Capital Region News

President Barack Obama is contrasting himself with congressional Republicans by saying they have blocked his job creation plans. He says now is not the time for inaction. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has more...

Obama was speaking at a college science complex in New York to draw attention to proposals he has been pushing before Congress since last September. His appeal comes as millions of Americans remain out of work and as thousands have given up looking for work.

WAMC's David Guistina talks about President Obama's visit to Albany today with Mike Spain, associate editor of the Albany Times-Union.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to propose creating a new agency to oversee care of the disabled.

The New York Times reports that Cuomo will announce the proposal this week in response to the state’s history of overlooking abuse of the disabled living in publicly financed housing, a group numbering nearly one million.

The paper says the new law enforcement and oversight agency will monitor the care of several types of at-risk patients. It would also be granted subpoena power.

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President Barack Obama is slated to visit Saratoga County next week to speak on jobs and emerging technology.

The president will visit the Global Foundries chip plant in Malta, his third visit to the Capital Region since taking office. He is expected to draw attention to ways in which the government and private companies can work together to spur new high-tech industries.

President Obama has previously visited General Electric in Schenectady and Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.

The Catholic Church as weighed in on raising the state’s minimum wage, but Governor Cuomo says the chances of an increase becoming law are “dubious."  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed his second blue ribbon panel of the week- this time to oversee infrastructure and capital projects including road and bridge repairs for the state.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Cuomo says the task force represents a break from the old way of divvying up money for capital projects like road and bridge repair and new buildings, where each state agency operated in its own little universe.  The governor says there’s a “lot of damage” that needs to be undone.

Anti fracking groups presented Governor Cuomo with 200,000 signatures asking for a ban on the gas drilling process in New York, and a State Senator predicts the opposition will have an effect on the governor.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports...

The coalition New Yorkers Against Fracking delivered boxes containing 200,000 signatures to Governor Cuomo’s offices that they say are from state residents who want the gas drilling process banned. An aide politely accepted them, but Governor Cuomo, whose public schedule listed him as being in Albany, did not appear.

WAMC's David Guistina gets the morning headlines from Judy Patrick, managing editor of the Daily Gazette.

Occupy Albany is back, this time with a specific platform to change New York government and politics.  WAMC’s Ian Pickus reports…

The group credited in part with pushing Governor Andrew Cuomo to accept a higher tax on millionaires plans opening ceremonies from noon to midnight Tuesday across from the Capitol, coinciding with international May Day protests.

The park is within shouting distance of the Democratic governor dubbed "Governor 1 Percent" because of some of his policies and because his biggest campaign contributors are top corporate executives.

WAMC's David Guistina gets the morning headlines from Mike Spain, associate editor of the Albany Times-Union.

Governor Cuomo cast further doubt on issues like campaign finance reform and increasing the states minimum wage to become law this year, and says he’s “shifting” to a new phase of governing instead.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Cuomo, in remarks to his cabinet, says he expects a “relatively quiet” end to the legislative session. He says campaign finance reform, including public campaign financing, are measures that he supports, but says that they are “controversial” and “polarizing” issues in the legislature.

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral David Titley is in the Albany area today, meeting with government, business and scientific leaders to discuss the changing role of the Navy in security and commerce. WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke with Rear Admiral Titley, who says the visit is part of the Navy’s fifty cities in fifty days initiative.

Governor Cuomo says he has some goals for the rest of the legislative session, including reforming the campaign finance system and possibly raising the state’s minimum wage.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Cuomo previously said he thought that now might not be the right time to raise the minimum wage, but his position has softened in recent days. He now says that “philosophically” he supports an increase, and he cast doubt on opponents’ claims that it would hurt job creation.   

Governor Andrew Cuomo for the first time addressed speculation that he might be a candidate for President in 2016, saying it’s “flattering”, but “distracting”.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Andrew Cuomo for the first time addressed speculation that he might be a candidate for President in 2016, saying it’s “flattering”, but “distracting”.

