Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Washington Avenue Extension Westbound Closed this Weekend in Albany

Watch for Westbound Closure on Washington Avenue Extension This Weekend

Motorists are advised that a stretch of westbound Washington Avenue Extension in the City of Albany will be closed starting Friday night and through the weekend as part of an ongoing road reconstruction project.

The closure of the 1.3-mile stretch of Washington Avenue Extension from Fuller Road to Springsteen Road is necessary as the New York State Department of Transportation continues its $7 million project to rehabilitate the pavement of this road.

The closure for only westbound traffic is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and end by 6 a.m. on Monday.

Eastbound Washington Avenue Extension will remain open during the westbound closure.

During the closure, traffic will be detoured using Fuller Road, Western Avenue and New Karner Road (Route 155).

Motorists are further advised that a closure in the eastbound direction of Washington Avenue Extension between Springsteen Road and Fuller Road is scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 16 to 19 during similar hours.

Work is weather permitting.

It is imperative that motorists remember to drive carefully in the vicinity of this construction zone, for their own safety and the safety of workers.

Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver’s license.

For up-to-date travel information, call 511, visit www.511NY.org, or our new mobile site at m.511ny.org.

Follow New York State DOT on Twitter: @NYSDOT. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/NYSDOT. For tweets from New York State DOT Region 1 (covering the Capital Region), follow @NYSDOTAlbany.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Capital Roots raises $90,000 at 9th annual Autumn Evening in the Garden

Celebrating 40 Years of Fresh Food for All in the Capital Region

TROY – Capital Roots raised a record-breaking $90,000 (up 23 percent from the previous year) at their 9th annual ‘Autumn Evening in the Garden’ gala held September 17 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy.

The local non-profit hosted nearly 350 people, for whom 20 of the region’s top chefs and bakers created culinary samples using fresh, seasonal ingredients donated by 40 local farmers. Nine beverage purveyors were also on hand, serving samples of favorite local wine, beer and spirits. Guests mingled with chefs, farmers and friends during this strolling supper while listening to the sounds of the Neil Brown Jazz Quartet. The event kicked off the nonprofit’s 40th anniversary celebration which will continue for the next year.

In honor of the anniversary, restaurateur (and local celebrity auctioneer) LeGrande Serras helped the organization raise $32,000 during the gala’s first ever live auction, supporting two of the organization’s seven programs.

Proceeds from the event benefit 51 Community Gardens, the Veggie Mobile®, the Produce Project, Healthy Stores, Squash Hunger and Capital Roots’ other programs – all of which increase access to fresh, affordable food in our region’s underserved neighborhoods.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating 40 years of nourishing healthy communities throughout the Capital Region,” said Capital Roots’ Executive Director Amy Klein. “This is an exciting milestone for our organization. The gala gives us the opportunity to recognize our success, while anticipating what’s in store for the future.”

Photo Credit: Liz Lajeunesse
(Contact Rebecca Whalen for high resolution versions of photos and additional photo information­)

The 2015 Capital Region chefs and bakers featured at
Capital Roots’ 9th Annual ‘Autumn Evening in the Garden.’

Representatives from Albany Distilling Company at
Capital Roots’ 9th Annual ‘Autumn Evening in the Garden.’
Restaurateur LeGrande Serras (left) and Capital Roots Board President
Michael Whiteman (right)at Capital Roots’ 9th Annual ‘Autumn Evening in the Garden.’

Capital Roots is a 40-year-old nonprofit organization that nourishes healthy communities with more than 50 Community Gardens, The Veggie Mobile®, Healthy Stores, The Produce Project, Squash Hunger and more. Capital Roots is headquartered at The Urban Grow Center, a regional food hub focused on urban agriculture and produce distribution to four counties, enabling Capital Roots to triple our ability to deliver fresh food and services to underserved neighborhoods and low-income families. Learn more at www.capitalroots.org.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Albany Man Pleaded Guilty in Hit and Run Case

District Attorney P. David Soares announced today that LAMAR JACKSON, 34, of Albany, pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting, a Class D Felony, before the Honorable Judge Peter Lynch in Albany County Court this afternoon.  

