Some stuff going on this week.

Fast break

Because time lapse: Here's a video of the Times Union center changing over from hockey rink to basketball court between the Albany Devils game Saturday afternoon and the Siena game that night.

The legend continues

Jimmer Fredette -- the "Loneliness Master" -- scored 73 points for the Shanghai Sharks in a double overtime loss this past weekend to the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions in the Chinese Basketball Association. He shot 25-of-49 and 10-of-18 from three. The Glens Falls native is averaging a little more than 37 points per game, virtually tied for tops in the league. [NY Post] [ESPN]

518 Songfest 2017

The 518 Songfest returns to The Egg April 1. The headliner is Sawyer Fredericks, of American Idol The Voice fame. Also on the card: Girl Blue, The Sea The Sea, John Davidson, and Sandy McKnight.

Blurbage: "Songfest is a unique live concert experience, in that the artists get to perform their songs, as well as talk a bit about their music and experiences as creators and musicians."

Tickets go on sale this Friday, February 24 -- they're $30 ahead / $35 day of. The concert is a benefit for Exit 97.7 WEXT and the Columbia Arts Team. It's in the 450-seat Swyer Theater.

A front page flight

NYT 1910-05-30 Glenn Curtiss Albany flight

Maybe you've seen that video that's been bouncing around online today of every New York Times front page since 1852 -- in 55 seconds.

There's an Albany-related historical bit mixed up in there: The first news photograph ever published on the paper's front page -- in May of 1910 -- was from... Albany.

Yep, it was a photo of Glenn Curtiss piloting "The Albany Flyer" biplane shortly after takeoff from a spot that's now in the Port of Albany. Curtiss was attempting to become the first person to fly from Albany to New York City -- and, in the process, claim a $10,000 prize from the New York World (something like $250k in today's dollars). He was successful, making the trip 2 hours and 46 minutes of flight time with two stops. Over at Hoxsie, Carl has he whole story. (Because of course he does.)

Anyway, NYT went all out on its coverage of the Curtiss flight. It even hired a special train to follow him on the route. And it published a multi-page spread with a bunch of photos, including that first one from Albany on the front page.

[historical bit via Kottke]

screengrab from NYT Times Machine

"The drive for citizenship and the drive for a permanent home is a pretty powerful drive"

The New York Times has a look at how refugee populations have bolstered cities along the old Erie Canal corridor in recent years, re-occupying vacant housing and bringing new vitality to neighborhoods in places as Buffalo. [NYT]

Cinnamon buns at Fifth Tier Baking Studio

Fifth Tier Baking Studio cinnamon bun

By Deanna Fox

Fifth Tier Baking Studio is tucked into a section of Columbia Street in downtown Albany that feels like an alleyway, hidden away from the typical bustle of North Pearl Street. It's the sort of spot that requires a bit of sleuthing.

With no seating and a limited menu, the shop isn't focused on creating a comfortable lingering experience for its customers. Instead, the focus is on production, churning out scones of sweet and savory varieties, jumbo-sized cookies -- and massive cinnamon buns that blend warm spice with sweet dough in a masterly fashion.

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"You're saving a piece of history that cannot be remade."

Over at The Alt, Ann Morrow talks with Patrick Chiou about the developer's plans for the Church of the Holy Innocents building, his residential redevelopment project near Broadway, and the prospects for Arbor Hill. [The Alt]

A progressive, friendly, diverse church?

church windows pewsM. writes:

Hi I recently moved to Albany and I am looking for a good church hopefully one that is progressive, friendly and diverse.

We've had similar questions in the past, but it's been years since the last one and things change.

So, got a suggestion for M.? Please share! And sentence or two about why you're recommending a specific church can be very helpful.

Overflow crowd at local Congressional town hall meeting, opposition to Colonie landfill expansion, SUNY Poly said to be "rudderless," the sordid casino story that maybe wasn't so sordid

Tonko town hall meeting
An overflow crowd of more than 500 people turned out for a town hall-style meeting with Paul Tonko Monday evening in Schenectady. Among the topics: the Affordable Care Act, refugees, manufacturing jobs, and the environment. Said Tonko during the meeting: "When I have a chance to meet with the president, I will share some very strong feelings about climate change, about the environment, about public lands." The crowd appeared generally supportive of the Democrat. [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TWCN] [WNYT]

Stefanik and Faso: Neither Elise Stefanik or John Faso have town hall-style meetings scheduled, a recent point of criticism for both Republican Congress members. [Saratogian] [TU]

