The last week's worth of items on AOA

Trick shot and a goal

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

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

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

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

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: signs of spring, the week in flowers, an almost collision, the Boston Marathon, gimlets at the hardware store, Dodge the Deer, New Haven pizza, Maine pot pie, the Tour de FroYo, fries in Cooperstown, tapas in Schenectady, fried pig intestine, spring items, spices, wine class, and traditions.

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Food truck events coming up

food truck festival troy 2013 slidin dirty crowd

From last year's festival in Troy.

The Food Truck Festival of NY is set to return to Troy's Riverfront Park May 16 -- that's a Friday -- from 4-8 pm. Admission is free.

The event has yet to announce the list of food trucks that will be there. But it has two musical acts lined up: Paranoid Social Club, Conor Kennedy, and Wild Adriatic.

Last year's event was very popular -- so, as an attendee, it pays to employ some strategy.

Food truck showcase
A group of local food trucks are getting together for a "food truck showcase" May 4 at the Saratoga Eagles Club, from noon-6 pm. Admission is free.

Among the trucks announced: Slidin' Dirty, Eat Good Food, Pies on Wheels, the Crisp Cannoli, and Capital Q.

Serve Albany

serve albany logoCurrently in progress: Serve Albany, a week-long event focused on highlighting volunteer opportunities. Blurbage about the event:

The catalyst for Serve Albany can be found in research showing that New Yorkers lag behind the rest of the nation in volunteerism, saying "I haven't been asked" (37 percent) and "Don't know where to go to be of help" (28 percent). Almost six in 10 had not been asked to volunteer by an organization or a cause in the previous year. [Source: Albany Times Union, Dec. 24, 2012, "Why charity doesn't start at (our) home"]
"We believe that volunteering and serving is the best possible way to live," said Jonathan Hentrich, Lead Pastor of Christ's Church Albany. "The purpose of Serve Albany is to make it as easy as possible for people in Albany to serve in our city."

The program is a partnership between Christ's Church Albany and The Stakeholders Regional Volunteer Center. It started this past Monday and runs through Sunday. There are volunteer opportunities still available. (And if you'd like to help out, but can't this week, the projects might give you some ideas for future volunteering opportunities.)

AOA is a media sponsor of Serve Albany.

Last call for casino applications, racino owners hedge bets with Orange County proposal, Copeland to jury "I told him I loved him, then I shot him," arrest in Watervliet bomb threat, Rick Perry wants to throwdown with Cumo on economy

Today is the last day for prospective casino operators to file the $1 million application fee with the state Gaming Commission for one of four casino licenses in Upstate New York. After scrapping plans to expand the Saratoga Casino and Raceway to include a Vegas-style casino, and announcing plans for an East Greenbush casino on Monday, the Saratoga Racino owners are making plans for an Orange County casino. Meanwhile, Caesars has also submitted a $1 million casino license application fee for a plan to open a casino in Orange County.
[News 10][TU][NYT]

Bethlehem officials are concerned about how the proposed E23 casino project could affect traffic. [TU]

Trinity Copeland, the teen charged with the 2012 murder of her father. took the stand in her own defense on Tuesday. Copeland told jurors, "I told him I loved him. Then I shot him, " and claimed that her father threatened to kill them both if she didn't shoot him. Jury deliberations are expected to get underway in the case today.[WNYT][TU][TWCN][News 10]

A bomb threat shortly before noon on Tuesday caused the evacuation of all three of Schenectady County Community College's campuses. The threat mentioned several devices but investigators have not yet determined who was behind it. [TU][TWCN]

A 17-year old Watervliet High School student has confessed to making bomb threats at the school earlier this week after he was implicated by an online friend who made similar threats at his own high school in Michigan and claims they collaborated on the threats. [News10]

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Funding for new Thacher Park visitor center

Indian Ladder trail view at Thacher State ParkState parks in the Capital Region are getting $8.675 million for a handful of construction/repair projects, the Cuomo admin announced today.

The biggest chunk -- $3.8 million -- has been tagged for the construction of a new visitor center at Thacher Park. Dan Keefe, a spokesman for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, told us this afternoon that the agency is currently also raising private money for the project, but it's scheduled to begin construction this fall with the goal of being finished by fall 2015.

As projected in the the park's master plan, released last November, the new facility will include a visitor center, event space available for rent, exhibits, and offices. Keefe said it will also have a view from the escarpment.