On April 13, 2015, at approximately 8:17 p.m., in the area of State Route 5 in the Town of Colonie, JACKSON was driving a car when he struck and killed a person who was crossing the street.

JACKSON fled the scene and discarded the car off a side street in a parking lot on Kraft Avenue.

JACKSON faces 2-6 years in State Prison when he is sentenced on December 4, 2015.

Vehicular Crimes Bureau Chief Mary Tanner-Richter is prosecuting this case.

For more information please contact the Albany County District Attorney’s Office at (518) 487-5460.

Albany Rural Cemetery Tour October 4

Lansingburgh Historical Society Presents A Tour of Albany Rural Cemetery Led by Michael Barrett Sunday, October 4, 2015 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
Albany Rural Cemetery is the third oldest rural cemetery in the nation, and one of the largest, with an estimated 120,000 burials. Many of the most prominent Capital District families are here, as are some astonishing monuments & mausoleums.

(Wikipedia photo)

“Residents” include President Chester A. Arthur, Gen. Phillip Schuyler, the Cornings and Thachers, Henry Burden, the Van Rensselaers and many others. This will be a driving and walk around tour that will cover a very nice overview of the grandeur of this historic treasure.
Tour will assemble at the cemetery entrance off Rte. 378. Parking is available.

Neil J. Kelleher is New Chairman of Hudson Valley Community College Board of Trustees

TROY >> Neil J. Kelleher of Lansingburgh, a retired employee and alumnus of Hudson Valley Community College and former chairman of the Rensselaer County Legislature, was elected chairman of the college’s Board of Trustees at the board’s annual meeting on Tuesday.
“With decades of career service to the college and his lengthy legislative experience, I am confident that Neil Kelleher will lead the Board of Trustees with a strong vision and a willingness to make this great institution even greater,” said President Drew Matonak. “I am pleased that Neil has taken on this leadership role, and I look forward to working him.”
Kelleher replaces The Honorable Conrad H. Lang Jr., a retired Rensselaer County Surrogate Court Judge, who has served as chairman since 2011. Lang did not seek re-election, but will remain on the board.
“I would like to sincerely thank Judge Lang for his leadership at the helm of the board over the past four years,” said President Matonak. “His hard work and dedication carries on the Lang family tradition of service to Hudson Valley Community College.”
“Serving on the same board as Judge Lang is an immense honor in itself. To be succeeding him as chair is amazing and truly humbling,” said Neil Kelleher. “As a graduate of Hudson Valley, I fully understand the many opportunities provided by the college. I am one success story among thousands.”
The Lang Technical Building on the Hudson Valley Community College campus is named for Conrad H. Lang Sr., the outgoing chairman’s father. The elder Lang was an original member of the college’s Board of Trustees from 1953 to 1976 and served as chairman from 1973 to 1976.
Re-elected to the position of vice chairman was Joseph A. Kapp, who has served on the board since 2003.
Kelleher retired from Hudson Valley in 2010 after 23 years as a physical plant supervisor and special assistant to the president for capital projects. He was a member of the Rensselaer County Legislature from 1990 to 2010, serving the last 14 years as its chair. In his role as a legislator, he worked with the college on capital projects, budgets and master plans. He was first appointed to the college’s Board of Trustees in 2011.
The ten-member board of trustees is the governing body of the college, overseeing administrative and academic matters. Kelleher’s appointment to the board in 2011 was made by the county legislature, which appoints five members of the board; four other members are appointed by the governor of New York; and a current student, elected annually by the student body.
A 1991 graduate of Hudson Valley Community College, Kelleher received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2000 for his many civic and charitable accomplishments.
Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Colonie Supervisor Candidate Reacts to Assessment of Town Finances

Campaign News:

Promises fiscal responsibility, accountable advocacy for working families

            Colonie Town Supervisor candidate Christine Benedict (R,C,I-Colonie) today issued the following statement regarding Comptroller DiNapoli’s assessment of town finances:

            “The findings from the comptroller’s office demonstrate my opponent’s inability to budget with pragmatism and unwillingness to listen to Colonie families. The comptroller says that our town is under financial stress.  Our unacceptable rating from last year did not improve.

