd write a handful of other no-more-than-10-word reviews/comments on places around the Capital Region.

And maybe you can share one or two that occur to you.

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"Very dramatic and a hell of a conversation piece!"

Currently listed on Albany Craigslist: "Electric Chair - $325" -- "Great for any "Man Cave", Bar, Fraternity or club house. Of course this is not in working order or operational but it sure looks like the real thing!" You can probably write the rest of the horror movie from there. (Thanks, E.)

Stuff to do this weekend

comedian Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer is at The Palace Saturday.

Things should start to dry out just in time for this pre-Halloween weekend. And there's plenty to do, from haunted hayrides, scary movies and harvest festivals to music, theater, and comedy.

After the jump we've raked up a pile of stuff to do for you to dive into (figuratively, of course). Got something planned that you don't see here? Drop it in the comments for the rest of us to see. And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend.

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Man arraigned in death of Vanessa Milligan, Ebola case in NYC, llamas on the lam

Gabriel Vega -- accused of killing Vanessa Milligan in Lansingburgh this past April -- was arraigned on charges that included murder, abortion, and arson. The unusual abortion charge is for the baby Milligan was carrying -- she was due to give birth the next week. Police and prosecutors have not said how Milligan was killed. At press conference Troy deputy police chief Richard McAvoy called Vega "a classic sociopath." Vega's attorneys said in a statement that their client maintains his innocence. Said Milligan's father: "I wanted to jump over the banister and just go to jail, but I knew I wouldn't be able to get to him and my cousin was holding me tight. And I just, just wanted to die. Just wanted to cry." [Troy Record] [TWCN] [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

The state Department of Transportation has concluded that the derailment of 18 train cars in Selkirk rail yard this week was due to a piece of safety equipment that had been left on a track. Albany County exec Dan McCoy is pointing to the incident as an example of a need for direct communication between rail companies and the county when an accident happens. [TU] [TWCN]

A New York City doctor who recently returned from Guinea where he had been working with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients has tested positive for the disease. Public health officials have been working to trace his potential contacts in the city. The doctor is being treated at Bellevue Hospital in NYC, one of the hospitals designated in the state's Ebola response plan. [NYT x2] [Cuomo admin]

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Poking at some numbers for New York school districts, graduation rates, and income

chalkboard eraser chalk

This won't be on a test. / photo: Flickr user alkruse24 (CC BY 2.0)

Two things (indirectly) prompted this post:

1. The discussion around that Miss Pearl question about moving out of Albany for the school district.

2. Another one of those school district rankings.

If anything, both of those items highlighted for us our desire to better understand what people are talking about when they talk about "the schools" -- and how factors such as income and poverty fit in.

So we pulled a whole bunch of numbers on New York State school districts -- specifically graduation rates, household income, and poverty rates -- and did some sifting. And we came across a few things we expected -- and few things we didn't.

(there's more)

Looking for more? Check out the archive. Or try searching for it:

The Scoop

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