Blogs > Troy Talk

Record staffers bring you information on the comings and goings of New York's Collar City.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Karaoke Night fundraiser for Rape Crisis Center

Tonight The Ruck will host the 10th Annual Karaoke Night fundraiser to benefit the Sexual Assault and Crime Victim's Assistance Program for Rensselaer County. According to its website, the program is "the only agency in the county providing comprehensive, specialized services to victims of sexual violence, victims of stalking, older adults, homicide survivors, as well as other victims of crime, their family members and friends, or significant others."

The biannual event will not only raise funds for the program, but it also helps those who work for the agency -- and deal with particularly difficult work on a daily basis -- out in a social setting.

The Karaoke Night be will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Ruck, located at 104 Third Street. Admission is a voluntary $5 donation, and there will be free food, raffles and more. For more information, check out the event's Facebook page. There is more information about the Rape Crisis Center on the Northeast Health website.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Council schedules meeting about MAC refinancing

The City Council has scheduled a special Finance Committee meeting for next Wednesday to discuss the proposed refinancing of the city's MAC debt.

The MAC makes up the largest portion of the city's debt at a cool $52.295 million. At last night's Public Safety and Law committees budget meeting, the refinancing of the MAC came up, with Acting City Comptroller Joseph Mazzariello saying more details could be available as early as next week.

A small correction from the article, which states the estimated $600,000 to $1 million in savings will go towards the the 2010 budget. The savings will actually take place over the life of the loan, with a large portion of the savings happening in the first three years or so, according to city spokesman Jeff Pirro.

The Special Finance Committee meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Second Floor Conference Room at City Hall. The regular City Council meeting will take place the next night at 7 p.m. at Christ Church United Methodist.

Labels: , ,

Friday, October 22, 2010

More of those "Troy, NY" Facebook Page emails

In case your curious, linked below are the four emails sent from Councilman Ken Zalewski, D-District 5, to city spokesperson Jeff Pirro regarding the "Troy, NY" Facebook Page controversy.

Zalewski Facebook emails (1)

Zalewski Facebook emails (2)

Zalewski Facebook emails (3)

Labels: , ,

Finance Committee meeting leftovers

While the "Troy, NY" Facebook page resolution got the majority of the attention at last night's Finance Committee meeting, some other items of note were also brought to the table for the next regular City Council meeting.

The ongoing dispute between Councilman Bill Dunne, D-District 4, and the administration regarding crow dispersal in downtown Troy achieved some closure with a proposed resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute a crow dispersal agreement with Rensselaer County. The plan calls for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to come in and use the same techniques as last year, techniques that aren't believed to be entirely effective.

"I don't think it's effective at all, in my opinion," Tutunjian said at last night's meeting. Other Councilmen also asked if it would be possible to have the dispersal efforts in other areas of the city, as opposed to just downtown.

Dunne held a meeting last month with Green Island Mayor Ellen McNulty to get information about their method, which essentially consists of McNulty and the village attorney going out with pyrotechnic pistols every evening.

Tutunjian, however, was not in attendance at the meeting, and afterward there was an apparent stalemate where no dispersal efforts were taking place at all. County Legislator Pete Ryan has submitted a request to County Executive Kathleen Jimino seeking assistance with the $3,500 price tag for the effort.

The Council will also vote on a budget transfer to pay for a new $71k fire truck lift for the station on Campbell Avenue.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reassessment data collection underway

Representatives from GAR Associates, the company contracted to complete the city-wide reassessment, began data collection in the Lansingburgh last week, specifically in the area bound by the Hudson River (to the west), the Town of Schaghticoke (to the north), the Town of Brunswick (to the east), and 112th Street (to the south).

Now that data collection has begun, the process will move southward throughout the city upon completion of each area through May 2012. According to a press release, GAR will post bi-weekly updates on the Troy city website.

Anyone with questions is asked to call 1-866-910-1776. Full release embedded below.


Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New smoothie shop to open on Fifth Ave

Coming soon to a currently vacant storefront at 1624 Fifth Ave is "Lanie Be'es Shakes n' Bakes", a combo bakery and smoothie shop from Cherie Marcucci of Watervliet. Marcucci received approval to open the shop at the October Planning Board meeting and plans to open at the end of November.

"My dad used to bake and I would help him a lot and it became a passion of mine," said Marcucci, who currently sells baked goods at Michael's Clubhouse in East Greenbush (the cake on the left is from the Lanie Be'es Facebook page).

Marcucci said she is particularly excited about the Shakes part of Shakes n' Bakes, saying that she was actually interested in taking over Shake Shake Mama's, formerly of Broadway in Troy, when it closed in 2008, but the time wasn't right.

"I've definitely been working towards this for a while," she said, adding that she is a single mother of three and also works full time in addition to growing her business. (The name "Lanie Be'es" comes from a nickname for her daughter.) The new shop will create up to five jobs and, according to the Planning Department staff report, will include a $10,000 investment.

"I'm really looking to attract college students," said Marcucci. "The shop will have a healthy, fun attitude."

The website for the shop, appears to not be up yet, so for now check out the Facebook page for more information.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Council seats for sale

The contents of the former City Hall, including the Council Chamber theater seating, will be auctioned off this Saturday, Oct. 16 at the 1 Monument Square location. Even though the City Council passed an ordinance last week preventing the demolition of the site without prior approval, work has already been under way abating -- and essentially gutting -- the interior of the building.

Although passing a resolution in May by a vote of 7-2 to accept and appropriate $910,000 in Restore New York funding for the demolition, there has recently been a move by some Council members and residents to consider returning City Hall to Monument Square.

It seems reasonable, however, that the price tag for any renovations of the building will continue to go up as contents are removed and abatement work moves forward.

There are a number of other items -- including vehicles, heavy equipment, police evidence and bikes -- also be auctioned off on Saturday at three different sites. For more information, visit or call 895-8150, ext. 101 for a brochure.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Preliminary schedule of 2011 budget meetings and hearings

Below, in .PDF and calendar form, is the preliminary schedule of committee meetings and public hearings to discuss the proposed 2011 budget. The public hearings are all taking place at Christ Church United Methodist at 35 State Street while the committee meetings will be held at City Hall at 1776 Sixth Ave.

Some committees will be more interesting than others -- given that the water and sewer budgets have remained steady, the Public Utilities committee is likely to be uneventful. Given that Council President Clem Campana has said he is looking to focus on the Parks & Recreation budget in light of issues with the Frear Golf Course and the pool openings, expect some changes -- or at least discussion -- during that meeting on October 20.

After last year's attempts to remove the Deputy Director of Public Information position (currently filled by Jeff Pirro) and then-DPW Commissioner Bob Mirch, the October 19 meeting discussing Mayor's Office and Administration expenses may produce some controversy, but Mayor Tutunjian has already removed funding for the top DPW job, so it will remain to be seen.

Here is the full list of committee meetings and public hearings, as well as the specific budget lines that will be discussed at each, embedded in .PDF form:

Preliminary Hearings Notice for 2011 Budget_FINAL DATES to Council

Here is a calendar version of the meeting schedule for the few out there, like me, who will probably be at every meeting. Click through for a full-size image:


Arts Center offers Portfolio Development class

The Arts Center has announced a class for high school students planning on applying to college art programs, Portfolio Development.

The class helps students develop a varied portfolio for use when applying to programs, using different mediums, tools and styles.

The class, which runs for seven weeks, is $210 for members plus a $100 studio fee. Check out the full press release below for more details:

The Arts Center Offers Art Portfolio Development Course for High School Students

TROY – The Arts Center is pleased to offer Capital Region high school students the opportunity to develop their college entrance art portfolio in it’s in-depth course, Portfolio Development.

For an art student, preparing a portfolio is an important part of the college application process. Students will develop a portfolio that presents current artistic interests, demonstrating skill, awareness of formal visual organizational principles, and experience with a variety of tools, media, styles, and approaches. The courses will allow students to produce drawings derived from direct observation -- drawing or painting from still life, draped and nude figure models, and landscape -- as typically preferred by most art colleges. As the series progresses, students will gain in-depth insight into the application process for college art programs, covering expectations for interviews, portfolio reviews and researching the right programs. Students will be given opportunities to discuss these processes with actual art college admissions counselors, attend a university portfolio review session, and conduct a session with a visiting artist. Students will develop an abundance of work and will be able to take advantage of special opportunities and crucial information that may vary in each session. The studio fee covers high quality art materials, a model's fee, and studio maintenance. There will be no class on 11/25.

Instructor Claire Sherwood will be leading the students through a sequence of drawing practices, focusing on observational drawing techniques that will prepare them for college level arts classes.

Instructor Bio
Claire Sherwood was born near Troy, NY where she spent her childhood exploring the gravel pits and concrete plant around her home. She received her MFA from the University of Maryland in 2003 and is currently teaching Drawing at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Her work has been exhibited in venues such as, the U.S. Smithsonian National Botanic Garden, the Corcoran Museum of Art, the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, and Grounds for Sculpture, in Hamilton, NJ. Her work is included in the David C. Driskell Collection and the State of West Virginia Museum of Culture and History. Claire has seven years experience teaching first year college art students and reviewing the portfolios of many in coming freshman. She will use her experience as a college level foundations professor to better prepare students for their portfolio entrance reviews and complement a typical high school art portfolio with enhanced projects and professional presentation.

About The Arts Center
For nearly 50 years, The Arts Center of the Capital Region has enriched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. A regional arts center, it offers classes, camps, exhibits and performing arts events. Artists of all ages and abilities are encouraged, mentored, and nurtured in a collaborative, supporting and accepting environment. The Arts Center’s 36,000 square feet of space include discipline-specific studios for pottery, printmaking, culinary arts, jewelry making, woodworking, painting and drawing, stained glass and dance, among others. It also includes a 99-seat theater for performing arts events, and its three galleries are noted for their critically acclaimed contemporary exhibits. Learn more about The Arts Center of the Capital Region and its offerings at

What: Portfolio Development Class for Teens
When: Thursdays, 10/28/2010 - 12/16/2010, 5:30 - 8:30 P.M. (7 classes)
Cost: Members: $189 | Non-Members: $210 | Studio Fee: $100
Instructor: Claire Sherwood |

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Proctors/Chasan project on Planning Board agenda

Even though plans to use the Proctor's Theater site for City Hall appear to have fallen by the wayside, Columbia Development Companies are still moving full speed ahead on a master plan for the Proctors and Chasan buildings.

On the agenda for the October 14 Planning Board meeting is a State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and Review of a Master Plan for the sites, to be presented by Columbia. A copy of the Environmental Assessment Form (.pdf), one of the first steps in the SEQRA process completed Columbia, is available on the city website. There is also a one-page document (.pdf) showing the master plan, which includes the stabilization of the Proctor's Theater and the full interior and facade renovation of both buildings.

The Planning Board meeting is shaping up to be interesting (and jam-packed), with the review of a proposal to construct a third deck on the Uncle Sam Parking Garage and a proposal to made facade improvements to the former Revolution Hall also on the agenda, which is available here (.pdf).