            “Supervisor Mahan is spending too much on the wrong things.  Our finances are squeezed even though our roads are in disrepair and our police force is understaffed. I’ll invest in public safety and revitalizing our infrastructure instead of bloating the town payroll with my family members.  Hardworking families in Colonie need to stick to a budget that reflects sound priorities, and I’ll run our town the same way.”

            “Supervisor Mahan has shown a penchant for blaming bad news on previous administrations. After eight years in office, the excuses are wearing thin. Supervisor Mahan has simply failed to set our finances straight, and I’m ready to do the job on day one.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Oakwood Chapel Benefit Slated for October 22

TROY - Oakwood Cemetery’s 14th Annual Evening at the Earl benefit is just one month away! On Thursday October 22 from 5PM – 8PM the Friends of Oakwood will once again host their fund-raiser in support of the spectacular National Historic Landmark Gardner Earl Chapel. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the interior of this amazing structure, this event will add a delightful spin to your visit. 

Reservations can be made at 1-800-556-6273. Please specify “Gala” and leave your name, number and how many people. Tickets are just $65.pp Pay on arrival. Credit cards are accepted for this event.

Held inside the magnificent “jewel of Oakwood”, the gala will provide catered food, hot and cold butlered hors d’oeuvres, wine and coffee. Fantastic bargains can be won with the highest bids for the Silent Auction baskets.

(from http://www.oakwoodcemetery.org/)

This year’s offerings include a Paint & Sip basket, Wine & Cheese, Chocolate, Movie Night, and a Microbrew basket, just to name a few. The highest bidder for our Thanksgiving basket will win wine, a Grandma’s Pie Shop gift card, clever pie serving dishes, Dove chocolate cranberries, and lots more. And if you think you’ll need a day to recover after Thanksgiving, just place the winning bid on our Relaxation basket too and you can enjoy a massage, soothing lotions, etc. Come and bid on these awesome treasures and lots more! All proceeds go to the Oakwood Restoration Fund.

We will honor Russell Sage College as an Organization of Excellence, in recognition of their centennial, their brilliant leadership and their commitment to excellence in education.

Entries submitted for our 2nd Annual Photo Contest will be on display and the top 3 winners will be there as our guests. See our wonderful cemetery from their fascinating perspectives.

Join your friends for an evening of food and fun. Come and help support Oakwood’s restoration as we continue to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Earl Chapel.

Troy community kicks off school year

Troy, NY – This past weekend hundreds of Troy community members, students and families came out at various locations to kick off the 2015-2016 school year. Troy Middle School started things off with a massive block party at Prospect Park on Friday, September 18.Saturday’s festivities included another block party at School 2 and a carnival at Carroll Hill School.

Troy Middle School’s Block party included a rock climbing wall and even a live broadcast from KISS 102.3 FM’s DJ D Scott. Other partners at this event included the Troy City Police Department, Stewart’s Shops, the Boys and Girls Club, TEAM H.E.R.O, "The Block" Youth Program, YMCA and Price Chopper.

“At Troy City School District, we appreciate the relationship we have with all of our stakeholders. This includes parents, teachers, administrators and community partners that help provide for our kids in so many ways. Community events like these not only celebrate the start of a new school year, but they remind everyone that we’re all in it together.” 

School 2’s block party also served as a kickoff to Project P.R.O.M.I.S.E, a school-wide initiative designed to connect learning, character development and family engagement. As a community school, School 2 serves as the neighborhood hub. Families know their children will get the services they need such as mental health resources, counseling, and health and dental care, food and transportation. Saturday’sevent was just one more way to bring the community together.

Community partners at School 2’s Block Party included Boys & Girls Club, CEO, Girls Scouts, TRIP and the Sunnyside Center.

Sponsored by their PTO, Carroll Hill School’s carnival included food donated by Sodexo, a bounce house and even a dunking booth in which students had the opportunity to soak their teachers and Principal Casey Parker. In addition, the Junior League of Troy was present to provide books to each student in hopes of encouraging literacy at home.

Parker said, the event is the perfect way to bring the community together.

“It’s a nice way to let teachers and parents get to know each other and socialize in a less formal setting,” he said. “Students get to see their teachers and principal in plain clothes as part of the community we strive for at Carroll Hill School.”

