The Daily Gazette
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Hospitality? Not in our backyard

I was not surprised recently when Schenectady squelched plans for a hostel across the street from Ellis Hospital to lodge families of hospitalized children, along the lines of the Ronald McDonald House in Albany.

A sea change in gambling over 60 years

I watched an old black-and-white movie the other night titled “The Phenix City Story,” and it was really amazing as a reminder of how times change.

You mean a motorcycle can go that fast?

I noted we’ve had some incidents of motorcycles speeding on public thoroughfares lately.

Court decision puts parents in legal bind

The Court of Appeals has just decided that parents whose children are taken away and put up for adoption can be given the right to visit those children only if they agreed to the children’s being taken in the first place.

Hall of Fame for boxing holds its own

You may not know this, but there is a Boxing Hall of Fame just as there is a Baseball Hall of Fame, and it’s located in the little town of Canastota, between Utica and Syracuse.

How Cuomo jousts with the unions

It was a rough week for public-employee unions in Wisconsin, what with anti-union Gov. Scott Walker surviving an attempt to recall him from office, and also in California, where San Jose voters approved the trimming of public employee benefits and San Diego voters chose to put new hires in a 401(k) retirement rather an old-style guaranteed public pension.

Marijuana: Fresh air from the governor

I don’t know what Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been smoking. He wants to change the law so people can no longer be charged with a crime for having a joint in public view if they have it in public view only because a cop ordered them to put it in public view.

Appeal doesn’t claim innocence

It took a long time, but we finally got it — Steve Raucci’s appeal of his conviction for setting explosives and vandalizing homes and cars during his reign as bully-boy of the Schenectady City School District.

Principal and sports agent at same time

One person who continues to fascinate me is John Rickert of Niskayuna. Rickert runs an agency that represents professional athletes, called JR Sports Enterprises, and he also works through another agency, Authentic Athletix.

Memorial Day, holy birthday both together

In case you’re wondering how I celebrated Memorial Day, I can tell you, unlikely as it may seem, that I tied it in with Buddha’s birthday.

Much to remember on Memorial Day

We have plenty of veterans in this country — about 23 million actually, or 7 percent of the population, which is something to think about this Memorial Day weekend.

New state-run NYRA, what are the odds?

Here we have the latest effort to keep horse racing alive in New York despite its natural decline in the face of competition.

Espada falls, NYRA gasps, state rolls on

Oh, this state government of ours — doesn’t it just make you want to hang your head?

Aiming higher, some districts took a hit

It’s not easy having your budget defeated by the voters this year if you’re a school administration.

School vote today with new tax caps

Today is the first school vote since the state adopted a 2 percent tax cap, and the main thing to understand about the 2 percent cap is that it’s not really a 2 percent cap.

Ellis and City Mission link to the poor

One thing that strikes me whenever I deal with people at the bottom of the old socioeconomic ladder is the gulf that separates them from the middle-class people who so often call the shots in their lives, people like social services caseworkers, police officers, and landlords, a gulf defined by different ways of looking at the world and different ways of acting.

Keeping eye on Obama, nanotech

In case you’re wondering, I did hie myself over to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany the other day to see President Obama.

New York in the bag, but he still comes

If I manage to insinuate myself into the event today at the nanotechnology center in Albany, and if I can get close enough, I’m going to ask President Obama what the devil he’s doing in New York.

Just a minute, hold that desecration

If you have driven by Price Chopper’s corporate headquarters recently, at the corner of Nott Street and Maxon Road in Schenectady, you may have noticed a few demonstrators standing out front holding a banner saying, “Shame on Price Chopper,” with the words “labor dispute” in smaller print.

Occupying Albany at lower wattage (with photo gallery)

I hied myself over to Albany the other day for what might be called Occupy Part 2, and found it a rather subdued affair compared to last fall’s original. No tents, no free food, no sense of changing the world.

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