This week was brought to you by some tulips coming up, a few snowflakes coming down & startups...starting up.
It was also brought to you by New World Bistro Bar -- Serving Mother's Day brunch on Sunday, May 10. Get your reservations now.
Here's a list of other folks that made your AOA fix possible this week. Without them, we couldn't bring you the information you've come to expect. They support what is important to you, so please support them when you can.
Want to advertise on AOA? It's easy and affordable. Just send us a note at email@example.com and we'll get you started.
Stuff to learn
UAlbany's History Department, offering an M.A. and Ph.D. in Environmental History. Explore the human connection to nature.
Ways to get where you're going
Capital Car Share. Share cars for just $8 an hour.
CDTA: whether it's work or play, CDTA can get you where you're going and safely back home again.
Keeler Mini, sponsor of AOA's Tournament of Pizza to end all Tournaments of Pizza.
Stuff to do
Capital Repertory Theater, presenting Hamlet, April 17 through May 10.
Historic Albany Foundation, partnering with Albany Stories in Am I On , an effort to gather stories of the Capital City.
The Mop & Bucket Improv Company. MopCo offers a new improv show every Friday night at Proctors with music, scenes and improv games based on audience suggestions. They're also teaching classes in improv and creativity for adults and kids at MopCo World Headquarters on Union Street in Schenectady.
The Albany Institute of History and Art's Triple Play exhibit, a look back at the history of baseball in the Capital Region.
Places to live
Brian Brosen and Reggie Monroe at The Capital Team at Realty USA,created a bonafide tournament of pizza miracle, when they bought out all of the tickets to the TOP final at Shmaltz brewing and gave them away to 100 hungry readers. In addition to being pizza philanthropists, Brian and Reggie can help out with your residential and commercial real estate needs in the Capital Region. Because that's how they roll.
Food and Drink
Umana Restaurant and Wine Bar, serving Ethiopian fare every Friday and Saturday evening with traditional Ethiopian flatbread (Injera), and choice of vegetarian choices or meat all seasoned with special Ethiopian spices (berbere).
Honest Weight Food Coop. Eat healthy, eat local.
Farmie Market -- Farm fresh food delivered right to your door.
New World Bistro Bar, named #1 Best Restaurant, according to Times Union 'Best of the Capital Region' Readers' Poll and also listed as one of 'the 13 Best New York Restaurants, not in NYC' according to Thrillist.com.
New World Catering, from weddings and big parties to small gatherings in your home.
Broadway Plaza Liquor is now open at 418 Broadway, next to Coulson's News.
Capital Wine at the corner of State and Lark Streets, with a wonderful supply of wines from around the world.
Staff Ciampino & Company, P.C.. Staff Ciampino can help you with all of your business and personal accounting needs. They're also sponsors of the All Over Albany Start Up Grant business contest, so they're not only good at what they do, they're supporters of other small businesses in the Capital Region.
Historic home help
Historic Albany's architectural parts warehouse -- the Capital Region's only not-for-profit architectural parts warehouse.
Berkshire Bank, providing the $1,500 prize money for this year's AOA Startup Contest. Great rates on home equity loans.
The Albany Public Libraries. Their mobile app helps you find library locations and hours, check your library card account, learn about upcoming events, download eBooks, audiobooks, music and more. You can even check ISBN bar codes on books, DVDs and CDs to see if the library owns what you need.
Bethlehem Public Library
The Bethlehem Public Library is hosting a series of career seminars to help you get the job you want.
Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:
+ The finalists for the AOA Startup Grant pitched their ideas to the judges, and the winner is...
+ We heard a bit about how the city of Albany is planning for a possible next life of the landmark St. Joseph's church building.
+ The Normanskill was blocked by a landslide.
+ Here are a bunch of facts about the Normanskill, which winds its way through both the area's geography and history.
+ The are monuments in Saratoga that commemorate Benedict Arnold. Yep, the traitor.
+ The city of Albany's second food truck pilot program will include up to 25 trucks.