Park Playhouse - Palace Theatre Expand Educational and Theatrical Partnership

ALBANY - Partners continue enhancing collaboration to host year-round workshops in newly renovated studio & classroom space, as well as an expanded slate of family-oriented productions on the Palace stage sponsored by Berkshire Bank. 

Albany, NY: Park Playhouse announced the next steps in its collaboration with the Palace Performing Arts Center today, including a series of year-round education initiatives housed in a renovated wing of the Palace’s nearly 100-year-old structure. Over 700 square feet of space, previously used for storage, has been converted into functional dance and acting studios, complete with high ceilings & professional-grade, Harlequin sprung flooring. The studios will be used to host arts education programming for students of the Capital Region and as rehearsal spaces for an expanded program of Park Playhouse’s scholastic productions (which reach upwards of 15,000 Capital Region students through free performances at The Palace and school tours). The Palace will also make this space available for rent to other arts groups in need of rehearsal, instructional or meeting space.  Details on upcoming programs & productions appear below:

Park Playhouse instructors will offer a variety of tuition-based theatre classes being offered in 10-week sessions. These classes are designed to cater to both beginner and advanced students between the ages of 8-18.

For students ages 8-12, Performing Artist’s Workshop is aimed at giving beginner and intermediate-level students a well-rounded musical theatre education. These classes provide fundamental skills with each student training in the basics of dance, acting, and voice technique during each weekly 90-minute class. Classes are held Wednesdays.

For students 12 and over, a series of Theatrical Dance Classes help build the fundamental abilities needed to excel as a dancer and artist on stage. Classes are technique-based, with the focus on building skills and not preparation for recital performances.

Finally, for students ages 15-18, Park Playhouse is introducing a new class focused exclusively on the art of acting. Advanced Scene Study will cover topics including rehearsal preparation, scoring of scenes, monologue presentation, audition preparation, in-depth scene analysis and improvisation. Classes are held Thursdays.

The Palace Theatre is presenting a new free Urban Arts Series, giving locals students a tuition free opportunity to learn to express themselves through a variety of performing arts styles.

Park Playhouse will partner with Broadway Connection to bring professional Broadway artists 
to the Palace in Albany for a series of diverse two-hour master classes.

Broadway Connection is a unique 7-session Master Class Series featuring teaching artists from the National Tour productions coming to Proctors during the 2015-2016 Season. The two-hour classes cover topics drawn from a wide variety of performance disciplines, based on the style of the show in which the visiting artists are featured. Classes will culminate in open question & answer sessions with Broadway Connection instructors, all of whom have significant experience performing on Broadway and in touring productions. Students can sign up for individual sessions or the full series of master classes.

Park Playhouse will present A Year with Frog and Toad, Freedom Train, and Freckleface Strawberry as free school-time shows – Sponsored by BERKSHIRE BANK – as well as performances available to the public at the Palace, and will bring touring versions of the shows to area schools.  Public performances feature free admission for children twelve years of age and under.

 A Year with Frog and Toad 
•    Public Performance: Nov. 8
•    FREE Palace Theatre School-Time Performance: Nov. 9
•    Local School Tour: Nov. 9-20
•    A hit on Broadway, A Year With Frog And Toad was nominated for 3 TONY Awards, including Best Musical. Based on Arnold Lobel's much-loved books, this whimsical show follows two great friends, the cheerful Frog and the grumpy Toad, through four, fun-filled seasons. A Year With Frog And Toad tells a story of friendship and loyalty that endures all obstacles. 

Freedom Train 
•    Public Performance: Feb. 7
•    FREE Palace Theatre School-Time Performance: Feb. 8
•    Local School Tour: Feb 1-12
•    Freedom Train tells the thrilling story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad in a fascinating series of highly theatrical scenes using the period’s rich musical tradition. It is a story of self-sacrifice, dedication and survival, laced with warmth and a sense of humor that celebrates the human spirit -- a universal story for all. 

