The last week's worth of items on AOA

Photos from AOA6

AOA6 buttons

These great buttons were made by Laura Glazer. (Thanks, Laura!)

Thanks to everyone who celebrated the AOA birthday with us this week at The Malt Room at Brown's in Troy. It was great to see so many people again -- meet a lot of people for the first time. We had a lot of fun.

Here are a bunch of pics from the party. Thanks to Andy Kainz and Marcie Pry for taking photos.

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Recycled: The superiority of the peanut butter egg

Because it was popular last year -- and the season for it is here -- we thought we'd resurface this post about the superiority of the peanut butter egg over the peanut butter cup. A clip:

The peanut butter egg is a seasonal item, and therefore only available part of the year. So even if somehow the egg and the cup were both of the same quality (which they are obviously not), because the egg is more scarce than the cup, it will be more desirable to us. Sure, this part of it is all in our heads, but so much of life is.

Just last night we had a peanut butter egg -- and we can confirm it is still better.

AOA birthday drawing: Lunch with AOA

Thumbnail image for famous lunch troy exterior 2013-April

It could be a "famous" local lunch place, or wherever. Your choice.

This week AOA celebrates our 6th birthday, but we're giving you the presents. Each day we'll have a drawing for some fun Capital Region stuff. You can enter to win a new "present" every day.

We've had an awesome birthday week. Thank you to all the businesses who provided birthday "presents" for us to give away this week. And many thanks to the people at The Malt Room at Brown's for a great party.

But we're most most grateful to the readers, contributors, and members of the AOA community for making the last six years such a fascinating ride for us. As we've said many times before, the part of all this has been the people. It's been great to meet so many interesting people.

So our final birthday week drawing is a little different, but we think it will be fun: The AOA Editors will take the winner of today's drawing out to lunch at that person's favorite Capital Region lunch spot. (We'll leave it up to you to decide if that's a prize or not.)

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:

What's one thing you've learned/thought was interesting via AOA? It could be something from a story here, it could be something someone said in a comment, could be whatever.

We'll draw one winner at random. That person gets to pick the spot for lunch. (The location is subject to the Editors' approval, but barring something weird or outrageous, we're probably going to say yes to it.)

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Monday, April 21, 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 5 pm on Tuesday, April 22 and must respond by 5 pm on Wednesday April 23.

Stuff to do this weekend

Vrooman Easter Egg exhibit Schoharie

Eggsactly.

Helllloooooo weekend.

We're inching our way back toward something that feels like springtime, so hang in there. Between Easter and Passover the list of stuff to do is a little thinner than usual, but there's plenty going on. Check out our list after the jump. If you've got something else planned, feel free to drop it in the comment section.

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

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Copeland trial continues, GloFo to make chips for Samsung, alleged expectoration ends in felony charges, parade for Union hockey team

Trinity Copeland trial: The attorney for the Troy teen accused of fatally shooting her father in 2012 tried to push back on the prosecution's assertion that her alleged calm demeanor following the incident is an indication of her guilt. [TU] [Troy Record]

Clifford Burns, the Niskayuna man accused of fatally stabbing his wife at her home in Lake Luzerne on Christmas Eve, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He faces 23 years to life. [Post-Star] [TU]

There is apparently a rift between Albany County's health commissioner and other top county officials over how to go about studying the health and environmental risks posed by the crude oil operations at the Port of Albany. [TU]

GlobalFoundries will be making chips for Samsung -- and possibly the iPhone. [TU]

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Today's moment of spring

garlic shoot spring garden

One of the things we've come to appreciate about gardening is the way it prompts us to be optimistic. You do all this work in the hope that -- eventually -- something good will happen.

It's especially true of garlic. The cloves are pressed into the soil in late October on the promise that they'll endure through the winter and come up on the other side. It's like an expression of hope that across the wide, snowy expanse we'll once again find a place that's warm and green.

And now we're there.

Dog etiquette

puppy sniffing Otto

You know, it's usually a good idea to ask first before doing something like this...

Now that the snow is gone, once again evidence re-emerges -- perhaps "unthaws" is the better word -- that not every dog owner is as courteous as he or she could be. As Albany Common Councilwoman Leah Golby said today on Twitter of people who don't pick up their dog's poop: "You are giving us responsible dog owners a bad name!"

