The last week's worth of items on AOA
Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:
+ County fair season has started -- here's a a big list of fairs around the region.
+ The city of Albany is looking at the future of the downtown UAlbany campus corridor.
+ Speaking of UAlbany... its president, Robert Jones, is leaving for the top job at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
+ What was up in the Neighborhood in this week: the waitress in the photo, early telephone service, Cascade and Porter, the Mud Pond, back in Schenectady, soft serve, Troy Pig Out, Filipino food, Stella Del Mare, the courtyard, and sweaty money.
+ Kate explained the fun of wearing a fancy hat at the Saratoga Race Course.
+ The first group of Park South redevelopment apartments are renting (and there's a Chipotle going in there).
+ New York State will soon exempt tampons and similar items from state and local sales tax.
+ And a few updates on various projects around Albany, including the proposed new Albany Med building.
Here's the whole week in one place.
Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea this week!
fair photo: Crystal Capritta
Here are the updated details for the Northshire event with best-selling author Jennifer Weiner in Saratoga Springs October 16: Weiner will be appearing in conversation with Elaina Richardson, president of Yaddo, at Congregation Shaara Tfille at 1 pm. There will be audience Q&A afterward and book signing.
Weiner will be in town to talk about her upcoming book Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. Book blurbage:
You know Jennifer Weiner as many things: a bestselling author, a Twitter phenomenon, and "an unlikely feminist enforcer" (The New Yorker). She's also a mom, a daughter, and a sister; a former rower and current runner; a best friend and a reality TV junkie. Here, in her first foray into nonfiction, she takes the raw stuff of her personal life and spins it into a collection of essays on womanhood as uproariously funny and moving as the best of Tina Fey, Fran Lebowitz, and Nora Ephron. ...
No subject is off-limits in this intimate and honest essay collection: sex, weight, envy, money, her mom's late-in-life lesbianism, and her estranged father's death. From lonely adolescence to modern childbirth to hearing her six-year-old daughter's use of the f-word--fat--for the first time, Jennifer dives deep into the heart of female experience, with the wit and candor that have endeared her to readers all over the world.
Tickets are on sale now -- they're $34 for 1 seat and 1 copy of the book / $44 for two seats and 1 book / $29 for active military, students, and seniors for 1 seat and 1 book.
Weiner is very popular, so it wouldn't be a surprise if this event sold out.
photo: Maarten de Boer
A few bits about a planned new Albany Med building, new residential construction, and other projects around Albany
A new Albany Med building, new residential projects, and the demolition of a longtime Central Ave landmark -- they were all up before the Albany planning board this week.
Here's a quick scan...
Updated after APD released different details.
According to THE INTERNET, every modern city must have some odd/unfortunate episode involving Pokeman Go.
From an Albany Police Department press release Friday:
On Thursday, July 21, 2016 at approximately 11:45 p.m., officers responded to the area of State Street and South Swan Street for a report of a stolen vehicle. Upon arrival, the victim told officers that he parked his vehicle near the intersection while he walked around the Empire State Plaza playing the game "Pokemon GO." The victim stated that he left the vehicle unlocked with the key fob in his cup holder and that when he returned to his vehicle, it had been stolen.
The vehicle was located shortly after the call on the 400 block of Delaware Avenue. The vehicle was unattended at the time and additional property the victim had inside his vehicle had also been stolen.
APD says the incident is under investigation, and is asking anyone who might have info to call it in.
Another midsummer weekend awaits.
Horses, ballet, baseball, swimming pools -- and that's just the beginning. After the jump, our list of stuff to do this weekend that we thought you might enjoy.
Got something planned that you don't see here? Drop it in the comments so we can all see.
And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend.
Legislation extends time to sue in situations like Hoosick Falls, questions about Troy property sale, remembering Nathan Lebron
On Thursday Andrew Cuomo signed a bill extends the period in which people can file personal injury lawsuits related to pollution at Superfund sites to three years. The legislation was prompted by the situation involving the contamination of the Hoosick Falls water supply. [TWCN] [TU]
Farther afield: The city of Newburgh is pushing for the state to do blood tests of residents in order to determine levels of exposure to a chemical found in the city's drinking water that's similar the chemical in the Hoosick Falls water supply.