Freckleface Strawberry 
•    Public Performance: May 15
•    FREE Palace Theatre School-Time Performance:  May 16
•    Local School Tour: May 9-20
•    Freckleface Strawberry The Musical, based on the beloved New York Times Best Selling book by celebrated actress Julianne Moore, is a fun and touching family musical where Freckleface must learn to love her freckles and love herself. With the help of her loveable schoolmates including an amazing ballerina, a cute jock, and a totally kooky teacher, Freckleface learns that everyone is different - and that's what makes everyone special. 

Park Playhouse students will, once again, present a stage version of the holiday classic 
A Charlie Brown Christmas live on stage at the Palace Theatre in December – Sponsored by KeyBank.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
•    Performances: Dec. 19 and Dec. 20
•    Park Playhouse is pleased to present the second annual production of this holiday classic live on stage at the Palace Theatre, through support from presenting sponsor KeyBank. Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang grapple with the real meaning of Christmas in this delightful production, featuring the classic music of the Vince Guaraldi Trio and a host of other holiday favorites. Over 20 of Park Playhouse’s students, many returning following their summer productions of The Pajama Game and Cinderella will perform this second annual edition of a family classic, along with a trio of local musicians. 

NOTE: TICKETS FOR PUBLIC PERFORMANCES OF ALL THE ABOVE-LISTED PRODUCTIONS ARE ON SALE NOW. Adult tickets to each production are $20. KIDS 12 & UNDER ARE FREE AT ALL OF THESE PUBLIC PERFORMANCES. Tickets are available at the Palace box office, by calling the box office at (518) 465-4663, or by visiting Ticketmaster

More information about Arts Education Programming at Park Playhouse and The Palace Performing Arts Center is available atwww.parkplayhouse.com. Student or parent inquiries can be directed to Ashley-Simone Kirchner at akirchner@palacealbany.com or(518) 434-2035 x113

Monday, September 21, 2015

UPDATE: Fatal Stabbing Sunday on Elberon Place in Albany

Albany police are investigating a homicide that occurred on Elberon Place over the weekend.

On Sunday, September 20, 2015 at approximately 1 a.m. officers responded to Elberon Place for a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, officers located two male victims who had been stabbed. Both victims were treated at the scene by medical personnel and transported to Albany Medical Center Hospital, according to a police press release.

One victim, a 19-year-old from Albany, was pronounced deceased at the hospital. The other, a 20-year-old from Albany, is currently being treated at the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The deceased victim's name is Louis Haynie.

At this time the incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Albany Police Detective Division at (518) 462-8039.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Arts Center welcomes Elizabeth Reiss as new CEO

The Arts Center of the Capital Region will welcome a new CEO, Elizabeth Reiss, at the end of September.
Elizabeth Reiss
"We are so fortunate to have Elizabeth lead our organization and build upon the strong foundation of excellence and dedication to the arts and creativity in our region," a letter from board chair Susan Radzyminski said. 
Elizabeth has committed her career to the arts. Her early work focused on museum  education, teaching classes and camps and developing curricula for museums and schools. At the Museum of Art and Design in NYC, she developed replica working artist studios to enhance exhibitions. While there she developed the nationwide Quilts Across America program. Reiss opened and operated the Children's Museum of the Arts site on Lafayette Street in NYC (now in Tribeca) and then enjoyed several years as the director of the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, PA. In Pittsburgh, she was best known for producing innovative public art projects including an artist made skate park and ground-breaking examples of environmental art. She was a founder of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and served on the boards of several artist led organizations, including Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre where she continues to serve as treasurer and advisor.
For the past five years Reiss has served as the director of development and public relations at the Albany Institute of History & Art where she dramatically improved the museum's fundraising program and initiated new methods to engage current and future donors. Read Elizabeth's full bio here. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