+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: the tests, Sufjan space at home, the Catskills, spring, tangled, the King of Washington Park, the Tour de Soft Serve, cheese and beer, brunch on the patio, Next Door Kitchen, pastry, Vermont, and quite the place.
+ Sean asked about parks with climbable stuff for kids.
+ Here are a bunch of upcoming plant sales this spring.
+ Albany's red light camera program is set to start sometime this summer.
Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea or photo this week!
here are the loose bison surrounding my car earlier pic.twitter.com/PoWYsppyEK— Patrick Dodson (@patrickdodson) April 24, 2015
At a press conference Friday afternoon, officials explained the reasoning for shooting the bison -- the short story: bison aren't really domesticated, and they can be dangerous. (The comments from the Cornell Cooperative Extension official about how the bison are different from regular beef cattle were interesting -- we're trying to find a link to the whole video.) [Capital]
(By the way: Patrick's also on Instagram, you know, in case you'd like to also follow him there.)
The city of Albany's red light camera system will start operating within the next two months, the Albany Police Department said Friday as part of an announcement about the selection of vendor for the system.
The city has picked GATSO USA to provide the equipment for the 20 intersections that will get cameras as part of the new system.
A couple of key details from the announcement:
Ready, set... weekend.
There is no shortage of things going on in the Capital Region this weekend. You may not have time to do them all, but after the jump, we pulled together a few we thought you might want to try.
Got something planned that didn't make our list? Share it in the comments so the rest of us can see.
And whatever you're planning, have a fantastic weekend!
Keeping an eye on level of Normanskill, Comcast-TWC deal off, the old and new pot economies, bison on the run
Some residents along the Normanskill say they're still worried about potential flooding from the landslide this week. The city of Albany announced Friday morning that all 18 holes of the Capital Hills golf course, which borders the landslide area and has been used to access the blockage, will be open this weekend. [TU] [city of Albany press release]
Ferguson looked to Albany
The city of Ferguson, Missouri has been in contact with officials in Albany to learn about Albany's experience with community policing, the chair of Albany's Citizens Police Review Board tells WNYT. [WNYT]
Plug pulled on Comcast-TWC merger
Comcast has called off its plan to buy Time Warner Cable after the federal government said it had "significant concerns" that the combined entity would control internet access for too large a portion of the country -- as much as 40 percent. (Consumer advocates had been against the deal from the start -- one had called a merger of the two companies with notoriously bad customer service "badness squared.") TWC has about 300,000 subscribers in the Capital Region. [NYT] [US DOJ] [NYT] [Washington Post 2014] [TU]
Recycled: This post featuring five questions from last year's state 8th grade math standardized test bubbled back up this week, probably because of the state tests in schools this week. When we first posted it people seemed eager to test themselves against the questions -- so if you missed it the first time, have at it. (We won't time you.)
The Urban Raid 5k obstacle course will be back in downtown Albany September 12. Registration currently starts at $30. Blurbage:
Starting and finishing inside the Times Union Center the 3.1 mile Urban RAID course will take racers past the Capitol, Lincoln Park and other Albany landmarks. Along the way runners will be asked to complete a series of 10-12 massive obstacles including a two-story high Cargo Climb, Marine Hurdles, Ropes and the signature RAID Series Wall. Post-race, a consumer festival will be held right on the Times Union floor featuring music, a sponsor village, and the Shocktop Beer Garden!
Urban RAID Albany is open to men and women of all fitness levels over the age of 16 who desire a new challenge. In addition to open age divisions for both male and female racers, Urban RAID Albany also welcomes teams made up of a 3-10 racers.
"Consumer festival" is a new term to us.
Silvia ran the race last year -- here's her recap.
More odd 5k-type events
+ The Color Me Rad 5k will be back at Saratoga Spa State Park October 4. (This event sold out last year.)
+ This isn't a 5k, but it's sort of in the same category: A event called Slide the City is planning to make a stop in the Albany area this year. From what we can tell, it's basically a 1000-foot-long slip 'n slide. The date hasn't been announced yet (but August 8 looks like a good bet).
screengrab: Raid Series Youtube
The They Might Be Giants show at Upstate Concert Hall earlier this week reminded us of the duo's song about The Egg.
