New York News

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On Saturday, April 29th, a small army of volunteers will spread out across Saratoga Springs to plant new trees.  Sustainable Saratoga's Urban Forestry Project is holding its sixth planting day one day after Arbor Day.

WAMC's Lucas Willard spoke with program chair Tom Denny about the upcoming event and the organization.

For more information visit: http://www.sustainablesaratoga.org/projects/urban-forestry-project/

New York lawmakers are headed back to Albany to wrap up their work for the year.

The Senate and Assembly are scheduled to reconvene Monday to begin the last seven weeks of their annual legislative session. They've been on break for two weeks after blowing a key deadline and passing a $153 billion state budget several days late.

A car filled with college students has crashed into an upstate New York highway median and rolled over, killing one person and injuring five.

The New York State Parole Board Friday denied parole for Judith Clark, the getaway driver in the failed 1981 Rockland County Brinks armored car robbery that left three law enforcement officers dead.

Courtesy of Wallkill River Watershed Alliance

The New York State Canal System is getting a spring cleanup.

State lawmakers are due back at the Capitol Monday, following a two week break after they passed a budget that contained numerous other items, like free public college tuition for some middle class students and an expansion of ride hailing services. But what, if anything, do lawmakers still need to do before adjourning in June?

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Capital Region Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko held a town hall meeting last night at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. But unlike his Republican colleagues in the region, who are hearing demands from constituents for face time to ask tough questions, Tonko was greeted by a friendly audience with questions about how he plans to navigate a Washington dominated by the GOP. 

NYPIRG's Blair Horner and Toxic Targeting's Walter Hang present documents on unfinished oil spill clean ups in New York.
Karen DeWitt

Environmental advocates say that New York state officials could do a better job of cleaning up pollution sites caused by the fossil fuels industry that they say in some cases, have dragged on for decades. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental aides are defending their record.

Kaushik Narasimhan/Flickr

New York’s U.S. Senators have announced $25 million in federal funding to combat opioid addiction in the state.

Philip Taylor, flickr

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman  is warning seniors to be wary of new phone schemes demanding money through gift cards or pre-paid debit cards.

UpstateNYer / WIkipedia

Emma Willard, a private girls’ high school in Troy, is making public a detailed report on past incidents of sexual misconduct on campus. The release of the report comes as school administrators are working to address the issue after news of a scandal involving a former student and employee broke last year.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget director is among those defending the state’s new free public college tuition program for some middle class students, after a week of criticism from the left and the right of the political spectrum.

Facebook: Curtain Call Theatre

A space once home to the Little Sisters of the Poor will soon become the new home of a Capital District theater company. Curtain Call Theatre is moving just a short distance from its current location, the old Dutch Reformed Church at 210 Old Loudon Road in Latham, NY to a new space, at 2 Jeanne Jugan Lane in Latham.

New York's education commissioner has scheduled a hearing to decide whether one-time candidate for governor Carl Paladino should be removed from the Buffalo school board. 

New York state troopers issued more than 15,000 tickets during a five-day sweep targeting drivers using electronic devices.

A picture of a wildfire
wikipedia.org

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration warns that higher-than-normal temperatures and seasonal winds could heighten the risk of wildfires this spring.

Did passage of the New York state budget signal the end of Albany’s legislative session for 2017, or will other matters, including ethics reform, get done before the lawmakers adjourn in June?

As some communities in the region establish themselves as “Sanctuary Cities,” Schenectady appears to be distancing itself from the label as it considers its options. The Schenectady city council has been discussing immigration, a hot topic that has drawn dozens of residents at recent meetings.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

A residency requirement for college students seeking free tuition at New York’s public colleges is drawing criticism. Governor Andrew Cuomo defends the late addition to the plan, approved as part of the state budget earlier this month.

Commissioner Basil Seggos
NYS DEC

On Friday, several hundred officials from across the North Country gathered in Lake Placid to hear Governor Andrew Cuomo discuss highlights of the recently passed state budget.  The fiscal plan includes $2.5 billion for the statewide Clean Water Infrastructure Act and $13.2 million in aid to municipalities. The spending plan keeps the Environmental Protection Fund at $300 million.  New York state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos calls it the best environmental budget the state has passed in three decades.

NYS Assembly
Wikipedia

The New York state Assembly Minority says its members will pursue lower taxes, tackle upstate unemployment and demand government oversight for the remainder of the state legislative session.

After pulling out of a fiscal emergency and a scandal that cost the last CEO his job, the New York Racing Association will return from state control as a private non-profit. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports that’s good news for advocates in Saratoga Springs.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The City of Troy has launched a new community campaign to develop a master plan for the arts. 

At a packed meeting Wednesday evening at the Arts Center of the Capital Region on River Street, art consultant Todd Bressi gave a presentation on how cites across the country have been able to incorporate public art to build community, revitalize neighborhoods, and bring in development.

The upper Hudson River has been given a new health assessment. Environmental group Riverkeeper, which has been patrolling the lower Hudson for decades, only began sampling north of the federal dam in Troy last summer. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chef Lucas Willard has details about the new report, which shows a river mostly healthy for swimming.

Hillary Clinton
hillaryclinton-dot-com

Hillary Clinton says she hopes the free college tuition plan approved by New York lawmakers last week will lead other states to follow suit.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The opioid addiction crisis continues to grip upstate New York as well as the rest of the country. On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer visited Schenectady to tout new legislation that is aimed at combatting the influx of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be many times more potent and lethal than heroin.

Tim Kremer, executive director of New York State School Boards Association
NYSSBA

Now that the state budget has been passed, school districts in New York have a better idea on what to expect in state aid, as voters get ready to decide local school budgets on May 16. 

https://www.sage.edu/event/centennial-lecture-michael-gallo-ph-d/

Toxicologist Michael Gallo is speaking at the Armory at Sage College of Albany tonight about environmental contaminants and efforts to counteract chemical terrorism. 

Uber
Flickr

After years of efforts, ride-sharing advocates are celebrating in New York this week. The latest state budget deal paves the way for companies like Uber and Lyft to operate upstate.  

Photo of an Amtrak train.
wikipedia

Following last week’s derailment at Penn Station in New York City, the U.S. Senate Minority Leader is warning feds against making cuts to Amtrak.

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