There are a lot of neighborhoods in the Capital Region that include a lot of dogs. And we think this is generally a good thing -- dogs are often a way for people to get to know each other. We've met a bunch of people in our neighborhood because of Otto.

As with any situation involving other people (and dogs), a little bit of responsibility on everyone's part can go a long way toward creating a more courteous environment. Also: We're all better off when people aren't stepping in dog !@#$.

So, based on things we've seen around town, here are a few thoughts on dog etiquette...

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TAP NY 2014

TAP NY judgingThe annual TAP NY craft beer festival will be back at Hunter Mountain April 26 and 27. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $73.44 for that Saturday / $60.48 for Sunday / $21.60 for designated drivers.

There are more than 70 breweries registered for this year's festival, 18 of them new to the event. Blurbage:

Many of the invited brewers produce their beer for sale only in their location.... whether it is a restaurant, a brewpub or a small brewery. Others are breweries large enough to distribute on a larger scale, but maintain an excellent quality through their commitment to hands-on, craft-brewing their product. You won't find Anheuser-Busch, Coors, or Miller products here. What you will find are some truly remarkable beers that will tantalize your taste buds... beers that offer a variety of color and flavor that the big brewers don't do. You'll find everything from pale ales and pilseners, to weisbiers, porters, stouts, and scotch ales; from hearty Bohemian and Bavarian-style lagers to glorious Belgian-style ales and much more.

The festival is also a competition for beer brewers in the state.

We get the impression the Saturday session of the festival often sells out, so if you're interested in going, it's probably a good idea to get tickets sooner rather than later.

Hunter Mountain is in the northern Catskills, a little over an hour's drive from Albany.

New breweries: Over at In The Name of Beer, Greg Back has been profiling the breweries that are new to the festival this year.

Earlier on AOA: Trying the "best craft beer in New York State"

photo: TAP NY FB

Suzanne and Erik's North Chatham homestead

open house Chatham Farmhouse composite

By Nicole Lemperle Correia / Photos by David Hopper

Suzanne and Erik's home story is one of transitioning from urban to rural, from a large house to a smaller one, from a life of convenience to a life of homesteading.

A year ago, the couple and their two young boys moved from their large home near Schenectady's Central Park to a smaller home on several acres in the northern Columbia County countryside.

I had a chance to visit with the family -- as well as their 19 chickens and 4 alpacas -- and hear about what it's meant for them to live in a rural part of the Capital Region, where their land is as important to them as their home itself. The family brings a unique perspective, with Suzanne's background as a biologist and Erik's background in engineering. They take a passionate, thoughtful, and intentional approach to their home and the land surrounding it.

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AOA birthday drawing: cider, spirits, and beer

glass of nine pin cider

A glass of Nine Pin cider.

This week AOA celebrates our 6th birthday, but we're giving you the presents. Each day we'll have a drawing for some fun Capital Region stuff. You can enter to win a new "present" every day.

Drawing's closed!

Today's drawing is for those 21 or older. It includes:

+ A bottle of spirits from Albany Distilling Co.
+ Two free tasting flights at Nine Pin Cider Works
+ A $25 gift certificate to Druthers Brewing Company

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:

What would be on your "must do" list for an epic night in the Capital Region?

We'll draw one winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Friday, April 18, 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 5 pm on Monday, April 21 and must respond by 5 pm on Tuesday April 22.

Knickerbocker Film Festival 2014

hellions documentary still shannon straney

A still from Hellions.

The Knickerbocker Film Festival returns this Friday, April 18 to start week of screenings at locations in Albany and Troy. This year's festival slate includes 12 films -- including fiction and documentaries -- from filmmakers both local and international. (The film lineup, with short blurbs, is after the jump.)

New this year is the festival's expansion to Troy with a screening at the Arts Center this Friday night. Among the films lined up for that screening: Hellions, a documentary by Shannon Straney about the Hellions of Troy roller derby team.

Tickets for screenings are $10 and available online. There's also an awards show and reception next Thursday, April 24, at Taste in downtown Albany -- tickets for that are $35 ($30 with festival screening ticket stub).

AOA is a media sponsor of the Knickerbocker Film Festival.

