Lately, I've been feeling wanderlusty.
Don't get me wrong -- Upstate New York in fall is a wonderful place to be. I relish and marvel in it every year. But I've also had this desire to uproot myself and go explore a less familiar territory. Maybe it is the change in seasons that has me yearning for a change in my own life, too.
Whatever it is, I've got the travel itch; unfortunately hopping on a plane to some exotic locale is not in the cards for me in the moment. I did the next best thing: Took a day trip to explore unknown towns around me, and tucked into food that would transport me to another place.
Cerulean seas were calling my name. I opted for a piece of baklava instead.
Check it out: Puzzles Bakery and Cafe in Schenectady -- which was founded with a mission to provide employment opportunities for people with autism -- was featured on the CBS Evening News this past weekend. You might remember that Puzzles was the 2014 Startup Grant winner -- and we checked in with owner Sarah Mae Hickey shortly before the cafe opened earlier this year.
The League of Extraordinary Red Heads has its annual meeting set for this Wednesday at Brown's Brewing Co. in Troy. Blurbage:
The fiery festivities feature an upstate New York autumnal rite known as the "Toast of Coppertops," during which members of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads raise glasses of locally crafted Pumpkin Ale from the first batch of the season. As is their custom, the League will also discuss the items on their concise meeting agenda: "1) Us. 2) Them."
The league is, of course, about fostering ginger fellowship and solidarity. But it's an inclusive group:
Carrot tops, Cheez Doodle orangies, strawberry blondes, auburn-types, distinguished white heads ... all gingers are welcome to attend meetings of the League of Extraordinary Red Heads -- and that includes transgingers, redbeards, friends and family of the fiery follicled, too! But only those who demonstrate true extraordinaryness shall receive the highly coveted "Member" card. Our ranks include award-winning authors and journalists, college presidents, politicians, mirth-makers, lawyers, biker dudes, farmers, activists, inactivists, actors, barflies, giants, wee people and folks from all walks of life.
The event at Brown's is Wednesday, October 14 from 5:30-8:30 pm.
photo: Neil Grabowsky
Albany police chief addresses weekend of shootings, growing number of local tech jobs, tax breaks for residential conversions, a planned house made of hemp
Weekend of Albany shootings
Albany police chief Brendan Cox said Monday the four shootings in the city over the weekend "were not random acts." Also: "I have a very hard time believing that these are not connected ..." Common Council member Ron Bailey expressed frustration with what he says has been a lack of action on responding to gun violence. [TU] [TWCN] [News10]
Schenectady mayoral race
Challenger Roger Hull said Monday that he would move to eliminate the public safety commissioner position in the city, and forgo taking his mayoral salary, if an effort to add more police officers. Incumbent Gary McCarthy credited current public safety commissioner Wayne Bennett with helping prompt improvements in the Schenectady PD and called Hull's offer to forgo the mayoral salary "more of a political stunt than anything for good public policy." [TU] [TWCN]
Schenectady police discipline
The issue of the Schenectady public safety commissioner position goes beyond the cost of salary because the city has also been pushing for the commissioner to have the final say on police discipline, not an arbitrator. The city's police union has pushed back on that arrangement, and the case is scheduled to go before a state appellate court next month. [Daily Gazette x2]
GlobalFoundaries is moving to layoff some number of its employees in the United States (the company hasn't revealed numbers) -- including a "relatively small" number at the Malta fab. The move follows a buyout the company had offered to employees in an attempt to thin its workforce following the acquisition of IBM chip facilities in the Hudson Valley and Vermont. [Biz Review] [Daily Gazette] [TU]
On Keeler Drive in Albany.
Was Monday the last nicest day of the year?
A new map quiz: Can you guess what the points on the map represent?
Here's a hint: They're places that are up there.
The answer -- and a clickable version of the map -- are after the jump.
Albany Law's annual LGBT Law Day is coming up this Saturday. Blurbage:
At LGBT Law Day, Albany Law students and volunteer attorneys will provide attendees with free legal assistance on such issues as: name changes, adoptions, child custody, immigration, employment discrimination, gender marker changes, and upgrading dishonorable discharges under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
This year's keynote speaker is state Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell.
The event is October 17 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Albany Law campus. It's free to attend, and "advance registration is appreciated."
Weekend of shootings in Albany, Ivy case headed for grand jury, questions about One Monument Square project, large warehouse party broken up
We had some technical problems this morning, thus the delay.
