Albany

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

  Albany city officials held a meeting Tuesday night, hearing residents' concerns after recent flash flooding. 

An August 5th storm dumped buckets of rain over a short timeframe, putting an unprecedented strain on infrastructure and flooding many low-lying and poor drainage areas of the city.

Residents in the 9th ward turned out at New Scotland Elementary School (formerly School 19) to air their flood grievances before Mayor Kathy Sheehan and water department representatives, who said they're working on the issues.

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The secretary of defense has recommended awarding a posthumous Medal of Honor to a black soldier from upstate New York who saved a comrade while fighting off a German attack in France during World War I.

Sen. Charles Schumer says Tuesday that Chuck Hagel has sent Congress a letter saying Sgt. Henry Johnson should receive the nation's highest military decoration for bravery in combat.

A telephone hotline has been set up for Albany residents impacted by Tuesday's flood. 

Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced that residents can call 2-1-1 for information about and referrals to assistance in the wake of the unprecedented storm. Working with United Way, the Red Cross, local government, businesses and nonprofit organizations, the Mayor says she's making sure that citizens have access to assistance with temporary housing, food, clothing, clean-up and more.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Former New York Knicks guard Luther "Ticky" Burden has been diagnosed with a rare heart disease and is being treated at a Manhattan hospital. Two local fundraisers are being held to give the NBA star a helping hand.

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There have been several developments this week impacting oil trains, the subject of national and local debate.

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday issued new proposed rules on tankers transporting oil including quickly phasing out the use of old DOT-111 rail cars for moving crude oil and other hazardous liquids. The rules would include new operational requirements to lower operating speeds and enhance braking capabilities for high-hazard flammable trains. 

Vacant downtown Albany office buildings may soon be welcoming new tenants.

Like so many other cities across the nation, Albany has had to deal with urban blight and aging infrastructure. When an old house along the city's storied Clinton Avenue crumbled, the mayor took immediate action.

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The financially-strapped city of Albany will be spared the bill for clean-up after a house collapse.

A Capital Region Republican congressional candidate is disagreeing with a plan by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that could house the children of illegal immigrants in Albany.

The African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region

This weekend marks the 10th Annual Albany Juneteenth Celebration. The free community event is planned for Sunday, in Washington Park.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation called for the liberation of Confederate slaves on Jan. 1, 1863, its effects weren't immediate.  Two and a half years later, the emancipation took effect—when the Union army rode into Galveston to enforce President Lincoln's executive order.

Juneteenth has been sporadically celebrated in the South as a black independence day ever since June 1865, when slaves in Texas learned of their freedom.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A year-round farmers’ market in has been launched in downtown Albany.

The farmers’ market at SUNY Plaza comes under Governor Andrew Cuomo's FreshConnect program, giving area farmers the opportunity to market their produce locally. It's also designed to bring fresh food to communities.

Freihofer's

The 36th Freihofer's Run for Women is set for Saturday in Albany, featuring international stars, U.S. athletes and local runners. The focus will be on public safety.

Organizers stress it's not just a competition. It's a celebration of women. Women of all ages and abilities will compete Saturday:  Event officials say more than 4,000 runners have signed up. Event Director George Regan:   "We've been working very closely with Albany PD and with New York State Police and with other public safety agencies to ensure that everybody has an enjoyable and safe time."

Upstate Artists Guild

May 30, 2014

    

  The Upstate Artists Guild is a not-for-profit volunteer organization, open to all, which promotes the appreciation, practice, and enjoyment of art. Their mission is to promote art education and artistic endeavors throughout the community; to maintain a space in which to meet for the purpose of exhibitions, lectures, and instruction; and to work with the community to stimulate an interest in the arts.

The 36th Freihofer's Run for Women will take off on Saturday in Albany, featuring international stars, U.S. athletes and local runners.

Women of all ages and abilities will compete Saturday:  Event Director George Regan says more than 4-thousand runners have signed up - the CapitalCare/CDPHPHealth & Fitness Expo at the Empire State Plaza is accepting last minute registrations.  "That's gonna be open from noon to seven. It's going to be in the convention hall of the Empire State Plaza, just below The Egg," says Regan.

  Albany's downtown residential parking permit program is experiencing growing pains.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Red-light runners have become a dangerous norm in Albany. Now, city officials and state lawmakers want to bring red light cameras — which snap photos of vehicles illegally zipping under traffic signals — to Albany's most dangerous intersections.

The mayor says it's not about revenue, while the police chief stresses it's all about safety: a bill that allows for the City of Albany to adopt a local law establishing a "five-year demonstration period" during which red-light cameras would be mounted at strategic intersections where motorists routinely ignore traffic-control devices.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

  Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Steve Krokoff have thrown their support behind state legislation that would allow the city to roll out a 5-year "demonstration" program to install cameras that would capture images of vehicles that run red lights.  Cameras would be mounted at many of the city's most dangerous intersections. The sponsors of the bill - state Senator Neil Breslin and Assembly members Pat Fahy and John McDonald flanked city officials during a press conference at the Pine Hills Library.

The 66th Annual Albany Tulip Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday in Washington Park. 

SCHEDULE | DIRECTIONS | PARKING

The Knickerbocker Film Festival is under way this week, commemorating five years of presenting emerging filmmakers to New York’s Capital Region.

The festival opened at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy on Friday: tonight it's back in Albany for four days of screenings at the Madison Theater, the Linda, and Spectrum 8 Theaters.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

This morning at City Hall, Mayor Kathy Sheehan proclaimed the beginning of “Earth Week” in Albany. The mayor was joined by Congressman Paul Tonko and other government and business officials to discuss ongoing community-centric initiatives and upcoming events.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Several Capital Region mayors gathered in Schenectady Thursday to discuss the housing sector challenges facing their cities.

The mayors’ roundtable was part of the day-long summit “Strengthening Cities, Communities & Homes.” Participants took part in discussions and heard from experts including leaders from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Residents of one area city have been dreading the warmer weather, fearing it will lead to increased street shootings. Police believe they have identified what triggered the gun violence, and they think the string is over.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

With longtime Albany music club Valentine’s now shuttered, WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports the scene has shifted across town.

Howard Glassman ran Valentine’s, an important stop for local and indie rock groups, for years before an Albany Med expansion plan spelled the end for the club in December.

"There's plenty of reasons for people to come up this way, and not just to see music. They can come have dinner, and then go see music," said Glassman.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Municipal  leaders announced this afternoon they've agreed to establish Albany County’s first land bank. The initiative sets the stage for revitalization of blighted neighborhoods, a longstanding problem ... 

County Executive Dan McCoy announced that an application has been filed with the NYS Empire State Development Corporation to formally establish the Albany County Land Bank, to "restore the community."

Matt Ryan

Protesters gathered for a gun rally at the capitol in Albany on Tuesday, including guest speakers Donald Trump, 2010 Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino, and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican candidate for governor.

Roy Luck, flickr

With Albany County worried about crude oil shipments, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officials are looking to the EPA for oil spill contingency plans and demanding answers from the major oil shipper at the crux of the controversy.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Mayor Kathy Sheehan and local stakeholders united in support of two Assembly bills proposing New York State PILOT payments to the City of Albany on the Harriman State Office Campus. Mayor Sheehan, government officials and local business leaders called on the State to establish these payments as part of a long-term solution to stabilize Albany’s fiscal future.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren — all new officeholders — participated Wednesday in an Albany Law School forum called  “Leading a New Era in City Government: Women Mayors of Upstate New York.”

The public event at the school’s Dean Alexander Moot Courtroom gave attendees a personal glimpse into not only the day-to-day challenges faced by the three Democrats and their municipalities, but also their individual governing styles and the paths they took to leadership.

Tipiac-Alain Caraco/Wikimedia Commons

Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed state agencies to strengthen the state's oversight of petroleum shipments by rail, citing devastating accidents in Quebec and North Dakota and the expansion of crude oil shipping through the Port of Albany.

Lesley Adewunmi

Albany residents, politicians and community advocates recently voiced their concerns about plans to build a crude oil heating facility at the Port of Albany. The State Department of Environmental Conservation appears to have been listening.

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