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Supporters/opponents at E23 casino forum, FBI raids Malta home, $15 an hour "fair wage" proposed, Union hockey victory parade today

Both proponents and opponents of the proposed E23 casino project showed up for a public forum on the project at Giffen Elementary School Wednesday evening. [TU] [News10]

Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen says the city will get to have some say about Saratoga Casino and Raceway's proposed a 134,000 square foot expansion -- but it's unclear to what extent. [TU]

On the first day of the murder trial for Trinity Copeland, her defense attorney argued the teen had no choice but to shoot her father. The prosecution told the jury Copeland talked about TV shows and Ramen noodles on the night of the incident and asked an officer, "Is he dead yet" twice. [WNYT] [Record]

A state Supreme Court justice has rejected a lawsuit that argued the NY SAFE Act shouldn't have gotten the "message of necessity" that allowed the legislature to pass it without the usual three day waiting period. [TU]

A pilot program component of the NY SAFE Act meant to update handgun licenses is on hold. [TU]

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Another year

AOA6 cupcake

There have also been about a thousand cupcakes.

Back when we were like, "Hey, we should start a website," a lot of things seemed possible. But probable? Not really.

Yet here we are, six years later, celebrating another year. Along the way we've learned a lot, worked a lot, and met a bunch of interesting people. The best part has been the people.

Thank you.

Electric City Couture 2014

electric city couture 2014 promo photo

The Electric City Couture Fashion Show is back April 26. And this time it will be at Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs. Event blurbage:

The evening will showcase signature collections of six regional designers and will include roughly 55 male and female models on the runway. Targeted proceeds from this year's show will go to the ongoing restoration work of Historic Universal Preservation Hall, a year-round arts and community events venue located at 25 Washington St. in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. ...
A new edition to this year's show format will be the ability to "buy it off the runway" in a retail sales area that will be available both after the show on Saturday for show attendees and on Sunday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the general public. This year's show will be a partnership between Proctors Theater of Schenectady, N.Y., Universal Preservation Hall and Electric City Couture. It is designed to highlight the strengths of the regional creative economy.

The show is at 8 pm on Saturday, April 26. Tickets are $15 and available online.

photo: 2014 Electric City Couture Designer Showcase Shoot - Shrine of Fashion. On location at Historic Preservation Hall in Saratoga. Photographer: James Pickett

Ice Cream Man Saratoga now open

The new Saratoga Springs location for The Ice Cream Man -- a longtime favorite over in Greenwich -- opened this past weekend. (The stand is in the spot on South Broadway once occupied by Alexandra's.) Hours are 11 am-9 pm daily. [via Fun in Saratoga] Earlier: 12 flavors at The Ice Cream Man

What's up in the Neighborhood

freedlyville_ice_quarry_vermont_sebastien.jpg

Sebastien visited a magical-looking spot in Vermont.

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: a hidden ice rink, the Jericho, Panther Mountain, an exquisite butterfly, good chicken, restaurant week, lobster, a breakfast sandwich, Sweet Sue's, COB pizza, old entrees, a rude driver, things learned in the dressing room, and The Exiles exit.

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AOA birthday drawing: DelSo dinner, movies, cheese, and cookies

New World ext.jpg

New World, part of what makes the DelSo delicious.

This week AOA celebrates our 6th birthday, but we're giving you the presents. Each day we'll have a drawing for some fun Capital Region stuff. You can enter to win a new "present" every day.

Drawing's closed!

Today's drawing prize comes from the DelSo:

+ A $100 gift certificate for New World Bistro Bar
+ A pair of passes to The Spectrum
+ A $25 gift certificate to go shopping at The Cheese Traveler
+ One dozen of Bake for You's signature White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies.

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments

The Delaware South neighborhood, or DelSo, is one of Albany's most interesting neighborhoods, with a mix of residential, restaurants, and shops. What is your favorite Capital Region neighborhood and why?

We'll draw one winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Thursday, April 17, 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 5 pm on Friday, April 18 and must respond by 5 pm on Monday, April 21.

The Meade Brothers' daguerreian gallery

meade brothers

The Brothers Meade, Charles (left) and Henry.

Photography is so ubiquitous now -- almost everyone carries around some sort of camera in their pocket -- that it's a bit difficult to imagine a time when it was a new and rare. That to be a photographer was to be on the avant garde of art and technology.

As it happens, two of the earliest famous photographers were from Albany: Henry and Charles Meade.