Gillibrand on Russia and Trump foreign policy
Kirsten Gillibrand during a visit to 109th Airlift Wing at Stratton Air National Guard Base Sunday: "I am very concerned about another country trying to undermine our elections. Our democracy depends on free and fair elections and so I am concerned by these acts by Russia. I am concerned how the president is reacting to other foreign countries and positioning us in a more volatile way. I'm concerned about the country and our well-being and it's one of the roles I take very seriously on the Armed Services Committee." [TU] [TWCN]

Colonie landfill expansion
A look at the opposition organizing among nearby towns and residents against the proposed expansion of the Colonie landfill near the Mohawk River. [TU+]

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The week ahead

the band Young The Giant

Young the Giant will be at The Palace later this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (wut), to eating and drinking, to poems and stories, to hip hop, to digital news, to farming, to music...

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A quick recap of the week

week review 2017-02-18

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:

+ We gave away tickets to the Gathering of the Farm Cideries by asking: What's your favorite thing to eat when it's cold and snowy outside?

+ It's been snowy in a normal way.

+ Haley looked at a handful of projects trying to lift Schenectady's Eastern Ave neighborhood.

+ A quick scan of the latest batch of high school graduation rates from around the Capital Region.

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: the Blake family, Knox & Mead, purchasing your own supply of chocolate, the pearly gates, helping kids become community members, snow stress, mineral springs, snowy photos, The Tollgate, pizza, the restaurant industry, Buffalo wings, and childhood.

+ We talked with Albany native Miles Joris-Peyrafitte about As You Are, the Sundance prize-winning film he directed here.

+ Ann an David from 98 Acres examined the history of redlining in Albany.

+ The EBA building on Lark Street is up for auction -- we talked with Maude Baum about selling the longtime home of the dance company.

+ And a look at the many, many tax-exempt properties in Albany, and how that affects the city's budget and the people who live there.

Here's the whole week in one place.

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea this week!

Today's moment of winter

state street capitol blue sky wispy clouds

Walking up State Street, for a moment, it was all blue skies, sunshine, and wispy clouds.

Then it was February again.

The untaxed city within the city

Albany untaxable properties map

The map above depicts parcels in the city of Albany from which, for various reasons, the city doesn't get property taxes. It's from a slide deck used by Kathy Sheehan during her recent presentation before joint state legislative budget hearing about municipal aid.

That topic has popped up again this week (it never really goes away) because the city's request for an additional $12.5 million from the state -- what the Sheehan admin has tagged as "Capital City Funding" -- was not included in the 30-day budget amendments submitted by the Cuomo admin. That doesn't necessarily mean the money is completely off the table -- the Cuomo admin indicated Friday it could still happen -- but it does cast the fate of the money in doubt. Given given that it represents 7 percent of the current $177 million enacted budget, the city faces making some hard cuts if the money doesn't come through. And on Friday Sheehan urged city residents to call the offices of state legislative leaders to push for the aid.

Sheehan and other city officials have long argued the city deserves more aid from the state for two reasons:

1. The amount of money the city gets from the state's main type of aid to municipalities (AIM) is, on a per capita basis, way lower than what other large cities around the state get. It's not even close. As Sheehan said Friday: "We are not asking for something extra. We are asking for something that gets us a little closer to parity."

2. Large portions of the city -- some 63 percent of the property value -- are tax exempt because of the presence of the state and other institutions that don't have to pay.

Here's a larger view of that map, along with a few quick bits.

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"I wish we'd asked, 'What can we do for you?'"

Over at City Lab there's an interesting look at how some of the people involved with the creating the very popular High Line park in New York City are using the lessons they learned -- and the failures they now recognize -- to help other cities make similar parks and adaptive reuse projects more useful to the people who already live near the sites. [City Lab] Earlier: A few bits about the proposed Albany Skyway

Way more than 3 points

Hitting the half court shot wasn't the big surprise, as it turned out. Though the made basket wasn't in the plan! (That Gazette article includes a great photo by Peter Barber.)

The clip got the top spot on the SportsCenter top 10 last night.

Stuff to do this weekend

palace annual step show

The annual step show is back at The Palace this weekend. / photo courtesy of The Palace

Some score and however many years ago our forefathers and foremothers looked forward to a weekend filled with fun things to do. It probably wasn't this weekend. But it was a weekend... sometime, because everybody loves a good weekend. So we're guessing it's true. It might not be true at all. You know what -- forget about that part and focus on this weekend. Our weekend. The one that starts today. Yes. Let's do that.

After the jump you'll find a whole bunch of stuff going on this President's Day weekend -- from Flurry Fest and mac 'n cheese to gems, fossils, and butterflies.

Planning something you don't see on our list? Tell us about it in the comment section. And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend.

CDPHP indoor swimming in-post ad

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Albany bracing for possibility state aid doesn't come through, push for money to fix sewers and water systems, he was cooking at home

Albany push for state aid
The $12.5 million in additional state aid the Sheehan administration included in the current city of Albany budget was not part of the state budget amendments released Thursday evening. At a press conference Friday morning Kathy Sheehan said she believes the Cuomo admin is "is convinced of our case" and the city would continue to press for the aid with members of the state legislature.

The money represents 7 percent of the current city budget and Sheehan said the city is preparing for the possibility it doesn't come through. She's instituted a hiring a freeze in which any new hire would have to be revenue neutral. And she said the city is reviewing every program -- including events such as Alive at Five, which is now at risk without the aid.

Said Sheehan of the city's request to the state in light of the relatively low amount of money the city gets through the state's regular aid program for municipalities: "The state capital is treated like no other large city in New york State. And I just want to stress that. We are not asking for something extra. We are asking for something that gets us a little closer to parity."

Here's a quick thread by Geoff Redick that includes some context and reaction. [@Redick_TWCNews]

Earlier: Does Albany get a fair share of state aid?

"That's a lurking monster right now"
Jim Tedisco and Phil Steck pushed the case for state legislation that would set up a regular stream of funding for local municipalities to address water and sewer infrastructure. Said Tedisco Thursday: "That's a lurking monster right now and we can pay now or we can pay later." Tedisco has promoted this idea in past years, but he says hopeful of seeing action this time around because he's a now in the state Senate and a member of the majority coalition. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [TWCN]

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The EBA building on Lark Street is up for auction

Lark Street corner with Hudson Ave

You know the building.

For sale: Century-old Lark Street theater. Only two owners.

The building at the corner of Lark and Hudson that houses the dance company EBA, a staple of the neighborhood since 1977, is up for auction.

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Empire Pass, now in card form

NYS Parks Empire Pass card

If you're a frequent New York State Park visitor the Empire Pass has been the most economical option for paying entrance fees -- $65 gets you unlimited entry for the year. So, anything past your 8th or 9th visit is free admission.

The downside: It has to be affixed to a car window.

Now there's a new option: The Empire Pass Card, which can be shared among members of a household and doesn't have to be stuck on a vehicle. The card is $80. Blurbage:

A new wallet-sized Empire Pass Card that can be shared within a household is now available. It's a family-friendly alternative to the traditional window decal, and not assigned to a specific vehicle. The new card can be used by parents, grandparents, caregivers and others.

The card is valid through December 31 of the year it's purchased. Here's the brochure with more info. And there's ordering info at that first link above (you can buy it online).

The Empire Pass stickers are still available, and they're still $65.

Multiple years
New York State Parks also offers multi-year cards -- $205 for three years, and $320 for five years.

There's also a lifetime Empire Pass for $750.

Examining the forces and maps that redlined the city of Albany

1938 HOLC map Albany east-west aligned

From a 1938 Home Owners’ Loan Corporation map of Albany.

By Ann Pfau and David Hochfelder

The Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond recently published a website displaying redlining maps from the 1930s for American cities with populations over 50,000. These so-called Residential Security Maps, along with detailed descriptions of urban neighborhoods, give us insight into how the flow of bank funds into some areas -- and their denial in others -- shaped the postwar American city.

We researched the history of these maps, as well as related records pertaining to Albany, at the National Archives. Here's what we found.

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Looking for more? Check out the last week's worth of posts or the archive.

And you can always try searching for it:

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Recent Comments

Much of Albany is still unofficially redlined. Arbor Hill, West Hill, parts of the South End in particular are. While official redlining is now illegal, prospective property buyers in, for example, Arbor Hill must deal with a lot more impediments when they seek to purchase property. Banks and insurance companies may force them to pay extra fees with extra paperwork. They may require a bigger downpayment, a higher interest rate, a higher credit score, and even additional cosigners even if the buyer has significant income. It's depressing the market in those areas significantly.

"You're saving a piece of history that cannot be remade."

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The untaxed city within the city

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A progressive, friendly, diverse church?

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518 Songfest 2017

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Examining the forces and maps that redlined the city of Albany

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