What? You haven't hear TMBG's song about The Egg? It's embedded above.
A bunch of years ago we talked with John Flansburgh about the tune, which was part of the band's "venue songs" project:
The whole venue songs project was a way to give the band a creative challenge doing a tour that was remarkably similar to previous tours. So we just decided we would write a new song for every show. Some of the songs are specifically about the venue and others are a little more vague or about a theoretical idea about the venue that might not even be true.
The song "The Egg" is one of the few songs I've ever written while driving.But "The Egg" is actually a very good example of a song that is really responding to the extraordinary qualities of the venue itself. I mean how many venues are like The Egg, you know -- none. It's sui generis as they say in the legal profession.
The song "The Egg" is one of the few songs I've ever written while driving. I recorded it on a tape recorder singing out loud. When I got to the parking lot of The Egg I sat in the back of my car and put some chords to it and then I gave it to the band and we played it that night.
By the way: They Might Be Giants also have a song called "Canajoharie."
With the Normanskill in the news this week, we thought it'd be interesting to look into the stream's course through this area -- both in geography and history. We started with the intent of digging up one fact or bit for each mile of the Normanskill -- but, frankly, we lost count.
So here is an undetermined number of facts or bits about the Normanskill.
The biannual Pass It On consignment sale for kids stuff is set to return May 1-3 at the SportsPlex in Clifton Park. Admission is free.
The sale is now in its 13th year and it's very popular. It includes tons of new or "gently used" kids stuff at good prices. Blurbage:
At Pass It On you will find clothing (sizes newborn to juniors) toys, books, videos, baby equipment (strollers, swings, etc.), sports equipment, children's furniture and more! Clothing is inspected to ensure the highest quality and our sales floor is extremely organized for the best shopping experience.
The first day of the sale is open to consignors and first-time parents. (First-time parent registration is already full -- it fills up very quickly. Keep an eye out for it for the fall sale later this summer.) The sale opens to the general public Saturday, May 2 from 8 am-8 pm. Like anything of this sort, the earlier you go, the better the selection. And then Sunday, May 3 is half-price from 8 am-2 pm.
Here's a look at the Pass It On Sale from way back in 2008 when it was at a different venue.
A handful of similar sales have popped up in recent years, and it looks like plans for some of the are up in the air.
The Encore Kids consignment sale is set to open to the general public May 16-17 at the SportsPlex.
Got Kids? Sale
The Got Kids? Sale, which had been at the Frear Park ice rink in Troy, appears to be in flux -- a fall sale is in the works.
Old is New
The Old is New consignment sale for women's and men's clothing appears to be looking for a new spot.
Sheehan wants "full reimbursement" for Normanskill repair work, more Common Core exams & more opt-outs, stolen phone leads to pop-star status in China
Reimbursement for Normans Kill
Mayor Kathy Sheehan's office says Albany plans to seek "full reimbursement " for its handling of the landslide at the privately owned Normanside Country Club that blocked the Normanskill earlier this week. So far the damage is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Normanside Country Club managing partner David Hostig says the landslide that blocked the Normanskill this week was an "act of god," but Bethlehem supervisor John Clarkson says the club began grading work on the slope before receiving a permit.[TU][CBS6][TU]
More Common Core, more opt-outs
Wednesday saw another round of common core exams and another round of boycotts. The overwhelming number of students who have opted out of Common Core testing has some legislators considering changes to the education section of the state budget. [TU][Gazette][TWCN]
Dontay Ivy's family still seeking answers
Albany Police Department has still not revealed why officers originally stopped Dontay Ivy, the mentally ill man who died after being tasered by police more than three weeks ago. [TU]
Autopsy shows narcotics in one-year-old
An autopsy shows a Washington County one-year-old who died in February had narcotics in her system [Post Star]
As the April rain falls and the grass regains its green, we're thinking about all the things that will be growing soon. And maybe some of those things will be growing in your garden.