Hudson River PCBs
A year after the end of the Hudson River PCB dredging project, the federal Environmental Protection Agency says tests indicated that PCB levels in fish from river are declining. [TU]
Questions about Troy property sale
Troy City Council members are questioning why the city released the reverter clause on a city-owned property that was sold to a then-city employee in 2015 for $3,500 -- and is now listed for sale at $65k. [TU]
The first group of Park South redevelopment apartments are renting -- and there's a Chipotle going in there
A milestone in the ongoing $110 million redevelopment project in Albany's Park South neighborhood: Apartments in the development are now for rent and some are already occupied.
The first group of residential units became available July 1, according to Julie Knox, the sales and marketing manager for Tri City Rentals. She said that as of August 1, a total of 60 units will be in operation and a majority of them are already rented.
The Cuomo admin announced Thursday that Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that will exempt tampons and other related items from state and local sales tax.
New York State exempts certain items from state sales tax, including drugs and medicine, medical equipment and certain medical supplies as well as prosthetic aids. Feminine hygiene products, such as tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners, are an undeniable necessity, yet they are subject to sales tax.
This bill would correct the fundamental imbalance that currently existing in New York State by exempting certain feminine hygiene products, including but not limited to, sanitary napkins, tampons and panty liners from sales and use tax.
The Cuomo admin figures the sales tax exemption will collectively save women in the state $10 million a year. It's set to take effect September 1.
There's been a push in many states recently to exempt tampons and similar items from sales tax. Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have already done so, and Connecticut is scheduled to do so 2018. And a few other states are moving in that direction. [Providence Journal]
The latest national drought update from the feds has eastern New York pegged as "abnormally" dry -- and many parts of western New York are tagged as being in moderate and severe drought.
As of the end of Wednesday, the Albany area was 5 inches off the 30-year normal for precipitation year to date (about 24 percent). And since June 1, we're almost a full inch of precipitation off the normal (about 15 percent).
That graph above is from the NWS Albany website and shows precipitation for the year versus the records and normal.
By the way: At this time last year, we were more tan 3 inches ahead of the normal rainfall for since-June 1 rainfall.
This is happening: A music tour called "I Love the 90's" is coming to the TU Center December 1. Tickets go on sale the general public this Friday (July 22) -- they're $56 and up.
The lineup for the tour consists of R&B acts from the 90s. And instead of just listing the lineup, we figured we'd have a little fun. Here are lyrics from each of the acts -- and we'll let you guess. (It shouldn't be hard if you're, uh, a certain age.)
+ "All right stop, Collaborate and listen"
+ "Coolin' by day then at night working up a sweat / C'mon girls, let's go show the guys that we know / How to become number one in a hot party show"
+ "I wanna rock right now /I'm _____ and I came to get down / I'm not internationally known / But I'm known to rock the microphone"
+ "Oh girl I think I love you I'm always thinkin' of you / I want you to know I do it all 4 love"
+ "As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death / I take a look at my life and realize there's none left / 'Cause I've been brassing and laughing so long that / Even my mamma thinks that my mind is gone"
+ "Workin' all week / 9 to 5 for my money / So when the weekend comes / I go get live with the honeys"
Lineup's after the jump.
"Let me ask you a question."
Two beers were sweating through their glass bottles last summer on a cold, metal, patio table when a man I barely knew put me on the spot. The style of his delivery fell somewhere between Dennis Miller and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, so I knew it was trouble. All I could think was, "Here we go."
Instead, what I said was: "Go ahead!"
"It's... about the hats..."
Home demolished after fatal fire, Hoosick Falls PFOA documents headed to Congress, another horse dies at Saratoga, a gift of tartan granite
Schenectady home razed
The remains of a Mont Pleasant home destroyed in a deadly fire this week were demolished on Wednesday. Family and neighbors mourned the loss of a six-year-old girl and a man with disabilities who lived in the house. [Gazette]
Delay on Crude oil heating plant approval
A State Supreme Court Ruling gives the DEC an indefinite extension on whether to approve a crude oil heating plant at the Port of Albany.[TU]
New test results show seven of 20 wells in Petersburgh tested positive for PFOA contamination. Meanwhile, New York is set to begin sending documents on PFOA contamination in the area to Congress.[TU][TU]
All sorts of activity at Indian Pond on the UAlbany campus as the sun set. Birds chirping. Insects flitting about, as the birds swooped after them. A heron perching upon a log. Frogs calling. Muskrats swimming about.
The author of Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism -- Chris Jennings -- will be at Mount Lebanon Shaker Village August 14 for a brunch and talk. Book blurbage:
In Paradise Now, Chris Jennings tells the story of five interrelated utopian movements, revealing their relevance both to their time and to our own. Here is Mother Ann Lee, the prophet of the Shakers, who grew up in newly industrialized Manchester, England--and would come to build a quiet but fierce religious tradition on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Even as the society she founded spread across the United States, the Welsh industrialist Robert Owen came to the Indiana frontier to build an egalitarian, rationalist utopia he called the New Moral World. A decade later, followers of the French visionary Charles Fourier blanketed America with colonies devoted to inaugurating a new millennium of pleasure and fraternity. Meanwhile, the French radical Étienne Cabet sailed to Texas with hopes of establishing a communist paradise dedicated to ideals that would be echoed in the next century. And in New York's Oneida Community, a brilliant Vermonter named John Humphrey Noyes set about creating a new society in which the human spirit could finally be perfected in the image of God.
Here's a very positive NYT review of the book from earlier this year.
Mount Lebanon Shaker Village is in norther Columbia County, just over the border from Rensselaer County. The Chris Jennings event starts at 11 am on Sunday, August 14. Tickets are $75 and include brunch.
As you might know, this region was the site of the first Shaker communities in America -- the very first being the Watervliet Shaker community (on land that's now in Colonie). Influential Shaker leader Ann Lee is buried there. (The State Museum had an interesting exhibit about the Shakers not too long ago -- some of the materials are still online.)
See also: This fascinating article about the "polyamorous Christian socialist utopia" that gave birth to the Oneida Limited company, which for roughly a century made silverware in Oneida, New York from Collectors Weekly.
Check out this Syracuse Post-Standard look at how voter enrollments across upstate New York have shifted since 2000 -- from an area that was solidly Republican (except for a few urban areas) to the current situation in which many counties are trending to a closer split between the two major parties, or have flipped have Democratic. [Syracuse Post-Standard] [via @TehWood]
Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: the waitress in the photo, early telephone service, Cascade and Porter, the Mud Pond, back in Schenectady, soft serve, Troy Pig Out, Filipino food, Stella Del Mare, the courtyard, and sweaty money.
The city of Albany is starting a "City Hall on the Road" series Wednesday (July 20) in which the mayor and city officials will be making themselves available to the public at sites around the city during the evening. Press release blurbage:
"Since becoming Mayor, I've attended dozens of neighborhood and other public meetings, and it has become clear that Albany residents would like the opportunity to address their concerns one-on-one with administration officials at a time that is convenient for them," said Mayor Sheehan. "Instead of asking people to always come to City Hall during business hours, we will make ourselves available to address issues, answer questions about things like building permits and job opportunities, as well as provide help filling out various forms."
Do you need a license for your dog? Do you need an inspection or permit from the Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance? Are you curious about grant programs that may be available to you as a homeowner? Are you interested in speaking to someone in the Fire Department about the path to becoming a firefighter? City "experts" will be there to answer these and any other questions you may have.
The chance to meet with officials is first-come, first-serve. Here's the site schedule...
The New York City Ballet starts its summer residency at SPAC Wednesday night (July 20), and it will be performing there through July 30. Tickets for the performances start at $40.
This summer's schedule includes classic works such as George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream -- and more contemporary works, including the world premiere of Justin Peck's Scherzo Fantastique.
A quick version of the schedule is after the jump.
Poll: state corruption is voter concern, two killed in Schenectady house fire, Saratoga council censures mayor
Quinnipiac Poll on corruption is an issue in NY
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows 87 percent of those questioned said government corruption is a serious problem in New York. 48 percent said Andrew Cuomo was part of the problem and 36 percent thought he was part of the solution. The poll also showed Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 47 to 35 percent among New York State voters.[Politico]
Schenectady fire kills two people
A house fire in Schenectady on Tuesday claimed the lives of a 5-year-old girl and a 26-year-old man with disabilities.[Gazette][TU]
It seems like there's a new craft brewery/distillery/cidery popping up (almost) every month lately. The newest: Artisanal Brew Works in Saratoga Springs. The brewery has an opening party this Saturday (July 23) starting at 1 pm, with food from Nine Miles East.
The two people behind ABW are both high school teachers. Over at the Saratogian, Lauren Halligan recently talked with them about how they got into the brewery business, and the types of beers they're making (there's an emphasis on Belgian styles).
This plan is being developed to address the needs of all user types ranging from novice neighborhood and trail bicyclists to expert road bicyclists. Please take 5-10 minutes to fill out this questionnaire. Your response will help to build a better understanding of area needs and priorities. Even if you do not bicycle regularly, your feedback will be helpful.
The survey is pretty much what you'd expect: questions about why people bike, what would encourage them to bike more often, and priorities for making bike infrastructure upgrades.
The city is working with the Capital District Transportation Committee and Alta Planning + Design on the bike plan. (Alta is a go-to consultancy for bike projects -- it's also working with the city of Albany on the waterfront bike trail connector.)
Thought this was interesting in contrast to the hyper speed media of today: On this date in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was first read in Albany. Over at Friends of Albany History FB page, there's a post pointing out the spot downtown and how the copy of the declaration made it to Albany. [Friends of Albany History]
Davis has appeared on Comedy Central, MTV, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Week Tonight, and Boardwalk Empire. He also appeared in an interesting short video for The New Yorker a few years back about scraping to work his way up the comedy career ladder. As he said in that video of the vulnerability of performing in front of people: "I could say something that really upsets you -- or really make you laugh. That risk, I love."
The show at the Proctors Underground is Saturday, August 20 at 8 pm. It will also include a host and a guest comedian opener.
Also on the Pretty Much upcoming slate: Shane Torres on July 30. Tickets for that show are also $15 ahead / $20 day of.
The Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show series has turned out to be a good opportunity to catch comedians on the rise. A few of the comedians gone on to much wider success not too long after appearing there, including Aparna Nancherla and Josh Gondelman.
photo: Mindy Tucker
UAlbany president Robert Jones announced Tuesday that he's leaving the university to become chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His last day at UAlbany will be September 30.
From a Jones statement sent to the university community:
This decision wasn't easy for me and my family. In fact, it was one of the most difficult dilemmas I've faced in more than 37 years in higher education. I hope you all know how much I've really enjoyed and loved serving this institution and working with all of you and the leadership team to advance the University at Albany to the next level of excellence. Although I had planned to retire in this position, the opportunity to lead one of the most highly-regarded land-grant institutions among America's public research universities and the flagship campus of the University of Illinois System is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Jones started in the position at UAlbany in 2013 after coming over from the University of Minnesota, where he was a senior vice president. SUNY has posted supportive statements from both chancellor Nancy Zimpher and board of trustees chair Carl McCall.
UAlbany started a lot of initiatives during Jones's tenure at the university, notably two new colleges -- the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Both have major new facilities in the works -- the emergency preparedness college on the Harriman State Office Campus and the engineering college on the downtown campus. It was just yesterday that Jones appeared at a public event related to promoting plans for the downtown campus.
In Jones's statement, he said McCall and Zimpher will be appointing an interim president for UAlbany at the board of trustees meeting in September.
Two die in Schenectady fire, sentencing in crash that killed three, another under-1 percent tax cap, stolen phone story to become a film
Two die in Schenectady fire
Schenectady's fire chief says two people died in a house fire in Mont Pleasant Tuesday morning. Five others got out of the house, and and two of them were sent to the hospital with minor injuries. [Daily Gazette] [TU]
Sentencing in crash that killed three people
Joseph Duffy of Amsterdam -- who pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide after prosecutors said he was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he slammed into an oncoming car in Duanesburg last September, killing three people in the other vehicle -- was sentenced to 6-18 years in prison. Because of sentencing rules, Duffy will be serving the sentences for each count concurrently -- a fact that didn't sit well with the family of the three people killed. [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]
Fatal wreck of stolen minivan
Police say driver who died in a minivan crash on Central Ave in Colonie over the weekend was a 17 year old from Schenectady, and the two people injured were both 15. Also: The van had been stolen from a Schenectady church pastor. Schenectady County sheriff Dominick Dagostino tells the Daily Gazette that a deputy had attempted to stop the van, then followed at a distance, and it appears the deputy did so "well within our protocol and policies." [News10] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette]
In what way should the area around UAlbany's downtown campus grow in upcoming years?