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E23 Alliance forms to support Albany Casino, 18 wheeler tips and kills cattle, Schumer pushes to improve Troy seawall, Cuomo's memoir advance higher than his salary

The E23 business alliance, a group of more than 40 business owners who support a proposed Albany Casino, has formed in the city.[Record]

A public hearing on a proposed Schoharie County casino got heated. And personal. [TWCN]

A public hearing on the Albany Capital Center's draft environment impact statement was held on Tuesday -- another step toward construction of the conventions center which is slated to begin in June. [TU]

Fallout from the Takim Smith murder is partially fueling a gang feud between Albany and Troy that resulted in an unusual increase in shootings over the winter.[TU]

A two-level 18-Wheeler hauling about 100 cattle rolled over in Berne on Tuesday morning, killing several of the animals. [TU]

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The monument in Monument Square

monument square troy soldiers and sailors

By Lauren Hittinger

The center of downtown Troy -- figuratively, if not necessarily geographically -- is Monument Square. And it's aptly named -- there's 93-foot monument right in the middle of it.

So, to what is it a monument?

Here's the answer, which includes a bunch of little bits about Troy's history...

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"If we screw it up, it will set back this effort for a long time."

Over at Vox, Sarah Kliff looks at Vermont's push to create a single-payer health system in the state by 2017. Among the obstacles: The estimated cost of the system is about $2 billion -- in a state that currently collects only $2.7 billion in a tax revenue. [Vox]

Green River Festival 2014

green river music festival logoFor the list of summer music festivals: The Green River Festival, July 12-13. The lineup includes Josh Ritter, Trombone Shorty, Puss N Boots featuring Norah Jones, Trampled by Turtles, Lucius, and a bunch of others.

The festival is in Greenfield, Massachusetts, which is about two hours from Albany. (Basically, get on Route 2 and head east.)

The early bird price for both days is $59.99.

[via @SarahLaDuke]

More summer music festival-age:
+ The Hudson Project 2014
+ Mountain Jam 2014 lineup

"I would love to do it, and if I can do it, I'm keeping it in Buffalo."

Donald Trump tells the Buffalo News that he's serious about trying to buy the Buffalo Bills (or, at least, more serious than he is about running for governor). And if he does so, he'll keep the team in Buffalo -- in part because... it's an easy commute for him. [Buffalo News]

Fried oysters at Javier's

javier's fried oysters overhead

By Deanna Fox

Fried oysters are a fairly common dish on Capital Region menus. It's not a revolutionary preparation of the shellfish by any means -- fried oysters have been a hallmark of po' boy sandwiches for at least a century, and they've made appearances in many a basket at a fish fry or seaside shack.

However, if done right, variations on the dish can elevate the mere mollusk into something memorable, crave-able, extraordinary.

The fried oyster put forth by Javier's Nuevo Latino Cuisine in Saratoga Springs does just that.

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AOA birthday drawing: Brown's & Bilinski's

bilinski's chicken sausage package

Made in Cohoes.

Drawing is closed

This week AOA celebrates our 6th birthday, but we're giving you the presents. Each day we'll have a drawing for some fun Capital Region stuff. You can enter to win a new "present" every day.

Today's drawing prize: Beer from Brown's Brewing Co. in Troy and a big basket of products from Bilinski's in Cohoes.

From Brown's: A growler and a $15 gift certificate to Brown's Brewing Co. (Must be 21 or older.)

From Bilinski's: A basket of products including:
+ Bilinski's All Natural Spinach & Garlic Chicken Sausage - 2 packages
+ Bilinski's All Natural Mild Italian Chicken Sausage - 2 packages
+ Bilinski's All Natural Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Chicken Sausage - 1 package
+ Bilinski's All Natural Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausage - 1 package
+ Organic Italian Herb with Porcini Mushroom- 2 packages
+ Buffalo and Blue Cheese Chicken Meatballs- 1 package
+ Chicken Parmesan Chicken Meatballs-2 packages


To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments

Since today's drawing is about birthdays and food and drink, what is your favorite birthday dinner?

We'll draw one winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Wednesday, April 16, 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 5 pm on Thursday, April 17 and must respond by 5 pm on Friday, April 18.

*The gift basket has changed slightly, but is just as delicious. The last three items are substitutions as Bilinski's is no longer making the items originally listed.

