Capital Region News

Sidewalk chalk art is viewed as a public form of expression, but like anything else, beauty - and sometimes legality - is in the eye of the beholder.

If that beholder happens to be  a police officer who finds you with a piece of chalk in hand and your “art” on a public sidewalk, you might be in some trouble.

It’s one of those grey areas…

Albany Police spokesperson Steve Smith says there is no specific general city ordinance for using chalk on sidewalk.

WAMC Dave Lucas

University at Albany students staged a May Day rally Wednesday to protest several issues, including the installation of Sodexho as the campuswide food service provider.

WAMC / Dave Lucas

A day after veteran NBA player Jason Collins made national headlines by becoming the first active male athlete in the four major sports to come out as gay, state lawmakers, gay rights advocates and labor and law enforcement officials participated in Empire State Pride Agenda's annual lobby day in Albany.

Although New Yorkers are becoming more accepting following the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2011, activists and advocates want to ensure that gay rights and gay pride stay in the media spotlight.

UAlbany Cheating Scandal

Apr 29, 2013
UAlbany logo
wikipedia commons

A cheating scandal at the University at Albany is raising eyebrows, and neighboring schools are taking note...

The story broke Wednesday in the college newspaper. The Albany Student Press carried the headline "Cashing in on cheating: Student-run operation charges money for completion of online assignments."

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Recent polls and surveys show a huge shift in religious identity in many areas across the country, with attendance at religious services lagging. According to one evangelical marketing group, the once faithful are now identified as "post-Christians," and Albany, New York is number one on a list of the most post-Christian cities in the United States.  

Is the nation moving away from Christianity and other forms of conventional faith?

Shots Ring Out In Albany

Apr 20, 2013

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Police in Albany say they're investigating a shooting that left one man dead and another wounded.  Officers responded to reports of shots fired 1:45 a.m. Thursday at Central near King Avenue and found two men with gunshot wounds. 26-year-old Darzee Reid of Troy was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital. Police say the other victim, a 22-year-old man, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  Police are continuing their investigation.

© 2013 AP

3-Year Old Killed By TV

Apr 19, 2013

TROY, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say a 3-year-old upstate New York girl has died from injuries suffered when a television fell on her. Troy police say emergency crews were called to a home in the city around 7:30 Thursday evening after an older model TV fell off its stand and landed on the child.  Alyssa Willett was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. 

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Citizens turned up the heat Wednesday on Saratoga Springs City Center, pressing officials to prove that the group holding gun shows there is properly insured.

Albany Medical Center’s Dr. Kim Kilby was among the hundreds of volunteers at Monday’s Boston Marathon, working close to the finish line in the primary medical tent when two massive explosions erupted nearby. She immediately raced to help the wounded. Capital Region Bureau Chief spoke with Dr. Kilby this morning by telephone. Click on the link provided to listen!

Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas sat down recently with Robert Titov, the Digital Development Director at the Jewish World. They discussed how the paper is adapting to cultural shifts away from traditional print media.

Listen to the interview by clicking on the link provided.  You can experience Robert Titov's work by visiting jewishworldnews.org ... you can follow them on twitter at @jw_news and join them on Facebook at jewishworldnews.

twitter.com

Albany, New York is making national headlines again - for all the wrong reasons.

Google Maps

An attempt by two Albany entrepreneurs to open a new concert venue at 28 Thatcher Street in the city's downtown warehouse district has met stiff opposition.

Chris Pratt and Alessio Depoli had hoped to give the local music scene a shot in the arm by opening up a mid-range music hall, larger than WAMC's Linda but smaller than the Palace Theater.

The partners own several bars along Broadway and North Pearl Street. The plan to open a new venue at 28 Thatcher Street was a simple one.

change.org

An Albany resident has started a petition to ask the federal Housing and Urban Development Department to ban police training in public housing.  

The power of social networking proved to be a force to reckon with after citizens in Albany's Arbor Hill neighborhood posted photographs of swat teams, fake bloodstains and shell casings on Facebook, after an Albany Police Department training exercise.

Facebook.com

More hats are in the ring for area mayoral contests - races in the the cities of Saratoga Springs and Albany are heating up...

Saratoga Springs City Supervisor Joanne Yepsen announced her candidacy for mayor on Monday. The Democrat says the Spa City needs “a mayor who has a proven track record of putting partisan politics aside to do what’s best for the city.” 

The 54-year old Yepsen, a member of the County Board of Supervisors, lost in a 2010 bid for the 43rd state Senate seat against then-Senator Roy MacDonald. 

Public Health Image Library/CDC

Albany Medical Center is joining a multi-center trial, testing the eggs of the pig parasite whipworm as a potential treatment for Crohn’s disease. 

Crohn's is a severe and debilitating form of inflammatory bowel disease.   For the trial, Crohn’s patients will ingest 7500 microscopic parasite eggs in a tablespoonful of salt water (called TSO suspension) every two weeks for 12 weeks. Another group will be given a placebo. In people, this special form of the parasite egg survives only about two weeks and does not cause infection.

This weekend University at Albany Students will pitch in a neighborhood clean-up initiative.

On Sunday UAlbany students will be in the Pine Hills section of Albany to assist with the annual spring clean-up. Organizers say the event illustrates the cooperation between residents and the many students who live in the popular neighborhood.

The clean-up will be held from noon to 3 p.m., rain or shine, and will begin at the entrance to Albany's Ridgefield Park on Partridge Street, just below Myrtle Avenue.

Collaboration is the focus of a two-day National Academy of Sciences symposium at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, and nano-technology is at the center of the discussion because of the work at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, the College of Nano-Scale Science and Engineering in Albany and Global Foundries in Malta, Saratoga County.

Working together in the nano field is vital according to professor Jonathan Dordick, vice president of research at RPI. He spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields.

Follow A Bridge

Apr 3, 2013
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These days it seems almost everyone engages in social networking.  Now, in addition to crossing it, you can follow a bridge on twitter (it might just follow you back) or you can friend it on facebook - The Patroon Island Bridge now has a presence on social media. The span joins a bevy of other local landmarks like The Albany Rural Cemetery and its comrade, The Troy-Menands Bridge, that have assumed "internet personalities". The Patroon Island Bridge carries I-90 over the Hudson River between Albany and Rensselaer Counties.

Construction is set to begin on the Catskill Creek Walking Loop, as the Greene County village's five-year old waterfront revitalization program continues. The Daily Mail reports that the “bridge to bridge” loop will connect the historic Black Bridge, West Main Street, the Uncle Sam Bridge and Water Street in a pedestrian walking loop incorporating various path surfaces, lighting, boardwalks, benches and pocket parks.

Lesley Adewunmi

Three-term Albany Councilman Dominick Calsolaro recently announced he won’t see re-election to a fourth term.

He is backing political newcomer Dorcey Applyrs, a 31-year-old Ph.D. student in public health at the University at Albany, to be his successor as leader of the First Ward. Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas talked with Applyrs, a Washington DC native, about her affection for Albany and decision to run for public office.

Courtesy Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Right now, at the North Albany branch of the Capital District YMCA on North Pearl Street in Albany, students of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, under the supervision of veterinarians, are offering subsidized veterinary care for dogs and cats, including physical exams and vaccinations, as part of the college’s Southside Well-Pet Clinic

A decades-old problem that plagues large cities is about to meet a new, digital foe.

The city of Albany is turning to smartphone technology in the fight against urban blight: Mayor Jerry Jennings announced the activation of The Graffiti Buster.   The free app was about a year in the making, the brainchild of Tim Varney, a partner at Troy Web Consulting. Albany's Department of General Services cleans up hundreds of incidents of graffiti every year.
 

dorceyapplyrs.com

A popular three-term Albany city councilman says he won't make another run. Dom Calsolaro has been thinking about stepping aside for awhile:
 
"I just think it's time for a change. Hopefully the city will be changing in more ways than one with other elected positions. I have a person, her name is Dorcey Applyrs, she's a young African-American woman, a phD candidate the school of public health, she really wants to do this job, she's excited about it, she has the energy..."

..::WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas::..

Citizens turned out for a Monday evening public hearing regarding some amendments proposed by chip fabrication company GlobalFoundries for its Fab 8.2 project that will impact Malta's planned development district.  

GlobalFoundries is seeking amendments pertaining to clean room space, enlarging the fab's overall footprint, extending building height limits and revised traffic mitigation.

WAMC

The prestigious EMILY’s List, regarded as the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, is endorsing Kathy Sheehan for Mayor of Albany. Sheehan is the fourth mayoral candidate EMILY’s List has endorsed in 2013.

Over the weekend Sheehan, currently Albany City Treasurer, picked up the endorsement of Albany political heavyweight Jack McEneny.

Facebook

What started out as a police training exercise has ignited community outrage and attracted the attention of the NAACP.

The Albany Police Department is taking some heat after pictures and complaints about what is described as a "training exercise" went viral on Facebook.

Sheehan For Mayor

This November, residents of the City of Albany will go the polls to elect a new mayor. The Democratic Party has dominated the Albany political scene for decades. There is one hat "officially" in the ring as a few potential candidates calculate their chances of making a run for office.

The future of New York's capital city has, for decades, been entrusted to the mayor - and for the most part, those who served were long-tenured: Erastus Corning 42 years, Tom Whalen for 10, and incumbent Jerry Jennings, who has been in office since 1994.

Times Union - McEneny backs Sheehan for Albany mayor

Mar 24, 2013
Kathy Sheehan

ALBANY — Former New York State Assemblyman Jack McEneny has endorsed Albany city Treasurer Kathy Sheehan's bid for mayor,

Flickr/Andy Arthur

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings says it's time National Grid reviewed the city's aging underground infrastructure, after the third incidence of exploding manhole covers downtown.

Fire officials and National Grid say an underground electrical fire sparked an explosion early Saturday that sent four manhole covers flying into the air in a downtown neighborhood. It was the third such incident in less than six months.

The Palace Theatre, the grand cultural and entertainment facility that sits in the heart of downtown Albany, will soldier on. A new management team promises to keep the venue’s momentum, and traditions alive.

The RKO Palace's doors first opened in October 1931. Built during the Depression, it was the largest theatre in a city already noted for having several opulent movie houses. A nickel would buy an afternoon of entertainment.

The Palace was sold to the Fabian chain in the early 1940s. Fabian operated it until closure in September, 1969.  

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