Stuff to do this weekend.

Today's moment of winter

Beige on gray sway along the Indian Pond on the UAlbany campus.

There was a rumor that it was something like 70 degrees at some point this week. Weird.

Chris Gibson at Bethlehem Public Library

chris gibson rally point

Former Congressman Chris Gibson will be at the Bethlehem Public Library March 3 to talk about his book Rally Point. The talk is free and open to the public.

Book publisher blurbage:

... RALLY POINT: Five Tasks to Unite the Country and Revitalize the American Dream looks past the 2016 election, past the finger pointing and conventional political thinking, to focus on clear, primary principles that conservatives must debate and defend to protect the future of America. ...
Drawn from a deep appreciation of history and American exceptionalism, Gibson provides incisive and frank analysis of the current political environment, including President Trump, and provides a roadmap based on time-tested Founding principles to help unite our country and revitalize the American Dream.

As you know, Gibson represented the Congressional District in this area that's now held by John Faso after the Gibson chose not to run again. He was at one point ranked the most "liberal" Republican in the House. There was some thinking that he could have been a formidable challenger to Andrew Cuomo for governor, but he ultimately chose not to run in this year's election.

Gibson has said he had an unfavorable view of Donald Trump leading up to the presidential election -- but voted for him anyway because Hillary Clinton "would have been more of the same -- peace through weakness, economic decline and corruption." [TU]

The talk at the Bethlehem Public Library is Saturday, March 3 at 2:30 pm.

Kirsten Gillibrand on Desus and Mero and The Late Show

More evidence that Kirsten Gillibrand is becoming a national figure: KG appeared on both the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Viceland's Desus & Mero this week.

The full-length Desus & Mero segment is embedded above. During the conversation they take up the Kristen/Kirsten issue, Mero's campaign for state comptroller, scandalizing Joe Lieberman with the f word, tweeting as a politician, Donald Trump, Russian interference, publicly-funded elections -- and running for president in 2020. Gillibrand fell back on her usual line about being focused on running for Senate in 2018. (Though look for "KG: Good in the 'hood!" bumper stickers.)

The Late Show segment is embedded below. She and Colbert talked about the NRA and giving up swearing for Lent. (Apparently that's not going well.)

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NY Maple Weekend 2018

mountain winds maple syrup sample

March is almost here, and that means maple syrup in New York.

Maple farms around the state area again participating in two "Maple Weekends" this year -- March 17-18 and March 24-25. Blurbage from the NYS Maple Producers Association:

Maple Weekend is a chance for the public to come to the farm to learn about New York's maple sugarmaking processes and traditions and to provide a chance to taste pure maple syrup in its many forms - right from the source.

The Maple Weekend website has a map of participating maple syrup producers around the state, including a handful here in the greater Capital Region.

As an upstater, you know that maple syrup production is dependent on temperature and how it affects the flow of sap. Many farms will be in action collecting sap and boiling it ahead of those weekends -- example: Riverside Maple Farms in Glenville started boiling this week. And some of these farms have regular visitor hours, so check ahead and you might be able drop by for a more low-key experience.

New York State is the #2 producer of maple syrup in the United States.* And production here has been on an upswing in recent years, setting new records for the state.

* #1 is Vermont and it's not even close. The Green Mountain State accounted for 46 percent of US maple syrup production in 2017. New York's share was almost 18 percent.

Earlier: The art and science of maple sugaring

New York part of new state coalition on guns, Mohawk ice jams breaking up, prosecution rests in Percoco trial, push for geothermal in ESP microgrid

Guns
+ The governors of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island say their states are forming a coalition -- States for Gun Safety -- to create a database to supplement the federal background check system, and along with sharing info related to gun law enforcement. [TU] [Politico]
+ Vermont's Republican governor and Democrats in its legislature said Thursday they're in favor of more stringent gun control laws in the state, which one legislator described as a "sea change." (The NYS Attorney General's Office reported in 2016 that Vermont was the #1 source state of "likely-trafficked" guns recovered in the Capital Region.) [Seven Days]
+ The The New York State Sheriffs' Association is pushing for the state legislature to provide funding for at least one armed officer at every elementary and high school. [TU]
+ The president of the Albany Public School Teacher Association on Donald Trump's proposal to arm teachers: "The answer just doesn't make any sense." [WNYT]
+ A 20-year-old Sage College student at a vigil Thursday on what she thought when the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting happened five years ago: "I was really shocked and I said to myself, 'This will never happen again. This is ridiculous.' And then over and over and over, this happened again." [TU]

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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Stuff to do this weekend

Les Miserables master of the house credit Matthew Murphy

The Broadway tour of Les Miserable continues this weekend at Proctors. / photo: Matthew Murphy

Four-day weeks sometimes feel longer than they should. But however long it took to get here, it's the weekend. Time for some fun.

We've put together a list of stuff going on this weekend that we thought you'd want to know about.

Planning something you don't see? Tell us about it in the comments so we can all see. And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend.

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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Basilica Hudson 2018 season

Basilica Hudson exterior 2014

The schedule is out for the 2018 season of events at Basilica Hudson. The slate again includes music, markets, art and other events at the venue co-founded by Melissa Auf der Maur Tony Stone in a converted factory space near the Hudson train station.

Among the bits from the schedule: The popular Basilica SoundScape returns September 14-16.

Here's a quick-scan look at the season schedule...

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Disc Jam 2018

disc jam music festival aerial promo photo

The (world's only?) disc golf music festival -- Disc Jam -- returns to Stephentown June 7-10. And the lineup -- which includes more than 80 acts -- is out. Headliners include Lotus, Beats Antique, Galactic, The Motet, Electron, and Barber Acoustic.

Full festival passes are currently $180, camping included.

Also: The festival includes a 27-hole disc golf course on site. Blurbage: "Playing at least a round is a must for Disc Jam enthusiasts and the course encourages both the avid and first timer players to try their hand on the course, all at no additional cost to play (outside of tournaments) with discs provided free of charge for those interested in playing."

Disc Jam is at Gardner's Farm in Stephentown in southeast Rensselaer County not far from the Massachusetts border.

photo via Disc Jam

Registration is now open for the 2018 Freihofer's Run for Women in Albany

Freihofers Run for Women 5k course map

The 5k course map.

This year's Freihofer's Run for Women is June 2 and registration is now open. The entry fee for the 5k is $25 for the first 500 registrants online. The fee increases by $5 increments monthly starting in April leading up to the race.

This is the 40th year for the Freihofer's Run for Women. It draws all sorts of runners, including some high-level competitors seeking the $10,000 first-place prize. Last year more than 3,200 women participated with times that ranged from 15:49 to 1:18:58.

The course for the 5k starts near Albany City Hall, heads up Washington Ave, winds through Washington Park, and then returns back on Washington to finish near the start.

Race day also includes a junior 3k (registration $15) and a free kids run.

Leading up to the race, there's also a training program with beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. It's a 10-week program and it starts in March. Registration for that is $55.

"I had to learn how to live again, how to be a new Ken"

The only thing bad about this Steve Barnes interview with longtime local journalist Ken Screven -- about working to regain his health, politics, and reflecting on his career -- is that we couldn't listen to audio of it. [TU]

Regal Best Picture Film Festival 2018

2018 Oscar nominated films composite

Regal Cinemas has lined up another "Best Picture Film Festival" -- it will be screening all nine films nominated for the 2018 best picture Oscar over the next 10 days. And it's selling a pass to see them all for just $35. (That's not even $4 per movie.)

There are handful of local Regal locations participating this year: Colonie Center, Crossgates, Clifton Park, and Queensbury.

That first link above includes the schedule. Some of the screening times are during the day, but it looks like each film is being shown at four (or more) different times.

Oscar-nominated shorts
The Spectrum is also currently screening a few of the best picture-nominated films individually, and it's screening the Oscar-nominated short films -- both animated and live action -- over the next week.

Flooding begins to recede along Mohawk, missed fax might have prevented Jay Street fire, Capital Region private college applications rising

Flooding
Floodwaters along the Mohawk River dropped by about six feet overnight. Before the drop, some Stockade residents were evacuated from their homes due to flooding. A section Route 5 in Rotterdam closed to vehicle traffic due to the flooding, and Schenectady County Community College is closed today. Andrew Cuomo visited flooded areas or the Capital Region on Wednesday but said right now, monitoring is the most the state can do. [Gazette][Spectrum][TU][Spectrum]

"If I would have received that letter the tragedy would never have occurred."
The former Schenectady city electrical inspector testified on Wednesday in the trial of former building inspector Kenneth Tyree, saying that he never received a fax, sent by Wolfe Security, stating that "All monitoring services for the fire alarm system at the property have been terminated." Thomas Middleton told the court that if he had received the fax, he would have moved to ensure that the building had a monitoring system. [Gazette]

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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The Glynn Mansion and the story of Martin Glynn

Glynn mansion Willett Street Albany

By Justin Devendorf

Overlooking Washington Park very close to where State Street and Willett Street meet stands a three-story, pink sandstone building with a Romanesque design and an interior of intricate woodwork.

It was in this building that the only resident of the city of Albany who has ever ascended to the governorship of the State of New York once lived.

That resident was Martin Henry Glynn.

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Dylan Ratigan has jumped into the pool of challengers to Elise Stefanik

dylan ratiganThe Congressional elections this fall will be a big and important story as the Democrats try to take a majority in at least one of the chambers and claim a check against the Trump administration. That story will play out here in the Capital Region because the seats held by John Faso (NY-19) and Elise Stefanik (NY-21) both could potentially flip.

And Stefanik has now picked up a challenger who looks like he could be formidable: Dylan Ratigan -- the former Bloomberg journalist, MSNBC and CNBC host, and current businessman. He formally announced Wednesday in Saranac Lake that he's in the pool for the NY-21 as a Democrat.

On paper Ratigan has handful of qualities that could make him stand out. He has roots in the district -- born and raised in Saranac Lake, went to Union College, and says he's lived in Lake Placid since 2012. He has significant media skills and experience. And he's got an angry, screw 'em all, populist streak -- see his 2011 rant about the financial crisis.

Ratigan left his MSNBC show in 2012 because he said he was fed up with the state of things. He's since started a company that makes containerized hydroponic farming systems. [NYT 2016]

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Siena Hip-Hop Week 2018: Masta Killa

Siena Hip Hop Week 2018 poster Masta KillaSiena's annual Hip-Hop Week returns in March. And this year's keynote speaker is Masta Kill from the the Wu-Tang Clan -- he'll be at the Loudonville campus March 12 talking about the group's formation and history, their contributions to hip-hop culture, the music industry, and business.

The members of Wu-Tang Clan are, of course, hip hop royalty. From a Forbes interview last year in which Masta Killa reflects on the legacy of the group:

That's still so humbling to me 25 years later, to still be relevant, because if there's no one listening, there is no Wu-Tang. I'm always humbled to be listened to. I'm humbled and thankful that someone was listening. Someone is still wearing that T-shirt and it feels great man. And it has let me know there is still work to do. There's someone out there still hungry for quality, nourishment. Everything that I'm serving over here is vegan, brother.

The keynote is Monday, March 12 at 7 pm in the Sarazen Student Union. It's free and open to the public -- first come, first sit.

This is fifth year for Siena Hip-Hop Week. The lineup of previous keynote speakers has included Chuck D and MC Sha-Rock.

Imagine Dragons at SPAC

rock band Imagine Dragons

The latest pop concert announcement for SPAC: Imagine Dragons on June 29. Tickets go on sale March 3 -- they're $35 (lawn) and up. (There's also a lawn four-pack for $99 while supplies last.)

The opener for the show is singer/songwriter/ukulele player Youtube star Grace VanderWaal.

Imagine Dragons is one of the most popular rock bands of the moment. So we're guessing there's not a small chance this show could sell out.

Live Nation advertises on AOA.

photo via Imagine Dragons Facebook

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: frustration and the unfortunately predictable cycle, Thacher Park, Will Hicok Low, the science fiction writer next door, Alander Mountain, the back corners of the Ecological Park, a very large backyard, the Sloppy David, Karavalli, Sichuan food, kitchen quotes, and pizza.

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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Albany Barn in post ad 2018

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Courtney Barnett at MASS MoCA

musician Courtney Barnett

Indie rock singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett is set to play a show at MASS MoCA July 12. Tickets go on sale this Friday, February 23 -- they're $27 ahead / $37 day of. (There are also various pre-sales this week.)

Barnett's been riding a wave of critical acclaim since her "Avant Gardener" track in 2013 and subsequent debut album in 2015. In the time since she's collaborated with Kurt Vile, and she has a new album set for release this May.

The opener for the MASS MoCA show is Vagabon.

The concert will be on the museum's courtyard stage. It says it expects tickets to sell quickly.

Flooding concerns as ice jams break on Mohawk, pedestrian killed in Albany, former Troy councilman facing harassment charges in Reno, paid parking coming to downtown Saratoga

Mohawk Flooding
The warm temperatures have resulted in an ice jam break on the Mohawk that is beginning to flood the Stockade neighborhood. [Spectrum][Gazette]

Pedestrian death
Albany police are investigating the death of a 92-year-old pedestrian who was hit by a car as she stepped out from between parked vehicles near Washington and Quail Streets on Tuesday night. [TU]

Schenectady Restaurant Week 2018 in-post ad

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Alison Bechdel at HVCC

cartoonist Alison Bechdel

Cartoonist/author Alison Bechdel will be at Hudson Valley Community College March 23 for a talk.

Bechdel is, of course, the author of Fun Home, the award-winning graphic memoir about her childhood. It was later adapted into a Tony-winning stage musical. She's also the creator of the long running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, from which the Bechdel test emerged. She's also won a McArthur "genius" grant.

The event at HVCC is Friday, March 23 from 11 am-1 pm in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium, and will include a talk, Q&A, and book signing. It's free and open to the public.

photo: Elena Seibert

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

Definitely needs a mural. Another spot that is begging for one is the Delaware Ave Price Chopper in Albany. The side along Elm St is a huge gray wall that takes up most of the block!

Good places for a large company picnic?

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