Here's a quick list of some upcoming plant sales...
The Troy Bike Rescue is offering a Smart Cycling class on May 1 (6-9 pm) and May 2 (10 am-4 pm). "If you're a new cyclist who wants to start riding more or an experienced cyclist who'd like to pick up some extra tips, this class is for you." The class is $40 -- here's how to register. [via Randal]
In our kid-free days my wife and I liked exploring different bars + restaurants across the region. Now that we have a kid, we like exploring parks! Our kid is just old enough where he can navigate playscapes at the park by himself. Aside from the small rotation of parks we like to hit near our house in Albany, we'd love to branch out and explore some really amazing parks in the region at large. Do you have any favorites or know of any especially fun ones that you can reach within an hour featuring something a 2+ year old can climb on? If so, we'd love to hear about them!
Some of the parks around the region that Lauren highlighted last summer/fall have some fun things for kids to climb around on.
Got a specific suggestion for Sean and his family? Please share!
Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: the tests, Sufjan space at home, the Catskills, spring, tangled, the King of Washington Park, the Tour de Soft Serve, cheese and beer, brunch on the patio, Next Door Kitchen, pastry, Vermont, and quite the place.
Over at the Biz Review, Mike DeMasi talked with the owners of two local taxi companies about the recent push for taxi-app companies to set up in the Capital Region, and how they view the local taxi market. [Biz Review] Earlier: Alongside the push for Uber
A few food/media programs this summer in Rensselaerville that might interest some people:
Longhouse Food Scholars Program
This year's Longhouse Food Scholars Program is July 5-19 and July 26-August 9. Its mission "is to prepare participants for careers in food media, activism, food writing, and food-related entrepreneurial ventures." Additional blurbage:
The Food Scholars Program is structured like a newsroom, intense and fast-paced, with distinct deadlines and deliverables. Working with masters of their craft, scholars shoot and edit mini-documentaries and slide-shows, conduct interviews, gather oral histories, and create online content.
This food media "boot camp" includes daily writing exercises, weekly specialty seminars in recipe testing, studio and location food photography, basic culinary skills, weekly "salon" dinners with food authors, professors and intellectuals, and professional mentoring sessions.
In addition, each scholar is responsible for creating a personal, online portfolio--drawing from this work as well as any additional work he or she may have.
The founder of the program is longtime food writer Molly O'Neill.
The application process is competitive -- "selection is based on a passion for food and storytelling, a well-established appetite for learning, and well-stated career goals." We hear that they'd welcome some more applicants from upstate, so it could be a point in your favor.
Longhouse Food Revival
This year's Longhouse Food Revival is again set for September (it looks like the exact dates haven't been released, yet). The event "combines original multimedia presentations, curated discussions, insight from leading thinkers in food and plenty of time to make new friends, forge new connections and inspire and brew new ideas."
Albany County has state's second lowest unemployment rate, body found in Hudson River, federal judge approves Albany County political map, 45 years of Earth Day
Today is Earth Day. The first Earth Day was celebrated 45 years ago. That's also the day the first Earth Day legislation was signed in New York State, creating the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation -- one of the first government agencies specifically formed for the purpose of overseeing all environmental concerns through one organization.
Federal judge approves Albany County political map
A federal judge gave his approval on Tuesday to the new district map for the Albany County Legislature, effectively ending a four year voting rights lawsuit stemming from the 2011 map, which was alleged to have violated the Voting Rights Act by diluting the power of African-American voters.[TU]
Forensic scientists face termination
Fifteen forensic scientists with the State Police have been suspended without pay and issued termination notices following a six-month internal investigation that revealed unauthorized information sharing on training exams for a new computer-based form of DNA analysis.[TU]
The field for this year's AOA Startup Grant was deep.
Many of the entries would have been worthy finalists, but there could only be three. And each of the finalists would have been a worthy winner, but there could only one.
Monday evening at the College of Saint Rose we found out which project took the prize.
And you can always try searching for it: