Thursday, January 26, 2012

Newsletter Feb 2 meeting New Scotland-Woodlawn NA

From Julie:

Good grief! how have we managed this?  One of his first speaking engagements!!! Come hear our new County Executive!! Bring your questions.

Also - find out why there is no need to retire to Florida when there is so much (healthy stuff) to do right in our neighborhood?

Volunteers to distribute the newsletter are needed THIS WEEKEND!!!!
email Julie back and a packet of newsletters and map will be delivered to your door.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Secrets of Successful Landlords (1/25) & Homebuyers (2/1) (2/7)

From Louise at the Delaware Ave Neighborhood Assoc (DANA):

Our community needs good landlords -- become one, or encourage someone else! Learn effective, professional property management practices at a workshop on Wednesday, January 25 at 5:30 at 255 Orange Street in Albany.  

This informative program will help landlords provide quality housing, protect their residential property investment and help create safe and vibrant neighborhoods.  Topics covered include tenant screening, landlord/tenant laws, lease termination & eviction, fair housing laws, how to detect and prevent illegal activity, ongoing management and code compliance.  

Expert presenters include award-winning landlord Robert McCrae of CDARPO, Landlord and Officer Matt Montesano of the Albany Police Dept., Albany Housing Authority Section 8 Administrator Patty Stempsey and specialist Sandy LeVan from United Tenants.  Sponsored by the Affordable Housing Partnership (AHP) Homeownership Center, the Capital District Association of Rental Property Owners, United Tenants and Albany Housing Authority.

Light refreshments. Handicap accessible.  Free parking.  $15 for handbook. To register, please call the AHP Homeownership Center at 434-1730 or register on line at  Please share!


Thinking of buying a home? Or know someone who is?  Make sure they attend one of the Affordable Housing Partnership's next Homebuyer 101 workshops scheduled for February 1 at noon and Tuesday, February 7 at 5:30 pm.  

This very helpful program is a great way to get a free overview of the homebuying process, grant programs and financing. Register at


Is your home chilly? Are your heating costs too high?  The Affordable Housing Partnership can help you solve the problem. Keep your hard-earned dollars while making your home safer and more comfortable with NYSERDA's Home Performance with Energy Star program.  

It's easy to get started with a free or reduced cost home energy assessment.  Contact us at for an application.

Job Announcement: Historic Albany Foundation Warehouse Manager

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Job Announcement:
Warehouse Manager

HAF is currently looking for a new Warehouse Manager to join our team!  Position is part time, with additional hours for salvage and HAF events.

For more job details, click here!

SEND cover letter & resume to Susan Herlands Holland, Executive Director at 89 Lexington Avenue, Albany, NY 12206 or email (preferred)

Our mailing address is:

Historic Albany Foundation
89 Lexington Ave.
Albany, New York 12206

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Copyright (C) 2012 Historic Albany Foundation All rights reserved.

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Albany County Soil and Water Conservation District News

In preparation for our upcoming meeting February 2, there is a newsletter available on the website in which the county's tree,shrub and seeds sales program for spring 2012 planting is promoted.

These are little trees - not the size we purchase through the city and which the city plants but, there might be something of interest to you in the newsletter. Click on on the right side of the page and check out the many other programs of the social and water conservation district.

Input Needed: City Ordinance Licensing Audio Entertainment

Dear Neighbors,

There has been an increase in the number of restaurant venues in the 7th Ward's Neighborhood Commercial Districts over the past several years that have helped make our neighborhoods off Delaware and New Scotland great places to live and visit. Some of these venues provide live music. The city ordinance governing the operation of any music/audio entertainment is woefully out of date and currently undergoing revision by the Common Council. Public input on this legislation is needed to ensure that people's concerns are addressed in any new ordinance that is voted on.

The legislation currently being proposed, Ordinance 9.12.10 (see attached), would give the City Clerk's Office the power to grant/remove licenses to have live music up to 7 nights per week. A major concern being raised is that there would be no public process (such as a public hearing) in reviewing/approving license applications in this proposed legislation. There are, also, no specifications regarding the number of venues allowed to have live music in any particular area. 

The Council's Planning, Land Use and Economic Development Committee is meeting at 5:30p.m. this coming Tuesday, January 24 (City Hall, 2nd floor Court Rm) and there will be an opportunity for public comment at the meeting. Please let me know your thoughts on this issue.
Catherine M. Fahey

Albany Common Council Member, 7th Ward
32 Lawnridge Avenue
Albany, NY 12208


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Superintendent search forums, survey

The City School District of Albany Board of Education is inviting all staff members and community members to participate in the search for our next superintendent through public forums and a survey designed to understand what the district and community are looking for in our next school leader.
Check out the new Superintendent Search section on the district website for a link to the survey and a schedule of six upcoming public forums, beginning Monday, Jan. 23 from 4-5:30 p.m. at Giffen Memorial Elementary School. Here is the full list of dates and locations:
  • Monday, Jan. 23 – Giffen Memorial Elementary School, 274 S. Pearl St.
    • 4-5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 31 – North Albany Academy, 570 N. Pearl St.
    • 8:30-10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 1 – Two sessions at Albany High School, 700 Washington Ave.:
    • 3:30-5 p.m.
    • 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 9Two sessions (both with a Spanish interpreter available):
    • Sheridan Preparatory Academy, 400 Sheridan Ave.
      • 3-4:30 p.m.
    • William S. Hackett Middle School, 45 Delaware Ave.
      • 7-8:30 p.m.
I've also attached a flyer in .pdf format. Please help us spread the word!
Ron Lesko
Director of Communications
City School District of Albany
(cell) 518.376.0013

Friday, January 6, 2012

How To Communicate with the Police

This is useful information for any citizen to reduce the chance of misunderstanding between citizen and police.

The Urban Community Coalition is a new development arising in the wake of the shooting of Nahcream Moore. I am involved in the education section of this coalition, Pathways to Prosperity. Please ask me if
you are interested in participating in the coalition.
Fiona Thompson

Subject: How To Handle the Police Training and Discussion

Hello Urban Community Coalition,
THANK YOU so very much for your contributions and commitment to rebuilding our neighborhoods. We look forward to building this coalition together to ensure we create and sustain a strong community.
Reminder:  The Urban Community Coalition presents a discussion on How to Handle the Police THIS SATURDAY, January, 7 at 2 p.m. at St. John's Baptist Church at 94 Herkimer St., Albany, NY.

If you have any questions regarding the training please contact Matthew Smalls at  This is a FREE training to learn how to effectively communicate with the police during traffice stops, stop and frisk, police questioning and much more.

Feel free to send this information to others in the community.


Reported Crimes Stats for neighborhood Nov. - present

Here is a quick summary for the last two months (November and December and January) of reported crimes. Overall, the neighborhood had a VERY low crime rate which is especially encouraging since it is was the Holiday Season and a lot of crime generally occurs during this time of year.

  • Reported Burglary      1
  • Larceny                       1
  • Criminal Mischief       1
  • Simple Assault           1
  • Other incidents  ie. harassment/ dwi arrests 2

Neighborhood Police Officer
Loren E. Grugan
Upper New Scotland Ave /Woodlawn/ Heldeberg NA

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Zoning Board Meeting Jan 11th 2012

From Julie:

While this home is not within the bounds of our NA, it is quite close and as Kim says, the precedent which would be set if the variance request was to be approved is dangerous

From: Kim Alvarez, former HNA Vice Chair

 There is a very critical ZBA hearing on Wednesday January 11:
 #15 Ramsey Place (the old run down house that is set back from the road) is requesting a Use Variance to allow for a change of use from 1 family to 2 family -- they are using financial hardship as their reasoning.  The issues I have with this are:
  • This house is one of the oldest in the neighborhood.  It predates the laying out of streets along the New Scotland Plan Road (Toll road to Schoharie) by at least 40 years.  I'm still doing research but it may have been the farmhouse of the family that eventually sold the property that all our homes are now on.
  • With the exception of #1 Ramsey Place (which was built as a 2 family home) there are no other multi-family houses on Ramsey Place.  It is mostly owner-occupied, so this request will have a detrimental impact on the character and quality of life on the street.
  • The house was assessed at $231K in 2009, and today is assessed at $65K -- quite a big difference.  They are suggesting because of the run down condition of the house, it isn't worth the investment to repair it as a single family residence -- THIS IS A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT TO MAKE IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND CITY. 
  • If the owners who don't live there could afford to purchase the house for well under market value and they were fully aware of the run-down condition, then they should not have the zoning laws bent for their benefit, especially using the "financial hardship" argument.   
 Peter Lynch is representing the owners/applicants.  I highly encourage everyone  to come and attend this Public hearing.  The meeting will be held at City Hall, 2nd floor, at 5:30 pm.

UPDATE 1/4/12:

note 15 Ramsey included in these documents

Doc 1
Doc 2
Doc 3
Doc 4
Doc 5 

See attached.

Bradley Glass
City of Albany
Department of Development & Planning
Division of Planning, Zoning and Land Use
200 Henry Johnson Boulevard
Albany, NY 12210

SAJCC offering free 2 week guest passes

The SAJCC is offering a two week guest pass to get you acquainted. Even if you decide not to join, you may try something new and benefited from some exercise!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Two Literary Neighbors - this week

1.On Tuesday January 3 - Marggie Skinner will review "Cain" by Jose Saramago - winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

This will occur at at the main branch of the APL at 12:15 pm.

Here is some info about the book: "Two decades after Portuguese novelist and Nobel Laureate José Saramago shocked the religious world with his novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, he has done it again with Cain, a satire of the Old Testament. Written in the last years of Saramago's life, it tackles many of the moral and logical non-sequiturs created by a wilful, authoritarian God, and forms part of Saramago's long argument with religion".

2. On Sunday, January 8 - Dennis Gaffney will share a series of stories from the Civil War and then sign his book "The Civil War: Seven Day Scholar Exploring History One Week at at Time".

This will take place at the Albany Institute of Art at 2pm.