Capital Region News

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Ticks transmit the widest variety of pathogens, and as these tiny creatures proliferate across the country, they are spreading diseases you — and your doctor — probably never heard of. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer was in Albany today at Six Mile Waterworks to call attention to a new and deadly tick-borne illness.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares has announced the formation of an Animal Abuse Taskforce.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A landmark downtown Albany hotel is getting a new lease on life.  Construction is set to begin this fall on a total remake of the old Dewitt Clinton. On Monday, Mayor Jerry Jennings helped take the wraps off a project he says goes hand-in-hand with other "revitalization" initiatives in downtown Albany, and would complement the proposed convention center, which would become the hotel's next-door-neighbor.

Photo composite by Dave Lucas

Launching and running a political campaign is one of the most challenging activities you can undertake. Launching a bid for local office or even mayor runs the gamut from intimidating to frustrating to exhilarating. American democracy enables all upstanding citizens to run for public office — at least, in theory. Going from idea and inspiration to launching a campaign is a process involving strict adherence to protocol, as New York Citizen One blogger Theresa Grafflin discovered when she attempted to run for city council in Albany's sixth ward.

An Unfriendly Town

Aug 1, 2013
City of Albany; "X" graffiti by Dave Lucas

Looking for a warm welcome in a new city? Don't come to Albany - that's the message from a new survey of the most and least friendly places on the planet.

Photo composite by Dave Lucas

With the September Democratic primary just six weeks away, a new poll suggests Albany voters have a clear choice in mind as to who they believe will best fill the shoes of departing Mayor Jerry Jennings.  

A settlement has been reached between Lafarge Ravena and the state and federal governments that  extends by 18 months the deadline by which the company must build a new kiln with advanced air pollution controls.

In exchange for more time, the settlement with the EPA and DEC sets annual limits on allowable emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by the Ravena plant that are at or below the limits contained in the original settlement.

The Albany-based Association of Towns is mourning the death of its longtime executive director:  Jeff Haber led the Association for 27 years from 1985, until he retired in October 2012. He was suceeded by Gerry Geist.

From the nytowns.org website:

Composite Photo by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

It has been a busy week in Albany County politics...

For nearly a decade, there's been talk of building a convention center in downtown Albany. In 2004, the Albany Convention Center Authority was established by the state legislature to develop plans for the site. The project was awarded a $75 million grant in 2005. It never got beyond the idea stage.

flickr.com/josepha

If you are looking to buy a diner - Albany Medical Center's CEO has a deal for you.

The old U.N. Diner on the Albany corner of New Scotland and Dana avenues – in more recent times known as Quintessence - is available. Albany Medical Center President and CEO Jim Barba says the hospital owns it – but it does not have a place in the facility’s current expansion plans - - so the 1930's structure is on the market. It's all yours if you will simply haul it away.

The landmark diner was sold to Albany Medical Center in October 2012.

WAMC Photo Composite by Dave Lucas

Albany Medical Center has revealed the finishing phase of its ongoing 500-million dollar neighborhood revitalization  plan. When the old neighborhood surrounding Albany Med is completely rebuilt, it will cap what officials call "the transformation of New Scotland Corridor" - becoming a new community.

Adapted from Google Maps

The SUNY Board of Trustees has given the green light to separate the University at Albany and the College of Nanoscale Science And Engineering. While there are some concerns, officials seem to agree they are taking steps in the right direction.

Last week, the trustees voted 13 to 3 in favor of splitting the colleges into two separate entities.

Dave Lucas (WAMC)

On what’s shaping up to be the hottest day of the year, Saratoga begins its 150th season of thoroughbred racing.

This week, the New York Racing Association's new president and CEO Chris Kay met with members of the media to discuss his plans for Saratoga Race Course’s season.  One of the first questions, right out of the gate, was about the weather and whether or not racing might be cut back or suspended altogether on opening day: Kay told reporters "We've had warm days in the past. We're prepared for it..."

Tech website cnet.com hints that Apple may be interested in "buying into" a share of an existing chip fab plant on the GlobalFoundries campus in Saratoga County. Cnet says if Apple owned capacity at a fab, it would maintain control over design.  The Times Union reports Senator Chuck Schumer has been forging a deal between the iPhone maker and GlobalFoundries that would have the latter manufacturing computer chips for use in Apple devices.

Since a Florida jury cleared neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who faced murder charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, on Saturday, demonstrations on both sides have sprung up across the country.