400 Seniors, 400 students without power in Albany in Summer-Like Temperatures

By Danielle Sanzone
ALBANY >> With high temperatures this week, more than 3,000 people were without power Tuesday night and Wednesday in the Pine Hills section of Albany, around Madison Avenue. This included about 400 seniors. The cause of the outage is still being determined, officials said.
On Tuesday at around 8:45 p.m., National Grid received reports of outages, with 2,700 without power. Crews found a manhole cover on Madison Avenue had dislodged a few feet from the hole.
Nate Stone with National Grid said that this was likely due to a cable failure.
No fire was reported and Albany Fire Department was on scene. National Grid picked up customers around 10 p.m. from an alternate power source while crews remained on scene to make repairs.
Then, at about 2 a.m., there were further reports of an outage in the same general location of about 2,400 customers, with some the same customers as from the earlier outage. As of Wednesday evening, National Grid crews were on scene attempting to locate the cause.
“The 2 a.m. outage does not appear to be related to the outage Tuesday night,” said National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella. “Underground issues like this are sometimes more difficult to locate if we do not have a smoking manhole or other issue that would give us an indication of cause, so our crews are checking the underground lines to find cause of outage, this can be time consuming.”
All but around 300 customers from the 2 a.m. outage were restored around 6:30 a.m. by moving those customers to an alternate power source. Crews continue to search for cause and Stella estimated they could be without power until Thursday.
Some classes at the College of Saint Rose were affected by the power outage.
There were three senior housing developments affected and about 400 students at the College of Saint Rose were still without power Wednesday, with plans for students to sleep in the air conditioned gymnasium.
Senior citizens were expected to move to a large gym at UAlbany while generators were brought in, said Stone.
There were 378 seniors affected by the outage, said Albany Fire Deputy Chief Joseph Toomey.
“We’re all working as a team,” said Toomey of working with the Albany Police, National Grid, Albany County, the Red Cross, and CDTA, which provided a cooling station. Water and ice were also delivered Wednesday by county officials.
With temperatures around 90-degrees at times on Wednesday, the City of Albany set up cooling shelters and National Grid was working with the Red Cross to set up a possible location for meals in the neighborhood later Wednesday.
National Grid was also working to get back-up generators to some of the most critical customers in the neighborhood, said Stella, noting that a generator at at least one of the assisted living facilities was not working properly.
Stone said: “The problem is bigger than we initially thought. We’ve isolated where the problem is - around Madison and Partridge - but still figuring out the cause. It could have been the heat.”
“If we can get generators into the area, we may be able to restore power to some customers later [Wednesday night],” added Stella.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cohoes Council Candidates Call for Vliet Street Fire Station to be Open Full Time

COHOES – Multiple candidates running for the 5th Ward Common Council seat have said they want the Vliet Street Fire Station to be open full-time.
Those running in the 5th Ward include Sharon Gariepy, Paul Heroux, and Steve Napier- each who will be on the Democratic primary ballot on Thursday. Napier and Heroux have said they want the station open 24-hours, seven days a week. Heroux sent out a press release on the topic and Napier has put out multiple flyers on the subject.
Currently, the fire station is periodically closed whenever the Cohoes Fire Department falls below the minimum staffing levels of six firefighters per shift. The Vliet Street Fire Station was closed 160 days in 2014, according to Heroux and Napier.
“The city of Cohoes is seeing a growth of an additional 1,100 new dwelling units citywide, yet our emergency service is greatly reduced whenever the Vliet Street Fire Station is closed,” said Heroux. “With my 24 years of experience in the Cohoes Fire Department as a firefighter and deputy fire chief, I know that the critical time for any emergency is the first few minutes. For example, a fire doubles every minute without any type of suppression. A cardiac arrest needs immediate attention in order for there to be a successful outcome.”
The Vliet Street Fire Station covers all of the hill area of Cohoes, as well as downtown for fire calls. The fire engine stationed at Vliet Street is the first-due unit for all emergency and fire calls in the hill area, Heroux said in a press release.
“Whenever the Vliet Street Fire Station is closed, the emergency response fire engine on call is from the Central Fire Station located downtown, which necessitates a longer response time. If the Central Fire Station is on an emergency call, then the Island Fire Station responds which only increases the response time even more,” he said.
Napier added: "“When our fire house is closed, response times to the Fifth Ward are up to 8 minutes. I believe that is too long, and ensuring that our fire house is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year will be my first priority when I take office."
Heroux also petitioned to be on the Independence Line and Napier is slated to be on the Working Families line.

State DOT Installing Upgraded Traffic Signals

From a press release:

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll Tuesday announced that work is under way on a project to upgrade traffic signals to more safely accommodate motorists making left turns at intersections in the Capital Region.

“Safety is our top priority and these new traffic signals will make drivers more aware and will improve safety at intersections across the Capital Region,” Commissioner Driscoll said. “Along with Governor Cuomo, we are making it easier and more efficient for people to travel through their communities and get safely to their destinations.”

The upgraded signals will be used at intersections where there is a protected left-turn phase with a green arrow. The new signals operate in much the same way as a traditional signal. Left turns are allowed during the green arrow phase and during the all-green phase. The new signals will display a flashing yellow arrow during the all-green phase to indicate that left turns are allowed, but that turning drivers must yield to oncoming traffic and turn their vehicles with caution.

A solid red arrow will still indicate that motorists are not allowed to turn left. A solid yellow arrow still indicates that a motorist in the process of turning his or her vehicle can complete their maneuver, but that a red signal is coming, and turning motorists should not enter the intersection.

The first upgraded traffic signal is scheduled to be activated on Thursday on Route 146 at the intersection of Vosburgh Road and Covington Drive in the Sheldon Hills neighborhood of the town of Halfmoon, Saratoga County.

Similar signals are scheduled to be installed later this autumn at the following intersections:

  • Routes 9 and 20 at Route 150 in the town of Schodack, Rensselaer County
  • Route 9 at George Street in the village of Round Lake, Saratoga County
  • Route 4 at Feeder and Grove streets in the village of Hudson Falls, Washington County

Traffic signals are being upgraded by NYSDOT signal crews as they do routine maintenance. Additional flashing yellow arrow signals will be installed at more locations in the Greater Capital Region as intersection improvements are made.

Capital Region organizations to participate in NYSID WORKS! a community thank you event on Sept.17

New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. recognizes employment of New Yorkers with disabilities during statewide day of community service

Albany– New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID) will coordinate NYSID WORKS! A Community "Thank You" Event on Thursday, September 17 to thank New York State for creating jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities –– a celebration of work by working.
This day of service is in appreciation for thousands of job opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities. The Center for Disability Services; The Arc of Rensselaer County; and Warren, Washington, Albany Counties Chapter of NYSARC, Inc. (WWAARC) will join NYSID, its member agencies and corporate partners in a day of volunteer service in communities across New York State.
Each NYSID member agency or corporate partner is choosing a local non-profit in need of a small beautification project. Through these joint, statewide community service projects, member agencies, corporate partners and NYSID send a unified, heartfelt message of gratitude to legislators, business and community leaders across New York State for creating employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities.
NYSID WORKS! complements NYSID's 40th anniversary theme of "40 Years of Looking Forward" while also seguing into National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October.
Established in 1975, NYSID (http://www.nysid.org) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation which creates employment opportunities for nearly 6,800 New Yorkers with disabilities annually. NYSID supports job creation efforts for a diverse group of New Yorkers with disabilities through a statewide network of 170 community rehabilitation agencies and private sector business partners.
Capital Region events:
Center for Disability Services perform cleanup at Capital Roots (261 8th Street, Troy, NY, one block south of Hoosick Street/Route 7) and Habitat for Humanity (204 Sheridan Avenue, Albany NY)
10 a.m. - Noon At Capital Roots, volunteers will clean up the area connected to The Produce Project. This is a large three-acre garden, which is run by Troy High School students who earn credit and a stipend for participating. It is run year round, with greenhouses and a garden. A celebratory lunch will be served at Capital Roots' main building at 594 River St., Troy.
10 a.m. - Noon With Habitat For Humanity, volunteers will clean the area and move building supplies at the Sheridan Hollow project in Albany. A celebratory lunch will be served at the Center's building at 700 South Pearl St., Albany.
About the Center for Disability Services (http://www.cfdsny.org)
For more than 65 years, the Center for Disability Services has provided innovative services and expert care for individuals with disabilities and chronic medical conditions in the Capital Region. The Center provides services to more than 15,000 individuals and their families at 85 locations throughout nine counties in upstate New York. As a vital community resource, the Center reaches out to individuals, families and caregivers from all over upstate New York and 26 additional states. In 2014, there were 220 individuals with disabilities from the Center for Disability Services who worked on NYSID Preferred Source contracts.
About Capital Roots (http://www.capitalroots.org)
Capital Roots started in 1975 and is a national leader that connects people and communities with the knowledge and resources to improve their well-being. Today Capital Roots works to reduce the impact of poor nutrition on public health in New York's Capital Region by organizing community gardens, providing healthy food access, offering nutritional and horticultural education for all ages and coordinating urban greening programs in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and southern Saratoga Counties.
About Habitat for Humanity (http://www.habitatcd.org)
Habitat for Humanity makes the dream of homeownership a reality for hardworking, lower-income families across the Capital District. Habitat for Humanity Capital District (HfHCD) was founded in 1988 as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. It now proudly serves Albany, Rensselaer and Southern Saratoga Counties. To date, HfHCD has built 92 homes for hardworking families in the Capital District, and will complete its 100th house in 2015.
The Arc of Rensselaer County volunteers at the Northeast Regional Food Bank (965 Albany Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110)
1 - 2:30 p.m. Volunteers will work on the loading dock at the Food Bank emptying and filling trucks.
About The Arc of Rensselaer County (http://www.renarc.org)
The Arc of Rensselaer County advocates for the rights and safety of individuals of all ages who have an intellectual disability and/or a developmental disability or delay. The Arc is a source of support, specialized knowledge, and available resources in assisting individuals and their families to meet their needs and goals. In 2014, there were 21 individuals with disabilities from The Arc of Rensselaer County who worked on NYSID Preferred Source contracts.
About the Regional Food Bank (http://regionalfoodbank.net)
The Regional Food Bank has been helping to feed the poor and hungry since 1982. It is the only organization of its kind in northeastern New York. The Food Bank collects large donations of food from the food industry and distributes it to charitable agencies serving hungry and disadvantaged people in 23 counties.

Warren, Washington, Albany Counties Chapter of NYSARC, Inc. (WWAARC) sort clothing at the Schenectady City Mission (11 Cheltingham Ave., Schenectady, NY)
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Volunteers will sort clothes, shoes and handbags at the Schenectady City Mission. A celebratory lunch will be served from 12:30 - 1 p.m. with WWAARC volunteers and the Schenectady City Mission crew.
About Warren, Washington & Albany Counties Chapter of NYSARC, Inc. (http://www.wwaarc.org)
Warren, Washington & Albany Counties Chapter of NYSARC, Inc. (WWAARC) is a nonprofit organization serving more than 900 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It operates 43 residences, 30 Supported Living Program (SLP) apartments, four day programs, a Work Center, Community Employment and has the only Respite Center between Albany and the Canadian border. In 2014, there were 157 individuals with disabilities from Warren, Washington, Albany Counties Chapter of NYSARC, Inc. (WWAARC) who worked on NYSID Preferred Source contracts.
About the City Mission (http://citymission.com/our-mission)
City Mission exists to meet the needs of the hungry and homeless in the community. It helps people who are in poverty, helps people get out of poverty, and helps people stay out of poverty.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Parking Restrictions, Road Closures for Albany Fire Chief's Funeral

ALBANY – On Friday, Sept. 4, the following road closures and parking restrictions will be in effect during the funeral services for former Albany Fire Chief Robert Forezzi Sr.

Parking Restrictions – 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Both sides of Pine Street from Lodge Street to Chapel Street
Both sides of Lodge Street from Pine Street to Columbia Street

Road Closures – 9 a.m. to Completion
Eagle Street from Corning Place to Elk Street
Pine Street from Washington Avenue to North Pearl Street

Lodge Street from State Street to Columbia Street

Comment Period Extended for Pipeline

We just got this regarding an extension for public comment on the pipeline proposed to go through Rensselaer County:



High pressure pipeline project would cut through Nassau and include massive compressor station in residential area

Nassau, NY - September 3, 2015 - I would like to thank the thousands of impacted residents as well as the public officials, that have joined together to call on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend the public comment period on the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline project.  This massive project would blast through Rensselaer County and permanently damage the hamlets of Clarks Chapel/Burden Lake.  We have just received official notice that FERC has extended this comment period until October 16, 2015

This extension is vital for our impacted communities to comprehensively review the more than 6,000 pages of information that have been dumped on them.