Are there opportunities for the city and university to set the stage for the neighborhood to evolve into a better version itself?
Those are some of the questions at the heart of a new project announced Monday by the city of Albany and UAlbany to study the Western Ave/Washington Ave corridor along the university's campus locations in the heart of the city. The process is part of the city's ongoing ReZone Albany project, and there will be events coming up soon at which the public can voice its opinions about which way the neighborhood should be headed.
Here are a few more details, and a few thoughts...
Bikeatoga is sponsoring a "Traffic Skills 101" course for cyclists this summer at the Saratoga Springs Regional YMCA. Class blurbage
Traffic Skills 101 is designed to develop individual's knowledge and expertise in the craft and science of bicycling-- the ability to use a bicycle with confidence and competence for pleasure, utility and sport under various highway, climate, terrain, and traffic conditions. This course combines classroom discussion and parking lot activities with on-road practice of the principles of vehicular bicycling. The instructor for this course is certified by the League of American Bicyclists and has years of experience and training.
The class is July 20, July 27, and August 10 from 6-9 pm. It's $25 per person, and each person needs a bike, helmet, and lock. Pre-registration is required: Claire Nolan at 518-209-6477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also this summer, there will be a class for people would like become instructors certified by the League of American Bicyclists. It's at UAlbany this August 19-21. It's $300.
The city of Troy currently has a window open this month for accepting proposals to buy foreclosed properties in the city. It's done this in the past, and this time around, it has an interactive map of the properties. (Though it appears there are some issues with the geocoding of the vacant land parcels.) You might remember a few years back that Anasha Cummings, would'd later go on to run for city council, put together a similar map as a way of highlight the important of open municipal data.
County fair season in the Capital Region starts this week with the Saratoga County Fair in Ballston Spa. And as move through August, there will be a county fair somewhere around the region pretty much each week through Labor Day.
The fairs have a long history -- some of them have been going on for 175 years (or more).
Here's a rundown of county fairs around the region, with dates, admission info, and whatnot.
Commence eating foods on a stick...
The idea that the word "crash" should be used when describing incident in which vehicles and pedestrians collide, instead of "accident," has popped up a few times here in comments and we've noticed it come up other (virtual) places locally. So you might find interesting this piece over at Nautilus by a cognitive scientist looking at the campaign to use crash instead of accident -- and how the campaign itself might undermine the push for the switch. [via TMN]
Maron's been around for a long time, doing standup and appearing in various shows and movies. But in recent years he's probably most famous for his podcast, WTF with Marc Maron.
He made a stop at The Egg back in 2013.
Fatal crash of reported stolen vehicle, carjacking reported at Colonie Center, health care costs complicate state employee contracts, she protested her own concert
One dead after Colonie crash of reported stolen vehicle
Police say a minivan that had been reported stole in Schenectady crashed on Central Ave near Route 155 in Colonie early Sunday morning -- one person inside the car was killed, and two others were injured. Deputies of the Schenectady County Sheriff's Office had reportedly tried to stop the car prior the crash. A witness says the minivan rolled over multiple times during the crash. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [News10]
Carjacking at Colonie Center
Colonie police say a 77-year-old woman reported that a man assaulted her and forced his way into her car in the Colonie Center parking lot Sunday afternoon, then
Fatal fire in Guilderland
One person died in a fire at Guilderland home with three units Sunday afternoon, according to the Guilderland Fire Department chief. Neighbors said they heard loud bangs, which the fire chief said were exploding oxygen tanks. [TU] [TWCN]
Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (SUMMER), to the fair, to theater, stories, to ballet, to authors, to The Track, to music...
Looking for more? Check out the archive. Or try searching for it: