Friday, May 30, 2008


Yesterday morning, when I read the newspaper on the bus on my way to the office, I assumed my next blog entry would surely discuss our region's placement on the Carbon Footprint countdown and those shiny new buses CDTA will be able to purchase thanks to Hillary and Chuck.

Then, this morning with cup of coffee in hand, I routinely scanned Times Union stories online. Reading this tragedy trivialized any plans of bus chat this morning as tears streamed down my face.

Every 10-year old, on every block in this city should be able to play outside on a beautiful spring evening. The disparities we see from neighborhood to neighborhood are shameful. This city has got to get its priorities straight. The mayor needs to do more than show up after a tragedy, where are his plans to work with other elected officials to ensure every child can play without fearing for their lives?

My heart goes out to Kathina's family and friends, to all of the students and faculty at her school, and to the young, vibrant principal who is faced with the shooting death of a student at the end of her first year on the job.

Ten year old kids need to be safe in their neighborhoods.

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's Good to Let the Right Hand Know What the Left is Doing

Last week, CDTA posted a Service Alert, noting that among other things, on Monday May 26 (Memorial Day -- observed), buses would run on the Sunday/ Holiday schedule. Today is Memorial Day and, I needed to run to the grocery store.

I decided to give Trip Planner a whirl, which I hadn't done in a long time. I input my home address and tried a couple of different options for destinations, and it's a good thing I didn't heed Trip Planner's advice. If I had, I'd still be outside waiting for the Number 3 which doesn't run on Sundays/ Holidays. It sure is important to let the right hand know what the left is doing, especially when you're directing your website's traffic to to the iRide Trip Planner with prime real estate. Somehow, the Service Alert folks didn't let the Trip Planner programmers know to schedule today as a Sunday/Holiday, or perhaps they don't have those programmer positions filled. In any case, it was a definite "CDTA Oops."

Hopefully, the rest of the region was too busy with Memorial Day observances, parades and services, and outings to be left waiting for a bus that won't be coming until Tuesday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

If it's not one thing... it's another

So, for the first time in a while, the Albany City School District budget passed... on the first go-around. Good news for kids and families, and for that matter, the greater community.

But, it seems that even with such good news, the May 20, 2008 vote in Albany will go down in history with some drama. The ballot for Library Trustees was incorrect. You see, there was only one seat open on the library's Board of Trustees, yet the ballot read that voters could choose any 2 of the 3 candidates. Problematic, to say the least. Somehow, even with such an error, a winner was declared. Make sense? Not to me.

So, what's to be done?

I'm thinking either a re-vote or the top two vote-getters are appointed to finish the term of beloved, deceased Trustee, John Bach.

And I don't think time should be wasted with Carr appealing to the State Education Department.

Oh, Albany.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Featuring the Number 3

I love the Number 3 bus line. The Number 3 provides a glimpse of the cultural and economic diversity of Albany's neighborhoods; connecting Arbor Hill, Pine Hills, Park South, Center Square and Mansion Hill all for the price of a bus fare. This little loop of a bus line goes up Clinton Avenue from the Palace Theatre to Quail Street, across Quail Street to Madison Avenue, down Madison Avenue all the way to Grand Street for a mini tour of Grand Street, then across Pearl Street back to the Palace. The line also runs in the opposite direction, but on a slightly different route Monday through Friday until about 6 p.m.

Unfortunately, like so many CDTA lines, it does not operate on Sundays at all.

Catch a Number 3, and it will take you many places in the City of Albany -- some functional, some fun including financial institutions, museums, churches, laundromats, a whole bunch of restaurants, a huge art collection and quite a few performing arts venues.

For instance, the stretch along Clinton Avenue gets passengers within four blocks of:
While the stretch along Quail Street gets passengers to:
And along Madison Avenue, passengers can easily get to:
Finally, the Grand Street and Pearl Street stretch connects folks to:
Unlike 14 other bus lines that stop at the Albany bus hub -- Washington Avenue and Lark Street, the Number 3 doesn't utilize Washington Avenue at all, yet you can still transfer to all of the lines that stop at the Washington-Lark hub down on Pearl or State Street.

I highly recommend buying a $3 Day Card on your next day off and spending the day hopping on and off the Number 3 line.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May "To Do" List

May is a great month to appreciate and take steps to improve our quality of life! Below are just a few things to do in (or just outside of) the City of Albany during in the beautiful month of May.
  • Support our schools. Support our libraries. If you live in Albany and are not registered to vote, REGISTER NOW. If you know people who aren't registered to vote, do a good deed and get them registered immediately! Residents have until May 6 to be registered at their current addresses, and be eligible to VOTE in the May 20 Albany School Budget vote and Albany Public Library Trustee and Budget Vote.
  • Buy some furniture, have some fun, and help our libraries. Attend the May 7 auction at the Howe Branch at 6:00 p.m., and the May 14 auction at the Pine Hills Branch at 6:00 p.m. Lots of information here.
  • Ride your bike! May is National Bike Month. In honor of Bike Month, I fixed my link to the Albany Bicycle Coalition on the sidebar of this blog. I need to get a bike, and a helmet. And a fellow blogger sent me this interesting article about bike sharing in D.C.!
  1. UPDATE: POSTPONED UNTIL RAIN DATE: May 17 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. New Scotland Avenue Spring Spree brought to you by the Helderberg & New Scotland/ Woodlawn Neighborhood Associations. To participate: visit an Information Table in front of Anthology Florist or Isn't it Sweet! (Activities include: face painting, sidewalk chalk art contest, the Big Purple Bookmobile, Children's Art Show, Pet Adoption Workshop, Folk Dancing, and more!)
  2. 60th Albany Tulip Festival - May 9-11. Washington Park, Albany. And if you're looking to be a super team player and volunteer, let Beth know now, you can also call her at: 434-5411.
  3. 2008 St. Sophia Greek Festival, May 16-18.
  • ATTEND A CONCERT-- concerts in Albany for all kinds of tastes and price ranges. Here are just a few:
  1. Look up concerts here or here
  2. Go to the mall and hear a great town band! Colonie Town Band plays Colonie Center, Monday May 5, 7:30 p.m.
  3. Ron Eliran plays Temple Israel at Albany's celebration of Israel's 60th birthday on May 8th at 7:00 p.m.
  4. The Albany Symphony closes their season with this Choral Spectacular that includes special guests and is sponsored by Bea and Bob Herman on May 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace Theatre.
  1. Albany YMCA 5K Run and Walk - Sunday, May 4 - 9:00 a.m.
  2. If you're a woman, join my daughter and me on May 31 at 9:15 for the 30th Freihofer's Run for Women.