Four shootings in Albany
Albany police say they're investigating four shootings over from this past weekend. APD says a man was shot Friday night on Clinton Ave (block map). There was another shooting near Sheridan Ave and Lark Street Saturday afternoon (map). Then another shooting Saturday night on Livingston Ave (block map), and then another overnight Saturday to Sunday near Jeanette Street and Second Avenue (map). APD says it doesn't know if the shootings are connected. [APD x2] [TU]
Stabbing in Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs police say a Schenectady man was stabbed multiple times early Saturday morning in the area of Lake Ave and Circular Street (map. SSPD says it believes the attack is related to an earlier incident in Schenectady. [TWCN] [TU]
Dontay Ivy case
The review of the April 2015 death of Dontay Ivy while in Albany police custody will apparently soon be heading to a grand jury. [TU+]
Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (fall for real), to Ghostbusters, to boozy cupcakes, to silent film, to visual journalism, to Mel Brooks, to all sorts of music...
Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:
+ There's a plan for redeveloping Albany's oldest building.
+ We revisited Albany's reservoir goats. (Toast is kind of pushy!)
+ Here's a quick scan of some things that caught our eye in the Capital Region's bid for $500 million from the state -- it includes a proposed huge development project in downtown Albany.
+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: two contrasting experiences, feeling old, laughing at life, a ghost sign, a beautiful old map, ancestors, trigger warnings, springs, the Bridge of Flowers, what's fermenting on the farm, being judgy, Innovo Kitchen, Memphis King, and the best bottle of cheap wine.
+ We gave away tickets to the Albany Barn Fusion event by asking: If you could "fuse" any two elements from the Capital Region together, what would they be -- and what would they create?
+ Women in the Capital Region are pulling ahead of men when it comes to getting a college degree.
+ After a service started offering to ship foliage -- that is, leaves in a box -- to people, we considered what other locally abundant stuff we could be selling. It's time to start monetizing our potholes.
+ A look at how Albany's red light camera system has started off.
Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea this week!
The city of Albany released the first batch of numbers related to its new red light camera system this week.
The APD reports that since the cameras started coming online in July, the system flagged 2,197 potential violations. After reviews by officers, the city sent out 1,356 citations. So about 38 percent of the potential violations were screened out by the human review.
As you've probably heard by now, getting tagged by one of the red light cameras (and the officer review) is a $50 violation (like a parking ticket). The legislation authorizing the system allows the city to place cameras at up to 20 intersections. (It's now up to 15 intersections, the latest coming online October 2.)
The city released numbers for each intersection approach being monitored by the cameras, so let's have a closer look at the numbers to see which intersections had the most violations...
Well, we're in the thick of it now -- apples, pumpkins, decorative gourds and foliage people from other parts of the country might actually be willing to pay to see. So pull on a wool sweater, go for a hike, find a apple cider donut, and do some other fun stuff this weekend.
We've raked up a pile of stuff to do for you to dive into after the jump. Got something planned you don't see there? Drop it in the comments and share it with the rest of us.
And whatever you're up to this weekend -- weather you've got two days or three -- enjoy!
Plea deal for former Watervliet police officer, facebooking with Alain Kaloyeros, local FiOS rollout nearing finish
Plea deal for Watervliet police officer
Former Watervliet police officer Joshua Spratt pleaded guilty a third-degree criminal sex act, a felony, as part of a plead deal over charges that he engaged in sex acts with a 16 year old. He faces six months in jail, 10 years of probabation, and must register as a sex offender. Spratt met the teen -- and a 17 year old with whom he was also accused of having sexual relations -- through his job as a school resource officer. He could have faced as many as 16 years in prison if he had been convicted on all the charges against him. Albany County DA David Soares called the penalties in the plea deal "very appropriate sanctions." [Albany County DA] [Troy Record] [TU] [WNYT]
$15 an hour
The impending minimum wage increase for fast food workers in New York State prompted talk at a state legislative hearing of people potentially leaving health care jobs, such as nursing home aide, for fast food jobs. And various players are gearing up for the fight in the state legislature over Andrew Cuomo's proposed $15-an-hour minimum wage across all industries. [TU] [AP/Troy Record]
Gotham Gazette's David Howard King reports that Alain Kaloyeros said via Facebook messenger that he faced the "threat of jail" if he were to talk about US Attorney Preet Bharara's investigation of the Buffalo Billion. [Gotham Gazette]
A crew from NPR will be at UAlbany next Thursday (October 15) for a series called Family Matters. Blurbage:
Facing first-time loans as a college student or a new mortgage as a third-time home buyer both come with risks, opportunities and, of course, questions. In collaboration with WAMC & WMHT, NPR Presents: Family Matters connects regular people with financial experts for an unconventional conversation about money. This live, lively and entirely FREE event is driven by an audience ready to talk strategy: from accumulating debt and amassing wealth; to saving for college, home ownership, retirement and even fitting in a midlife extravagance, or two.
NPR Presents: Family Matters is led by NPR Morning Edition host David Greene; Business correspondent Yuki Noguchi; nationally-syndicated personal finance columnist for the Washington Post Michelle Singletary; and personal finance expert Louis Barajas, who together equip audience members with greater confidence in their financial futures.
(Apparently NPR's version of Family Matters doesn't involve Urkel.)
The event is Thursday at 7 pm in the UAlbany Performing Arts Center's recital hall on the uptown campus. As the blurbage mentions, it's free -- and you can reserve a ticket online.
photo: Richie Wireman
All this time and we didn't realize an economic opportunity was literally growing right in our backyard.
We collect, preserve and ship gorgeous fall foliage! All leaves are collected from New England, and undergo a unique preservation process. The process enhances the foliage color contrast and also preserves the leaves for years to come! ...
Our foliage experts hike all around the Northeast in search for the perfect leaves. During our collection phase we sift and filter through our inventory, hand selecting only "Grade A" foliage.
All for $19.99. And of course, there's also a service for shipping snow.
So this got us thinking about what other under-appreciated assets from around here we've just been letting lie fallow -- and how they could be monetized...
Not local, but we thought this was interesting in light of the ongoing discussion here about ways to make places such as the city of Albany more hospitable to bicyclists: San Francisco is debating whether to adopt the "Idaho stop," in which cyclists wouldn't be required to come to a full stop at stop signs. [CityLab]
The second Saratoga International Flavorfeast is this Saturday, October 10.
More than 30 restaurants will be offering $1 samples of dishes from a range of international cuisines, Turkish to Italian to German to Thai. Here's the list of participating restaurants with the samples they'll be offering.
The festival is in downtown Saratoga Springs from 11 am to 4 pm. Admission is free. (And it sounds like some $1 bills for samples is a good idea.)
Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert will be at Skidmore November 3 for a talk titled "We Are the Asteroid." It's free and open to the public.
Kolbert's a staff writer for The New Yorker, and in recent years has been writing frequently about climate change and extinction. Her book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, won a Pulitzer Prize last year.
According to Kolbert, "The earth changes slowly, except for extraordinary moments when it doesn't. At times of sudden change, vast numbers of species have died out. There have been five major mass extinctions over the last half a billion years. We are now living through the sixth. The rate of change on the planet today is faster than at any time since the asteroid impact that ended the reign of the dinosaurs. This time around, we're the asteroid. We are warming the planet, cutting down rainforests, and moving plants and animals between continents. Look around: this is what mass extinction looks like."
The talk is Tuesday, November 3 at 7 pm in Palamountain Hall.
More upcoming talks at Skidmore
+ October 15: journalist Graham Roberts, "Seeing is Believing: Visual Journalism York Times"
+ October 15: ethicist Roger Scruton, "The Law of the Land: Reflections on Law and Migration"
+ October 20: novelist Colm Toibin, "Fresh News from a Small Town"
+ October 21: former US Senator George Mitchell, talking about his new memoir
+ October 29: Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree, "Do Black Lives Matter? Race and Justice in America Now!"
photo: Nicolas Whitman
Pipeline opponents seek water protection law, SUNY Poly extends Tokyo deal, Schenectady County opens solar farm, the view from Corinth
Pipeline opponents seek water protection
Dozens of pipeline opponents attended a Rensselaer County Legislature public hearing on the subject on Wednesday, and asked legislators to pass a Drinking Water Protection Law that would require water testing before blasting for the pipeline.[TU]
Beer, Wine, Cider and Spirits
More incentives for NYS distillers were announced at Wednesday's Beer, Wine, Cider and Spirits summit [TWCN]
At the Beer, Wine, Cider and Spirits event, Cuomo faced a number of questions about the Buffalo Billion investigation.
Cuomo said federal investigators have not questioned or subpoenaed him in connection with the "Buffalo Billion" investigation. [TWCN][TU]
More women than men in the United States had a bachelor's degree or higher in 2014 -- 30.2 percent of women, compared to 29.9 percent of men, according to Census Bureau estimates. And as the bureau pointed out today, it's the first time that's happened nationally since the bureau started tracking the number in 1940.
We were curious about about the numbers for the Capital Region, so we looked 'em up for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area. They're smashed into the chart above.
And here's a bit more...
And you can always try searching for it: