When the leftovers don't make it home...

No precedent: The life of Kate Stoneman

Kate Stoneman composite

By Justin Devendorf

The bar exam is one of the toughest tests anyone seeking a professional license must take. Imagine spending months studying for this one test, cramming different areas of complicated law and legal principles into your brain, hoping you only have to take the test once. And, congratulations, you did it!

Now imagine going to apply for membership in the state bar association -- and you're denied the ability to practice law solely because of your gender.

That exact scenario happened to Albany resident Katherine "Kate" Stoneman in 1886.

And here's what she did about it.

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Piled up

As we miss out on on the Nor'easter of the week (thankfully), the National Weather Service Albany put together a map of snowfall totals from the three storms that have hit this region so far in March. Some of the higher elevation areas to the west and east of Capital Region core have been slammed with four feet of snow. [NWS Albany]

Solar Energy for Everyone info event

rooftop solar panels

A group of environmental and renewable energy orgs are sponsoring a "Solar Energy for Everyone" event March 28 at East Greenbush Methodist Church. Poster blurbage:

Learn about solar options:
1. Install solar panels on your home, property or business
2. Choose a renewable energy electricity supplier
3. Buy or lease solar panels at a community farm
PowerPoint presentation on Community Solar. High Peaks Solar, Hudson Solar and Monolith Solar will be present to answer questions about their community solar farms and onsite solar installations for NYSEG and National Grid customers. You will be able to sign up for a renewable energy electricity supplier.

The event is Wednesday, March 28 from 6:30-8:30 pm. The East Greenbush Methodist Church is at 1 Gilligan Road.

Getting solar panels for your home could be a lot more affordable than you might think. The price of solar panels has been dropping quickly in recent years. And tax credits from the federal government and New York State can cover more than half the cost. Depending on the circumstances -- size of system, location, electricity usage -- the pay back can be in the 6-7 year range.

If you're thinking about getting solar, it's worth checking in with the Solarize Albany group, which offers information about sorting through options and organizes group buying discounts. Its upcoming 2018 campaign will include a focus on solar for affordable housing.

Central Drone New York

The Cuomo admin and others have been trying make the corridor between Syracuse and Rome a hot spot for the drone industry, and Syracuse could become the largest city in the nation to open the way for large-scale deployment of drone for commercial use. Writes Sarah Edwards: "Between the polarities of the violent and benign, immediate issues like privacy and desensitization get less air time. ... Is there a way to address the concerns of anti-drone activists, and can the commercial drone industry ever truly shake its military past? Perhaps most pressingly, will the rise of a new industry actually bring jobs to the people who need them most?" [The Outline]

What's up in the The Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Schenectady pizza, Middle Eastern cuisine, groceries at CVS, baking soda, an aggressive dog, taking shelter, roaming along rivers, prolific Albany artists, Marie Curie, silversmiths, the influence of teachers, and finding balance.



Albany Barn in post ad 2018

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Altered Hours

The sci-fi film Altered Hours -- which was mostly shot in Albany -- is now available via outlets such as iTunes and Amazon's Prime Video. Plot blurbage:

Recovering addict Will Parker experiments with 'Z', a black-market sleeping serum, in order to cure his insomnia. Instead, the drug sends Will's consciousness tripping through time one day into the future, where he's the prime suspect in the disappearance of a young girl he hasn't even met - yet. Surrounded by drug dealers, mad scientists and a hooded figure stalking his every move, Will must piece together the mysteries of his future - and face his harrowing past - before time runs out.

The trailer's embedded above. It includes a bunch of shots that are clearly from Albany. (And the film poster includes the Albany skyline.) The director, Bruce Wemple, is a Bethlehem High School grad.

You might remember that the film had a screening at The Madison last March as The Tomorrow Paradox. Here's a quick review by Sara Foss after she caught it there.

Earlier: Movies that filmed in -- or were set in -- the Capital Region

Car slams into Schenectady school, Nixon debuts gubernatorial campaign, judge won't toss charges against Silver, federal cuts could affect CDTA plan

School threats
+Police will be stationed at Colonie Central High School today following a threatening comment made by a student on a school bus on Tuesday. A letter to parents from the principal says that the threat was not credible but the district was still taking it seriously. [WNYT][TU]

+A 13-year-old Shenendahowa student has been charge with falsely reporting an incident after making a threatening Instagram post.[WNYT][TU]

+Cohoes High School went into lockdown on Tuesday after a student called in a shooting threat that turned out to be false. [TU]

Car slams into school
Schenectady's Martin Luther King Elementary School is closed today, after a car drove through a window and into a classroom overnight. [Spectrum][Gazette]


Great Flats 525 x 80.jpg

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Today's moment of "spring"

unbloomed crocus 2018-03-20

Tuesday was the spring equinox. It still doesn't feel much like spring.

We've been snapping pics of this clump of crocuses every year going back to 2010. And almost a year to the day back in 2017 it was fully in bloom. In fact, The Unofficial Crocus Spring Indicator™ for 2018 is now in the position of second latest since 2010. (Yep, these are all very exciting facts.)

Anyway, we're not sure if we should be be consoling this crocus about the conditions (it's not your fault) or trying to coach it up (you're gonna have to work for it this year!).

An orchard for Washington Park

Washington Park orchard site 2018-03-19

Soon to join the many trees of Albany's Washington Park: eight varieties of apple tree.

Nine Pin Cider and Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook will be planting a small apple orchard on a sunny slope above the lake near the spot where Thurlow Terrace meets the park.

"We have all these statues honoring things around the capital that are important to New York State," said Nine Pin founder Alejandro del Peral this week. "The idea is to put some sort of testament to New York's apple agricultural resource, which is world class."

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"Do you like to eat? Do you like to read?"

Albany Food Book Club book candidates 2018-MayBookmarked: There is an Albany Food Readers Book Club that meets every two months to talk about -- you guessed it -- books about food. Group blurbage:

Do you like to eat? Do you like to read? Do you want to learn more about food? If so, you might enjoy joining our book club: Albany Food Readers! Albany Food Reader's is a local casual book club focusing on books dealing with our food system. The overall goal of this active reading community is to promote overall food awareness. People of all opinions, ideas, locations, and backgrounds are accepted and encouraged to join.
Topics include farming, agriculture, cooking education, nature, ecology, food history, food science, food biographies, and food memoirs. Basically, if it deals with the food system at large, it's right in our wheelhouse.

Here's the list of previous books the club has read.

The group meets in the Honest Weight community room. The next get together is in May when the topic will be either Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line by Michael Gibney or The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef by Marco Pierre White (there's currently an online vote to choose).

International Tuesday at The Low Beat

Celinas Kitchen International Tuesday dishes The Low Beat

By Deanna Fox

How many of you out there went to Valentine's in Albany when it was still around? Raise your hand. (**cups hands over brow bone, squints, peers beyond the spotlight into the audience**)

Ok, so all of you. Now, how many of you made the transition to The Low Beat on Central Avenue?

If you made the pilgrimage across town, chances are it is because you love good music. Owner Howard Glassman -- who opened The Low Beat after Valentine's was forced to close as part of the Park South Urban Renewal Plan -- has a reputation for booking shows that span from hometown hero local bands to (inter)nationally touring acts to esoteric outliers that got a blip mention on Pitchfork half a decade ago.

But if you are new to The Low Beat, it's likely for two reasons: You just turned 18 and can get into shows -- or you've learned about the secret that is Celina's Kitchen.

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The state is looking for someone to design murals for the ESP food court

Empire State Plaza concourse with artThe state Office of General Services is looking for a New York State artist to paint murals on four walls of the recently renovated food court on the Empire State Plaza concourse. Press release blurbage:

OGS is looking for proposals for murals that will reflect the character of the State of New York and that will be made distinctive through the choice of design, color, and subject matter. The design should be suitable and acceptable for public viewing by people of all ages. The content of the murals should not serve as any sort of promotion or branding for any business or organization, or be overtly political in nature.

As this is a government contract job, there's a formal request for quotes process that details requirements and how bids should be submitted. There's also a mandatory site visit April 4 at 3 pm at which bidding artists will be able to ask questions.

OGS says the all-in price for the art work is not to exceed $21,000.

This could be a really cool opportunity -- not just because the work could brighten the day of thousands of people, but also because your work will be on display in the same venue as that of the ESP's extensive art collection.

Shaping up the race for governor, Cuomo admin response to allegations of unaddressed misconduct at state agency, threat prompts students to stay home

Race for governor
+ The Cuomo campaign's response to Cynthia Nixon entering the race for the Democratic nomination: "Governor Cuomo has delivered more real progressive wins than any other Democrat in the country, including passing marriage equality, the strongest gun safety law in the nation, a $15 minimum wage, free college tuition, paid family leave, record setting funding for public education, expanding and protecting healthcare for our most vulnerable, and banning fracking." [State of Politics]
+ An overview of the politics of the Cuomo-Nixon matchup. [Politico NY]
+ Republicans seemed pretty happy about Nixon getting into the race. [Politico NY]

Niko DiNovo
Niko DiNovo -- the Colonie teen badly burned in the Blessings Tavern car crash in 2016 -- died Monday from injuries from the crash. [TU]


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Who owns this street, grinder pumps, just-arrived email, a school expansion, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

Pine Lane Albany NY 2018-03-17

Who owns this street? Good question!

Exciting Tales of the Albany Planning Board is a program recorded before a live studio audience once a month in which the fates of multi-million dollar projects around the city are (partially) decided.

This month: City streets that aren't actually city streets, an entry from the annals of sewer equipment, late-arriving inter-agency email, and school expansion, and more exciting tales...

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Cynthia Nixon is running for governor

It's official: Cynthia Nixon is running for governor. She's lining up a challenge to Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary.

That's her announcement video embedded above. A clip:

I Love New York. I've never wanted to live anywhere else. But something has to change. We want our government to work again on health care, ending mass incarceration, fixing our broken subway. We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us.
(cut to live speech audio) It can't just be business as usual anymore if we're going to get at the root problem of inequity. We have to turn the system upside down. We have to go out ourselves and seize it. This is a time to stick our necks out, to remember where we came from. This is a time to be visible. This is a time to fight.

Nixon is, of course, famous for her role on Sex and the City. She has also been an activist for a range of causes, particularly increasing funding for New York City's public schools.

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Miranda Sings at The Egg

comedian Miranda Sings Colleen Ballinger

The comedy act Miranda Sings will be at The Egg July 13. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $39.50 and up.

The title for the show is "Miranda Sings Live... No Offense with special guest Colleen Ballinger." Miranda Sings is the YouTube-famous act -- Colleen Ballinger is the comedian / actor who plays her. Blurbage:

The character Miranda was created in 2008 and became mainstream when Colleen received a personal call from Jerry Seinfeld to appear on his series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and subsequently The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. 'Miranda's' origins were intended as a parody of the young, self-absorbed singers with more far more confidence (and vibrato) than talent which Colleen saw uploading videos to YouTube. Miranda is known for her overdrawn red lips, questionable advice about singing and life, a deluded self-confidence, and over-the-top rants about her family and personal problems.

"Miranda" is also the basis for the Netflix series Haters Back Off!

More recently-announced comedy shows
+ March 31: Pretty Much The Best Comedy Show: Julie Kottakis at Proctors
+ April 7: Cuzin Maine at Troy Music Hall
+ May 18: Nick Swardson at The Egg

Hungry Hollow closing

The Hungry Hollow -- the long-planned cafe in the Sheridan Hollow neighborhood redevelopment -- is set close after lunch this Friday, Steve Barnes reports. [TU Table Hopping]

The NCAA women's basketball regional is at the TU Center later this week

Times Union Center exterior 2018-03-01

Let's look ahead to the weekend: One of the NCAA women's basketball regionals will be at the TU Center this Saturday and the following Monday. The series of three games will decide one of the teams for the women's tournament final four.

The field of four teams for Albany regional isn't set just yet. Three games this evening (Monday) at other sites will narrow the field. But...

+ There's a very good chance that one of the teams will be undefeated, #1 ranked UConn -- women's college basketball's Death Star just has to find a way to somehow slip past the powerhouse that is Quinnipiac. The Huskies beat St. Francis (PA) in the first round 140-52. Yep, 140-52. Presuming they win Monday night, they'll bring a big crowd to Albany. UConn has won the title 11 times.

+ And the group of four already includes #2 seed South Carolina, which won the title last year.

All-session tickets for the games at the TU Center start at $40 for adults / $20 for kids and seniors. Single-session tickets start at $21 for adults / $12 for kids.

Future years: The TU Center is set to host the women's tournament again in 2019, and the men's tournament in 2020.

Allegations of harassment at state agency, Rensselaer community turns out to support families, the Skyway and cynicism, Orange madness

Abuse allegations at state agency
Brendon Lyons reports that a(n unreleased) state Inspector General's investigation found that a top official at the state Division of Criminal Justice Services threatened female employees and engaged in years of sexual harassment, racism, and ageism -- but the official was not disciplined and two women who testified as part of the investigation were punished. [TU]

Cole crash trial
From Friday: A Saratoga County court jury found John W. Cole guilty of felony assault, driving while ability impaired, and reckless driving -- and acquitted him of two other charges -- for the March 2017 crash in Halfmoon that left one of his passengers a quadriplegic. He faces two to seven years at sentencing. Scott Shapiro -- the husband of Deanna Shapiro, was seriously injured: "There are clearly no winners here, the impact on both my family and John's family cannot be understated." [Daily Gazette] [TU x2]

Rensselaer fatal fire
+ Rensselaer police say the cause of the Mann Ave. house fire that killed members of a family appears to have an electrical problem that was accidental. [News10]
+ There was an all-day community fundraiser in Rensselaer Sunday to benefit the Mann Ave family as well as the children of a Rensselaer woman who was recently found dead in the Hudson. [TU]


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The week ahead

cartoonist Alison Bechdel

Cartoonist/author Alison Bechdel will be at HVCC later this week. / photo: Elena Seibert

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (hope for spring), to film, to words, to stomping, to eggs, to poetry, to comedy, to all sorts of music...


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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

Washington Avenue definitely needs more than one lane in each direction, but that doesn't mean it can't be redesigned. They can reduce the size of the lanes, add a median, and add a protected bike lane where the shoulder of the road now lies. I agree, however, that the entire Harriman loop would have to be redesigned and that includes those over-passes, so this would be an extremely expensive undertaking if they want to do it right. But there could be significant development on the land that is now wasted by asphalt that could offset that cost and bulk up the tax base for the city.

An orchard for Washington Park

...has 3 comments, most recently from Craig

Morning Blend for Mar 21

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The state is looking for someone to design murals for the ESP food court

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International Tuesday at The Low Beat

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Cynthia Nixon is running for governor

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