The Thacher Park master plan covered a wide range of projects intended to be spread out over many years. Keefe said a a few of them are lined up for work this season -- including replacement of bathrooms in late August.

A list of the other regional park projects funded in today's announcement is after the jump.

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The 46ers

Check out this trailer/preview for The 46ers*, a documentary about people who hike the Adirondack's High Peaks. The cinematography is beautiful.

Film blurbage:

"The 46ers" is a documentary feature about the men and women who hike all of the 46 High Peaks (over 4,000 ft elevation) in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate NY. The filmmakers set out to answer the question, "what transformers ordinary men and women into the legendary mountaineers known as the 46ers?" ...
The idea for the project came about in July, 2012 when director Blake Cortright summited Mt. Marcy, New York's tallest mountain. As he took in the surrounding view, he was amazed that this area hadn't been given better cinematic treatment. After an exhausting weekend hiking Marcy, Tabletop, and Wright Peak, Blake began to ask "why do people do this?" That started the idea for the project.

The film's executive producer is Dan Swinton, who's been involved in a bunch of local projects, including William Kennedy's Prohibition Story and The Hard Places: The Tom Little Story.

The project raised more than $14,000 on Kickstarter last year. The filmmakers are aiming for an "early 2015" completion, according to the project's website.
____

* There are 46 of the peaks, thus the name for the people who hike them all.

Earlier on AOA:
+ The winter 46ers
+ How to hike the High Peaks and not be That Guy

Bright

A recent article in Intelligent Life -- a(nother) magazine from The Economist -- about the role of light in human biology highlights (ha) some interesting work by Mariana Figueiro at RPI's Lighting Research Center. Figueiro has experimented with adding bright lamps to various areas of assisted-living facilities. And the article includes some of her advice for getting good sleep.

Planning a Capital Region wedding: eloping

wedding planning elope nick and sita

Sita and Nick

By Lauren Hittinger

Lauren and George are planning a wedding in the Capital Region, and they're chronicling the planning process here on AOA. But this time, Lauren's talking with a couple about going a different direction...

When planning a wedding, not everyone decides to do a big bash in a ballroom with all of their family and friends. Some couples forgo a traditional wedding and opt to elope instead.

Local couple Nick and Sita chose to "sorta-elope" to Lake Placid -- and say they couldn't be happier with their decision.

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The Dude, he does

lunchboxbrain abide threadlessFun: Local designer Andrew Gregory -- AKA lunchboxbrain -- has a shirt in the new Threadless collection inspired by The Big Lebowski. Andrew's shirt is called, appropriately, "Abide." Earlier: Rock on, lunchboxbrain

Drawing: A Taste of Albany 2014

taste of albany 2011 bennett campbell

From a previous year's A Taste of Albany.

A Taste of Albany will be back at the State Museum May 1. The annual event -- a fundraiser for the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless -- includes samples more than 30 Capital Region restaurants and chefs, along with entertainment.

We have two tickets for the event, and we're giving them away.

To enter, please answer this question in the comments:

Fill in the blank: I know it's spring in the Capital Region when __________.

It could be an event, a type of flower blooming, a feeling, whatever. We'll pick one at random.

A Taste of Albany is May 1 starting at 5 pm on the State Museum's terrace gallery. Tickets $75 each, and they're available online. (Previous years have sold out.)

Important: All comments must be submitted by 5 pm on Wednesday, April 23, 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 Tuesday, April 24 and must respond by 10 am on Friday, April 25.

photo: Bennett Campbell

Electoral college, OH

New York recently became the 10th state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an effort to circumvent the electoral college for presidential elections. Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver looks at why this effort probably isn't going to make it all the way -- because swing states don't want to give up their influence. [FiveThirtyEight]

Conor Oberst at Brewery Ommegang

conor oberst

Another summer concert: Conor Oberst is set to play at a show at Brewery Ommegang August 1. Tickets go on sale this Friday, April 25 -- they're $35 in advance / $15 for camping, in advance.

Oberst will be backed by the band Dawes. And the openers -- The Baseball Project -- include a few people you might recognize: Peter Buck and Mike Mills, among others.

Oberst played a show at The Egg in 2012 and it sold out. Obviously the field at Ommegang is bigger than that theater, but if you're interested in going, getting tickets sooner rather than later might not be a bad idea. (See: Modest Mouse.)

photo: Butch Hogan

Saratoga racino owners turn attention to East Greenbush for potential full casino, Troy city engineer resigns, Francesca's is closing

The owners of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway (AKA the racino) said Monday they have decided to not pursue a full casino for the Saratoga area -- and instead will focus on trying to build a casino in East Greenbush. The owners tell the Times Union that they've bought land in the town near the FedEx distribution center off Route 4. Saratoga had been looking like a bad bet because the Saratoga Springs city council had voted against a resolution in favor of a casino -- but the East Greenbush board recently passed a resolution generally in favor of a casino, and the town supervisor said the potential revenue is a consideration. The reaction around Saratoga: a little bit of everything. [Saratogian] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Albany Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin on the council's consideration of a resolution supporting the proposed E23 casino project in the city, in light of the East Greenbush news, to the Biz Review: "To know there is definitely a proposal coming out of East Greenbush, to me that should spark some urgency among council members ... We have to shake the dust off our feet and keep moving. We've got to get some answers here." (Speaking of E23 -- Chris Churchill wonders about the trustworthiness of the developer pushing the project.) [Biz Review] [TU]

The city of Schenectady is looking at possible zoning changes necessary if a casino is proposed there. [Daily Gazette]

Troy's city engineer, Russ Reeves, is resigning, a move prompted in part by recent demolition work at the former King Fuels site -- near a gas line -- that wasn't reviewed by his department. The city has also been the subject of recent FBI review of multiple projects, including the emergency demolition of the building next to Bombers. Said Reeves of his decision to leave the city job: "I've got to protect my license." [Troy Record] [TU]

SaintRose_all-over-albany_generic_525x40.jpg

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Kings of Leon at SPAC 2014

kings of leon

Rock band Kings of Leon will be at SPAC August 10. Tickets go on sale this Friday, April 25 -- they're $40 and up. (There will also be a lawn four-pack for $89, not including fees.)

For whatever reason, Kings of Leon seems like one of those bands that just sort of slowly, perhaps improbably, really, really popular -- "arguably the biggest band in the world" at one point, as a Rolling Stone article declared. They've sold something north of 16.5 million albums. Along to the way to becoming really popular they've gone from critically praised, to the sort of band some people like to not like. So it goes.

Anyway, Kings of Leon were last at SPAC in 2010. (They were set to play a show there in 2011, but that tour ended up being canceled after a show that went the wrong way in Dallas.)

The openers for the August 10 show at SPAC are Young the Giant, and Kongos.

Live Nation advertises on AOA.

photo via Kings of Leon Instagram

The extraordinarily 80s Crossgates promo film

A link to this video on YouTube -- a 1984 promo film by the Pyramid Companies for the then just-opened Crossgates Mall -- popped up in our inbox with a message from Fred that simply said: "Eight minutes of eighties awesomeness."

Heh. And Fred was right. It is 80s-tastic, like some synthesizer newsreel film. Come for the 80s fashion and stores long gone, stay for the the now-three-decade-old aerial footage.

A few stills are after the jump to give you a sense of the video...

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Wolff's Biergarten nummer zwei

Matt Baumgartner announced Friday afternoon that he and his business partners will be opening a second Wolff's Biergarten, in Schenectady, probably for fall 2015. Over at Tablehopping today, Steve has a few more details.

Dining Out for Life 2014

2014 Dining Out for Life logoThe annual Dining Out for Life event returns this Thursday, April 24 at restaurants all around the Capital Region. The event is a fundraiser for the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York. And it's super easy to take part.

Here's how it works: You go out to eat at one of the participating restaurants on Thursday. That's it.

The restaurant will donate a portion of its checks from that day to the AIDS Council. You don't have do anything else. (Well, you could also make a donation...)

Some of the restaurants get busy that night, so reservations are a good idea.

AOA is a media sponsor of DOFL.

Hot spots

Over the weekend in the Daily Gazette there was an interesting article from Kathleen Moore about how the Schenectady Police Department is continuing to use crime analysis to deploy police coverage -- and the ways the SPD says it has worked, and hasn't worked, so far. [Daily Gazette]

A good driving instructor?

car steering wheelBaby Boomer emails:

Could you ask your readers if they could recommend a driving instructor, specifically in Albany, who could teach an older person who is very nervous when learning to drive? I took a few lessons years ago and was very stressed out. I still want to learn before I get too old.

A bunch of years ago we had a question about driving schools, but it was in reference to teens. Things change. And also, we're curious if there are any driving instructors who specialize in -- or just happen to be really good with -- adults who are taking up driving.

Got a suggestion for Baby Boomer? Please share!

My Exit: Bobby Z

The Vibrators Album Art.jpgYou can get a view of a person from their music collection. The same goes for WEXT's My Exit, the show on which a listener programs an hour of music from their own collection. It's like randomly asking someone, "What's on your iPod?"

On tonight's My Exit, Bobby Z. makes a return visit with a theme show.

What's the theme? You figure it out.

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Does he say that to all the potential casino sites?, shootings in Albany and Schenectady, errant check mark keeps man out of jail, a week of solitude in Scotia

A profile of David Flaum, the developer who's been pushing the E23 casino proposal in Albany -- and, apparently, pursuing a handful of other casino sites around the state. [TU]

In other casino related bits: A partnership between two large gambling companies is reportedly ready to put down $1 million as a placeholder for a potential casino bid in the Capital Region. And the East Greenbush town board voted to support a casino project there -- if one is proposed. [TU x2]

David Paterson papers recently sent to an archive at Columbia University shed light on the process his administration used to pick someone to replace Hillary Clinton in the US Senate -- an appointment that went to Kirsten Gillibrand, in part because of something she said to Paterson following an SNL skit that had made fun of him. [Capital]

Schenectady police say a 60-year-old woman who had been missing for a week told them she had gone to Scotia for "solitude and rest" -- and ended up living outside in an "igloo" of vines and brush near the Mohawk River. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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The week ahead

rodrigo y gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela are at The Egg later this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (workable), to film, to pot, to writers, to knife skills, to music...

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This week was brought to you by

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

This week was brought to you by, cupcakes, presents, parties and all things birthday related. Thanks to the wonderful folks at The Malt Room at Brown's for throwing a fantastic party, and to everyone who has helped make this week, and the six years before it, truly wonderful.

AOA wouldn't exist without its advertisers, so if you like us, check out the list below 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 do

Dining Out for Life
This Thursday, April 24 is Dining Out for Life -- the easiest and most fun way we can think of to do a good thing. Go out to lunch or dinner on Thursday at a participating restaurant and a portion of your bill will be donated to The Aids Council of Northeastern New York.

Drawing Up Central
The Central Avenue BID's Drawing Up Central sidwalk chalk drawing competition, Saturday, May 10.

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.

+The Knickerbocker Film Festival. April 18-24.

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.

+The Palace Theater presents 50 Shades: The Musical, a parody of 50 Shades of Gray, Wednesday, April 30th.

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

Volunteer
Serve Albany -- a week long volunteer program to better communities in the Capital City. Pick a service project and give some time.

Food and Drink

Easter Brunch
Easter Brunch at New World Bistro Bar is sold out, but the full menu will be available during dinner service, 5pm-9:30pm, along with extra-special-specials in honor of the holiday. Reservations are strongly suggested, (518) 694-0520. New Spring Menu Launches Wednesday, April 23rd! Keep your eyes on newworldbistrobar.com for all the mouth-watering details. On Thursday, April 24th New World Bistro Bar is proud to participate once again in the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York's Dining Out For Life! NWBB will donate 20% of all sales to this amazing organization. Just dine to donate! Reservations are 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.

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.

Fitness goals
CDPHP, helping you reach your fitness goal for the 2014 Workplace Challenge

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.

Law School
Albany Law School

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 2014-04-19

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

Lots of fun answers to birthday drawing questions this week:

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

+ What is your favorite birthday dinner?

+ What is your favorite Capital Region neighborhood and why?

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

+ What's one thing you've learned/thought was interesting via AOA?

+ This year's AOA Startup Grant contest is down to three finalists!

+ Anon asked about finding a company to install insulation for his house.

+ Deanna recommended the fried oysters at Javier's.

+ Lauren looked into the backstory of the monument in Monument Square.

+ Two of the early famous photographers were from Albany.

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: 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.

+ Nicole returned with another Open House, this time a farmhouse in North Chatham (with alpacas).

+ A few thoughts on dog etiquette.

+ And thank you to everyone who celebrated the AOA birthday this week -- at the party or via a mention or note. We appreciate it.

Here's the whole week all lined up.

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

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.

Drawing's closed!

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.

(there's more)

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.

(there's more)

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]

SaintRose_all-over-albany_generic_525x40.jpg

(there's more)

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The Scoop

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