What does the future hold for health care in the United States? Alumni of the Union Graduate College‘s M.B.A. in health care management will gather tomorrow in Schenectady to discuss the many answers to that question.  

New and innovative models of health care will be on the table including “health home” and “patient navigation”. WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke with Kelli Valenti, a Union graduate, who works with Ellis Medicine in Schenectady, and Dr. John Huppertz, chair of the M.B.A. in health care management at Union Graduate College.

A forum will be held this evening at 6 p.m. at the stockade room at Schenectady County Community College in Schenectady on racial disparities in law enforcement. For more on the community forum on race and criminal justice in Schenectady WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke today with the organizer, Dr. Alice Green, executive director of the Center for Law and Justice in Albany.

The State Assembly has introduced a bill to permit for the first time in New York State  voluntary public financing of some election campaigns.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports...

The Assembly bill would offer an optional public financing system for campaigns for state legislative and statewide offices, giving candidates six dollars for every one dollar in contributions. It is modeled after the New York City system and would be financed, in part, through a $5 check off option on state income taxes.  

WAMC's David Guistina gets the morning headlines from Judy Patrick, managing editor of the Daily Gazette.

Local salons and cosmetics going all-natural

Apr 24, 2012

As consumers demand more environmentally conscious products, companies have been responding with hybrid cars, green cleaning products, and organic food. The beauty industry is no different, and some salons and make-up lines are going “au naturel”. WAMC’s Elizabeth Conkey has more…

New York’s Presidential primary is today, but the initial excitement over the vote vanished when Rick Santorum dropped out earlier this month. State GOP leaders say they are looking ahead to the general election instead.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

WAMC's David Guistina gets the morning headlines from Mike Spain, associate editor of the Albany Times-Union.

The effort to legalize mixed martial arts, also known as ultimate fighting, in New York, got a boost in the legislature Wednesday. The Senate passed a bill to legalize the sport, by a vote of 43 to 14, and the Speaker of the Assembly opened the door to possible approval in his house.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he has “mixed feelings” about mixed martial arts.

NY Company That Makes Mushroom Packing Gets Award

Apr 19, 2012

An upstate New York company that makes biodegradable packaging material from mushrooms is getting an award from the Environmental Protection Agency.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

EPA regional administrator Judith Enck will present an environmental leadership award today to Ecovative Design of Green Island, near Albany. The company uses the "roots" of the mushroom — called mycelium — and plant matter to make soft blocks that are used to cushion products ranging from computer servers to furniture.

WAMC's David Guistina gets the morning headlines from Judy Patrick, managing editor of the Daily Gazette.

WAMC's David Guistina gets the morning headlines from Mike Spain, associate editor of the Albany Times-Union.

Fire Damages Five Houses in Albany Neighborhood

Apr 16, 2012

Authorities say at least five homes have been damaged by a three-alarm fire in an Albany neighborhood where the governor's mansion is located.  WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...

Officials say the fire broke out around 8 p.m. Sunday in a 19th-century home and quickly spread to neighboring three-story brownstones in the neighborhood known as the Mansion District. Nearby homes were evacuated as firefighters attacked what one resident called a "wall of flame."

Another resident, Barbara Tibbs, lives at 58 Park Avenue…

Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order to create a state health care exchange, required by the federal health care reform law, after the legislature failed to act.

Governor Cuomo has vetoed over half a million dollars of legislative member items, saying he’s following through on a promise to ban the funds, which have been used in the past to finance lawmakers’ pet projects. 

WAMC's David Guistina gets the morning headlines from Judy Patrick, managing editor of the Daily Gazette.

NY Will Inspect Bus Lines with Poor Records More

Apr 10, 2012

One of the smallest and most overlooked items in New York's new state budget just could be a life saver. WAMC's Dave Lucas reports...

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature agreed to devote $1 million to change the way buses are inspected in New York following a bloody year on the road.

Instead of inspecting every bus several times a year, the state will switch to a "performance based" system in which companies with the worst safety records will be inspected more.

All companies will still get at least two inspections a year, even those with top safety records.

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