Grown Up Easter Egg Hunt 2014

Thumbnail image for Prospect Park sign TroyThe annual Grown Up Easter Egg Hunt returns to Troy's Prospect Park Saturday, April 26. It's $15 to take part -- proceeds will go to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America and the Col. Albert Pawling Memorial Statue Project (which is aiming to build a statue of Troy's first mayor by 2016).

This is the third year for the event, and it seems to grow every year. Organizer/grown up Easter bunny Danielle Sanzone tells us there will be more than 3,000 eggs filled with all sorts of prizes, raffles, silent auctions, food, free make-your-own Stewart's Shops sundaes, and a DJ. She's expecting more than 200 people this year.

Registration for the event starts at 2:30 pm on April 26, hunt starts at 3:30 pm. The rain location is the Atrium in downtown Troy.

Momentive files for bankruptcy, severe weather and flooding expected to increase, off-duty officer fires gun to break up dog attack

Momentive Performance Materials has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (the reorganization kind of bankruptcy). Momentive employs about 900 people at a plant in Waterford -- none of those jobs are expected to be cut. The company, which makes silicone and quartz products and had been part of GE, was bought by a private equity firm in 2006. [Troy Record] [TU] [Daily Gazete]

A Rensselaer County Court judge has ruled that the confession from Trinity Copeland -- the Troy teen accused of fatally shooting her father in 2012 -- will not be allowed at trial because police didn't properly warn her of her Miranda rights. [TU] [Troy Record]

Albany Common Councilman Ron Bailey on the promises of jobs for city residents at a possible casino in Albany: "That needs to be locked down ... I've seen so many projects where our people are left standing on the corner watching as people from out of town come in to work. We can no longer stand for that." [TU]

Apparent consensus of experts at an extreme weather conference at UAlbany: flooding is becoming more frequent in the Northeast. [WNYT] [TU]

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AOA Startup Grant 2014 finalists

aoa startup grant 2014 app image composite

There were a lot of good entries.

The pool of entries for this year's AOA Startup Grant was very strong. Many of the applications of would have made very fine finalists. But there can only be three, two chosen by crowd voting last week, and one chosen by the Editors.

Here they are...

startup contest 2014 sponsor ad staff ciampino

Startup2014 Berkshire Bank in-post ad

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A company for installing house insulation?

spray foam insulation installationAnon emails:

I'm looking for a competent, reasonably-priced spray foam insulation contractor for my home. I need to have old cellulose insulation removed from parts of my basement, and spray foam installed throughout the basement. Thank you

Based on what we've seen on, um, HGTV and a little bit of what we've read, spray foam insulation is said to do the job very well, better than other types of insulation. It also looks like it's a whole process, with installers wearing ventilated suits and whatnot.

Got a suggestion for Anon? Please share!

photo: Flickr user dunktanktechnician (cc)

Saint Rose names college's next president

carolyn stefanco saint roseThe College of Saint Rose announced today that its next president will be Carolyn Stefanco, who's currently the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Stefanco is scheduled to start the position July 1. Her selection caps an unusual transition at the college. In a surprise announcement last summer the school and former president David Szczerbacki parted ways after he had spent just one year in the role, with no mention about what caused the split. Margaret Kirwin, the school's VP for academic affairs, has been serving as interim president.

Stefanco has a PhD in history from Duke, an MA in women's history from Binghamton, and an undergrad history degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her scholarly focus has been American women's history, higher education, and international education.

Agnes Scott College, Stefanco's current school, is a private 900-student women's undergraduate liberal arts college in Decatur, which is just east of Atlanta. Prior to Agnes Scott, she was the founding dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at California State University, Stanislaus, and she held teaching positions at Oklahoma State, Cal Poly (a handful of student reviews) and Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

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AOA birthday drawing: Lark Street prize

Kiss_me.jpg

Celebrate AOA's birthday with cupcakes (or something equally delicious) from Crisan.

Drawing is closed, but feel free to add your gift ideas for the Capital Region.

This week AOA celebrates our 6th birthday, but we're giving you the presents. Each day we'll have a drawing for some fun Capital Region stuff. You can enter to win a new "present" every day.

