Albany

WNYT

Municipal operations are about to undergo a major overhaul in Albany.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

The debate over gun violence takes center stage once again this week in Albany.  Try as they may, politicians, police, clergymen, government officials and community activists have been unable to stem the tide of gun violence in New York's Capital City.  Forum organizer community advocate Marlon Anderson intends to instill a new dialog and a new process to a pathway to deal with Albany's gun culture. "I'm looking to create new partnerships, new commitments and to create the resources that have not been available to address the problem."

Albany Budget Blues

Jan 3, 2014
City of Albany

As citizens of Albany celebrate their new female mayor, the business of running the city could escalate into crisis mode.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

With the inauguration of Kathy Sheehan as its new mayor, Albany is ushering in a new era of city politics.

Changes are coming to city hall following the swearing-in ceremonies for the Albany Common Council, Common Council President, City Auditor, City Treasurer, and of course Mayor Kathy Sheehan, the Democrat who took over from 20-year incumbent Jerry Jennings. 

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Breaking from city tradition in more ways than one, former city treasurer Kathy Sheehan was officially sworn in New Year's Day at Kiernan Plaza in downtown Albany. Fellow Democrat New York Lt. Governor Bob Duffy gave the keynote address, hailing the day as the start of "Mayor Sheehan's era."

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany's new mayor, Kathy Sheehan, has taken the oath of office in downtown Albany. 

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

A formal ceremony was held today in downtown Albany to bid farewell to the man who has led the capital city for two decades.

Citizens, politicians, police and public service workers gathered in and around Albany city hall to say goodbye to Jerry Jennings - the colorful, outgoing Mayor who shepherded the capital city for the past twenty years.

CDTA

Transportation is the buzzword in many mid- to large-sized North American cities. Albany is no exception as commuters seek out alternatives to driving to work.

A new America THINKS survey from infrastructure firm HNTB Corporation finds people are getting on board with public transportation as the cost to own and operate a vehicle rises and consumers look for ways to save money.

According to the study, 76 percent of Americans are open to taking public transportation instead of driving, up from 69 percent in 2010.

CDTA

Transportation is the buzzword in many mid- to large-sized North American cities. Albany is no exception as commuters seek out alternatives to driving to work.

A new America THINKS survey from infrastructure firm HNTB Corporation finds people are getting on board with public transportation as the cost to own and operate a vehicle rises and consumers look for ways to save money.

According to the study, 76 percent of Americans are open to taking public transportation instead of driving, up from 69 percent in 2010.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

December has been marred by episodes of gun violence in New York's capital city. Albany continues its struggle to "take back the streets" following a series of shootings including three gun-related murders since December 5th.

Despite leaders’ best efforts to get guns out of circulation, they continue to proliferate.

accany.com

The Albany Convention Center Authority was created in 2004. Now,  a decade later, the Albany Convention Center plan is headed toward fruition. The idea for building an Albany Convention Center has been floating around for more than a decade, seeded in outgoing Mayor Jerry Jenning's "Capitalize Albany" plan.

A former inmate and a former corrections worker will get together tonight in Albany to talk about their shared experience behind bars.   In 1973, New York Legislators enacted statutes that created mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years to life for possession of four ounces of narcotics—a comparable sentence to second-degree murder.  Those statutes became known as the Rockefeller Drug Laws and they prompted an unprecedented expansion of New York’s courts and prison system. Rockefeller’s hard-line approach set the tone for the nation’s “war on drugs.”

Project SALAM

NSA surveillance evidence leaked by Edward Snowden could play a role in finding justice for two Albany Muslims nabbed in a FBI "terrorism" sting nine years ago.

You may recall Yassin Aref,  the Albany imam convicted of material support for terrorism along with pizzeria owner Mohammed Hossain following a massive FBI sting in 2004 that created international headlines. 

wikimedia

For years, the city of Albany has promised to increase the number of minorities in the fire department. But many, including one local activist, say little progress has been made.

Outgoing Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings made headlines after he intervened in a case involving an African-American man who was disqualified from a firefighting job on what some call "ridiculously trivial grounds."

Capitalize Albany Corporation is getting ready for the tuesday launch of its Impact Downtown Albany revitalization strategy. Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas spoke with Capitalize Albany's Director of Economic Development Sarah Reginelli and Communications and Marketing Assistant Amanda Vitullo.

There will be 3 events to be held next week: the kick-off event (open to the public) on Tuesday November 19th , the tour of nano-tech (this is an internal tour) on Wednesday November 20th, and the young professionals event (also open to the public) on Thursday November 21st.

Capitalize Albany is getting ready to roll out a new project that has big implications for Downtown.

On Tuesday at Ten Eyck Plaza, Capitalize Albany will unveil its Impact Downtown Albany revitalization strategy - a twelve month public/private collaboration.  Sarah Reginelli, Director Economic Development of Capitalize Albany, says there are currently about two dozen corporate contributors.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

This week, Albany mayor-elect Kathy Sheehan named leaders of a transition team formed to foster a smooth shift leading to her inauguration on New Year’s Day.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

In upstate New York and beyond, women have been taking more active roles in politics: running in races for elective office and winning them.  Currently, 98 women serve in the U.S. Congress; 78 in the House; 20 in the Senate, including one from New York, one from Massachusetts and two from New Hampshire. Numbers provided by the Center for American Women in Politics further show that the number of women in statewide executive posts is 75. And the proportion of women in state legislatures is about a quarter.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

More than 900,000 veterans  call New York home. Vets have marched in Albany's traditional Veterans' Day Parade for more than fifty years. The parade stepped off at 11:11am from Central Ave & Manning Blvd,  headed down Central to Lark St and then along Washington Avenue to N Hawk Street  to the reviewing stand on the steps of the State Education building.

Albany County Election Results

Nov 6, 2013

City of Albany Mayor:

Katherine M. Sheehan [D]

City of Albany Treasurer:

Darius Shanhinfar [D]

Albany Council Member - Ward 1:

Dorcey L. Applyrs [D]

Albany Council Member - Ward 2:

Vivian Kornegay [D]

Albany Council Member - Ward 4:

Kelly R. Kimbrough [D]

Albany Council Member - Ward 5:

Mark Robinson [D]

Albany Council Member - Ward 6:

Richard S. Conti [D]

Write-in candidates for political office have a tough road to hoe, but  “the write-in” candidate is no stranger to the Albany political scene.

Although perception is write-in candidates rarely win, they occasionally do, which is why more often than not, political hopefuls muster their own grassroots campaigns in hopes of getting elected. The process varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but write-in candidates can compete in any election in the United States.

Dan Curtis

Write-in candidates for political office have a tough road to hoe, but  “the write-in” candidate is no stranger to the Albany political scene.

Although perception is write-in candidates rarely win, they occasionally do, which is why more often than not, political hopefuls muster their own grassroots campaigns in hopes of getting elected. The process varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but write-in candidates can compete in any election in the United States.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A community forum brought activists, citizens and police together in Albany Tuesday night.   Community policing involves assigning specific officers to serve specific neighborhoods, engage residents and cultivate a community-based effort to stop crime.

It was a full house at Milne Hall on UAlbany's downtown campus, the event jointly presented by city police and the Albany Community Policing Advisory Committee.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Mayor Jerry Jennings' 2014 budget proposal for Albany has elicited reactions from other political figures in the city.

Jennings, nearing the end of his 20-year term, last week unveiled a 171-million dollar spending plan, reflecting a 2-point-4 million dollar reduction in operating expenses from last year's adoptive budget.

WikiPedia

The public is being urged to avoid two water bodies within the city of Albany.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has identified that Washington Park Lake and Buckingham Pond have been infected with Blue-Green Algae Bloom. Both lake and pond are located in heavily-trafficked populated areas.

Residents should be aware of the following guidelines:

Residents of two Capital Region municipalities have a chance to weigh in on issues impacting their communities tonight.

Albany Medical Center's $110 million plan to replace two city blocks in Park South with new residential, commercial and retail space is up for discussion at tonight's Common Council meeting at Albany City Hall.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings today released his 2014 proposed budget presentation.

Jennings, who is nearing the end of his 20-year term, unveiled a $171 million spending plan that reflects a 2-point-4 million dollar reduction in operating expenses from last year's adopted budget: the Democrat says 87 percent of the proposed budget, exclusive of debt service, is related to personnel costs.

Jennings says the city has been moving forward, despite what he terms "great challenges." The budget plan calls for an increase of 900 thousand dollars to the tax levy.

wikimedia

Last week's Albany Democratic primary appears to show a shifting political picture reflected in the Common Council races. The contest shook the local poltical landscape, with a majority of winning or leading candidates riding to victory aboard the wave of progressive support for mayoral candidate Kathy Sheehan — a fact that hasn't gone unnoticed by those in higher circles, like Sheehan ally Congressman Paul Tonko.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany Democrats have spoken. The primary is over, and City Treasurer Kathy Sheehan is well on her way to taking office as the capital city's first female chief executive... 

Albany Democrats have a new sense of momentum - going in a positive direction, if former city councilman and mayoral candidate Corey Ellis' concession speech is any indication. Pre-election polls had already given Kathy Sheehan a large advantage going into Tuesday's primary. Her victory address at the packed Albany Pump Station reflected the anticipation that something new is beginning.

Shahinfar Tops Domalewicz In Treasurer Primary

Sep 11, 2013
Darius Shahinfar Campaign/Facebook

Attorney Darius Shahinfar won the Democratic primary for city treasurer of Albany, New York Tuesday, cruising to what appeared to be a 26-point victory over Democratic rival Gary Domalewicz.

Shahinfar, a close ally of Democratic mayoral primary winner Kathy Sheehan, led the vote late Tuesday 61 to 35 percent. Shahinfar faces no opponent in November's general election.

He says his relationship with Sheehan paves the way for vital cooperation on the city budget. Because of overwhelming party enrollment in Albany, Sheehan is the clear mayoral front-runner.

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