Demonstrations large and small have been held in places like Burlington, Albany and Poughkeepsie after a Florida jury on Saturday night cleared Zimmerman of all criminal charges in the February 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Wednesday's Rain

Jul 10, 2013
Dave Lucas WAMC

The Albany-area gets a quick demonstration of flash flooding … The National Weather Service defines a flash flood as "rapidly rising water that usually occurs within two hours of the start of high intensity rain." Wednesday afternoon In the city of Albany, it took little more than five minutes for mother nature to produce a small demonstration of the phenomenon.

albanycounty.com

The Albany County Executive has been on a mission to privatize the 250-bed Albany County Nursing Home, while county legislators have been heading in the opposite direction, trying to keep the facility not-for-profit and under county control.  

On Monday, the Albany County Legislature voted to authorize McCoy to retain a law firm to assist in formation of a local development corporation to manage the facility. McCoy says he cannot legally do that.

This week, Albany County and city leaders joined Local First of the Capital Region in declaring a celebration of “Independents.”

Occupy the 4th of July!

Jul 3, 2013

A National Rally to uphold citizens' constitutional rights is being observed in New York’s Capital city…

Facebook (WAMC)

The New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and WAMC Northeast Public Radio held the 2013 Albany Mayoral Forum on Sustainability this morning at the Linda Norris Auditorium on Central Avenue, one of the only times the candidates to replace Mayor Jerry Jennings will gather during the campaign.
 
Five of the six declared candidates fielded questions from WAMC President and CEO Alan Chartock and Marcia Bystryn, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

Tom Wall

WAMC and the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund hosted a mayoral forum at The Linda on July 2, bringing together five candidates for office: Corey Ellis, Kathy Sheehan, Joseph Sullivan, Jesse Calhoun, and Marlon Anderson.

The forum was moderated by Alan Chartock and NYLCVEF President Marcia Bystryn.

Courtesy Occupy Albany

Occupy Albany comes out of hibernation tomorrow - the group is urging citizens to “come out to show support at two separate hearings for activists who were arrested locally for engaging in civil disobedience in furtherance of social justice."

Occupy Albany has been monitoring the legal battle that has County District Attorney David Soares at odds with City Court Judge William Carter.  Attorneys for both officials are scheduled to appear in state Supreme Court Friday morning before acting State Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin.

The New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

We are just one week away from the Albany Mayoral Forum on Sustainability...  

Back in mid-May, Albany was rocked by the news that longtime Mayor Jerry Jennings was opting not to seek a sixth term. The announcement was a game-changer for a cavalcade of mayoral hopefuls, many of whom will gather for a forum co-hosted by WAMC and the New York League of Conservation Voters at the Linda July 2nd at 11 a.m.

On June 14 Farm Aid announced that its annual benefit concert will, for the first time, be held at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Today the concert lineup was announced: artists slated to perform include Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews. Additional artists include Jack Johnson, Amos Lee, Kacey Musgraves, and Toad the Wet Sprocket. 

Ticky Comes Home

Jun 24, 2013
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

An Albany basketball legend has returned to one of the places where his career began.

One of Albany's own NBA Stars came home Friday afternoon to the little gym that helped form the foundation for his career. Luther “Ticky” Burden made his way home to Trinity Place, which has been serving children in the city's South End for decades. Burden's pro career entailed a single season with the Virginia Squires and two with the New York Knicks in the late 1970s.

Gavin Schaefer/Wikimedia Commons

If you live in Hudson, scratch those chicken plans... for now...  

"Death ray" - it’s a phrase you would most likely expect to see across the top of a pulp sci-fi comic book from the 1950s – but this week it graced the front pages of some newspapers in their coverage of a case of domestic terrorism home-grown in New York’s Capital District.

On Thursday a federal magistrate in Albany ruled that 49-year-old Glendon Scott Crawford and 54-year-old Eric J. Feight are a threat and should remain jailed. 

The men are accused of trying to build a portable x-ray weapon to sicken Muslims and enemies of Israel.

wikipedia

It sounds like something out of a science-fiction movie: authorities foil a plot by two individuals to kill people with an x-ray gun that could be secretly fired from a moving van...

The idea of a building a convention center in downtown Albany has been on the back burner for some time... a developer has come up with a new plan for the land.  Democratic Albany Mayoral Candidate Corey Ellis has been a proponent of building a city aquarium for some time - now Omni Development Corporation is pushing that idea along with a science museum and an IMAX theater to be constructed  on the site of the flat-lined convention center project between Broadway and the South Mall Arterial. 

Gavin Schaefer/Wikimedia Commons

Citizens of one upstate New York city may soon be breaking fresh eggs - the US Department of Agriculture has called the city of Hudson a "food desert" - that's about to change... Last night the so-called "Chicken Law" passed: The Register-Star reports that Hudson residents will be allowed to keep up to five hens on their property - the law, which awaits approval of Mayor William Hallenbeck Jr., will "help people meet their needs for quality, cost-effective nutrition.

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