Today's drawing is a package of great gift certificates to Lark Street businesses:

+ A $100 gift certificate to Spa Virgo on Lark Street
+ Two $25 gift certificates to The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark
+ One bottle of sparkling wine and a $50 gift certificate to Capital Wine (Must be 21 or older.)
+ A $25 gift certificate to Crisan Bakery on Lark.

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments

If you could gift one thing to the Capital Region, what would it be?

Maybe it's an indoor water park, maybe it's peace -- whatever you'd like to give the region if you had the ability.

We'll draw one winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Tuesday, April 15, 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 5 pm on Wednesday, April 16 and must respond by 5 pm on Thursday, April 17.

Queens of the Stone Age at The Palace

queens of the stone age

QOTSA

Rock band Queens of the Stone Age is set to play a show at The Palace July 13. Tickets go on sale this Saturday (April 19) -- they're $39.50 and up. (There's also a presale starting Wednesday.)

The band is touring in support of the album is released last year, ...Like Clockwork, which included contributions from Dave Grohl, Alex Turner, Trent Reznor, and... Elton John. The album got very good reviews.

Lucinda Williams
Also announced: Lucinda Williams at The Egg June 17. Tickets go on sale this Friday (April 18) -- they're $35 and up.

photo: Nora Lezano

My Exit: Tabitha Clancy

Tabitha Clancy my exit.jpgMonday is My Exit day at WEXT -- the day someone from the Capital Region shares an hour of their favorite music with the rest of us. It's a fun way to discover new, or new to you music, and rediscover some old favorites.

Tonight, music reviewer Tabitha Clancy shares pieces from some of her favorite singer/songwriters, from Johnny Cash to Ryan Adams.

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Union wins hockey national title, Troy police treating death of pregnant woman as a double homicide, second spike of flu season

The Union men's hockey team won the national title this past weekend with a 7-4 victory over Minnesota. It's the school's first hockey national title. The team returned to a cheering crowd at Messa Rink Sunday afternoon, and Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy says a parade is in the works. [NCAA] [Daily Gazette x2]

After the team's victory Saturday night, Schenectady police say a crowd of about 400-500 people on Union Avenue got out of hand and some people threw beer cans and glass bottles at an officer. Five students ended up getting arrested. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Troy police say the death of Vanessa Milligan, the pregnant woman whose body was found in the Lansingburgh fire April 4, is being investigated as a double homicide. TPD hasn't released details about how or when Milligan died, but "a person familiar with the case" tells the Times Union the woman was murdered and the fire was set in an attempt to cover it up. [Troy Record] [TU]

The E23 casino proposal in Albany includes Capital OTB as some sort of partner -- but the nature of that partnership is unclear, as is the question of whether an OTB can be involved with a casino. [TU]

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The week ahead

lydia davis can't and won't

Internationally acclaimed -- and locally based -- author Lydia Davis will be at RPI this week as part of the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (downhill from Monday), to Passover and Easter, to particle physics, to Wordfest, to authors, to music...

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This week was brought to you by

MiSci Butterfly exhibit.jpg

One more week to see the butterflies at miSci

This week was brought to you by... SPRING! It was also brought to you by other beautiful things, like the butterfly exhibit at miSci. You've only got a week left to catch the exhibit -- it closes on April 19.

The week was also made possible by the AOA advertisers listed below.
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.

Here's a list of folks who made AOA possible this week. Be sure to check them out when you can.

Stuff to do

Taxes
Staff Ciampino & Company, P.C. -- sponsor of the All Over Albany Start Up Grant business contest. April 15th is getting close. There's still time for Staff Ciampino to help with your taxes.

Movies
+ The Spectrum 8 Theaters Presenting Now:In the Wings on a World Stage, a backstage look at a ten month tour of Richard III, produced by Kevin Spacey -- April 29.

Classes
+ The Arts Center of the Capital Region offers a wide range of classes, from dance to wood working to digital illustration. You can register for spring classes today.

Laugh more
+The Mop & Bucket Company -- offering a full slate of classes throughout the year. Not a performer? Improv can help increase your creativity and openness in the workplace too. You can catch MopCo performances every Friday night at 8 pm at Proctors.

See a show
The Troy Music Hall, presenting Red Molly, Friday, May 16.

Mummy mysteries
The Albany Institute of History and Art presents "The Mystery of the Albany Mummies," series through June 8.

Food and Drink

Easter Brunch
New World Bistro Bar is now taking reservations for Easter brunch. On Sunday, April 20th they are serving their fabulous brunch buffet from 11am-3pm. (full brunch menu will not be available that afternoon). Buffet selections will include choices for all diners, including vegan and gluten free. Eggs Bennie with Ropa Vieja & Spinach, Shrimp & Grits, NY Cheddar Mac & Cheese, Fruit Crepes and much more. $25/adults and $12/kids (10 & under please).
That evening, dinner service will begin at 5pm. They'll be serving the full dinner menu, plus specials. Please call for reservations (strongly suggested), 518-694-0520.

Cheese
+ The Cheese Traveler, introducing its new sandwich and panini menu --available Tuesday through Sunday. Sandwiches built on loaves sourced from Bonfiglio & Bread in Hudson and will feature a variety of high quality meats, cheeses, condiments, and other fine accompaniments. Offerings will change based on seasonal availability and inspiration, and can be enjoyed in-store or packaged to go.

Here's a menu sample:
Laguiole, Apple Peach & Apricot chutney (Rosebud Farms) $6.99
Toma Celena, Pawlett, smoked duck breast (Larchmont Charcuterie), black currant jam (Les Comtes de Provence) $7.99
Manchego Artesano, salchichon Iberico (Fermin) oil-cured olive tapenade $7.99

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.

Food and history
+Smith's Restaurant has great food in an historic building. You'll want to check out the bar--it's from Tammany Hall.

Food and beer
+Brown's Brewing-- a sponsor of the AOA BAd Boys, Broads and Bootleggers tour. Relax with a cask beer at the new Malt Room.

Stuff to learn

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.

Graduate school
+The College of Saint Rose, proud sponsor of the All Over Albany Tournament of Pizza. Offering 52 Graduate Programs with a purpose. Programs include: MFA in Creative writing, MBA, Computer Information Systems and more.

Stuff to Try

Local gift ideas
+Urban Maker -- art, clothing, sculpture, jewelry and photography, made here in the Capital Region. Urban maker is currently seeking artists and crafters to sell their wares in this online local marketplace.

Places to live
+The Lofts at Harmony Mills, Manhattan style loft living in the Capital Region.

+Choose Cohoes -- Tourism, dining, entertainment and shopping in the Spindle City.

Internet Service
+ Get a FREE MONTH of Wink High Speed Internet Service from Tech Valley Communications. Enter this code when you sign up for service at: www.winkinternet.com: w1n87k0

A quick recap of the week

week review 2014-04-11

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

+ The entries for the AOA Startup Grant were posted -- there are a bunch of interesting ideas this year. We'll announce the finalists on April 14.

+ Here's the music lineup for this year's Tulip Festival.

+ Paul McCartney is playing the TU Center this summer.

+ Congrats to Evan for winning this year's AOA NCAA tournament pool.

+ Lauren got a look at the some of the stuff the Rensselaer County Historical Society has been hoarding.

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: Mickey Rooney, breaking up with winter, parenthood, picking up roots, trail running, beautiful streams, the last snowshoe hike, 15 Church, tea, very good bagel taste, pho, a wrap, and maple brain.

+ We checked out this year's edition of the always-fun Canstruction exhibit at the State Museum.

+ Does size matter? We compared the size of Capital Region supermarkets.

+ As the process spins on a potential casino in Albany, a look at how each ward in the city voted on allowing full casinos in the upstate -- there were some big differences ward to ward.

+ The Capital Region has a new Catholic bishop for the first time in almost 40 years -- a few bits about the shifting place of the Catholic church in this area.

+ Albany took a step toward better sharing of data with the public.

+ And thank you again for keeping us in mind.

Here's the whole week all lined up.

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

Unexpected exposure

Larry Fink photography The Hyde Collection gift from StephanopoulosGeorge Stephanopoulos -- from ABC's Good Morning America, and the former Clinton White House advisor -- has donated 128 photographs "by significant American and international photographers" to the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls. So how'd that happen? The grapevine, apparently. The photo at right is "New Year's Eve Party, American Legion, Bangor, December 1979" by Larry Fink, gift of George Stephanopoulos and Family, The Hyde Collection. [Hyde Collection] [Post-Star]

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The Scoop

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