HVCC Sacrifices Grant Money

In a really solid piece from today’s Record, Danielle Sanzone reports on how some changes to an Animal Advocacy program at Hudson Valley Community College led to the partial return of grant money provided by Bob Barker, of The Price is Right fame and a long time animal rights activist.

Sanzone:

Approximately $62,500 of the grant was used to develop curriculum, market the program, recruit students, support professional development/student conference attendance and events, and offer lectures related to animal advocacy, outreach, policy and law to both students and the community, said college spokesman Dennis Kennedy, noting that this was all done in accordance to the agreement made with Barker.

However, she felt that the program took a different direction during the spring semester, with less of a focus on advocacy and more of a focus on law and policy, which, she said, confused, frustrated and discouraged students. “Simply, this new direction is not what I registered for.”

Knowing absolutely nothing about this program or anyone involved in it, I’ll be cautious to presume too much (and maybe Ms. Sanzone can inform this post).

This seems like an awesome opportunity that was provided to and by HVCC. They managed to secure funding to develop a program that covers a very niche area. Which is utterly fantastic and exactly what we should be encouraging our universities and colleges to do.

But my guess (and it’s just that) is there was some concern over what the program would look like moving forward. The term “advocacy” comes with some political connotations. It’s undervalued and misunderstood in higher education so to have a program that was partially devoted to that may have concerned administrators. Advocacy can mean various things – to grassroots organizing and mobilizing people for collective action to traditional lobbying and research. The problem is most folks see value in the latter. So programs get watered down and redeveloped to serve a more conventional purpose – thus “Animal Law and Policy.” Ugh, how dry.

Either way, it’s pretty cool to see that even with the return of the start-up money, that the university is dedicated to maintaining the program in some shape or form. I’ve never even heard of another school with a program like this, so at least they are still providing this unique certification to their students. Hopefully, the faculty and administrators will address the concerns of the students.

Photo: Flux Axiom via Flickr

Quality events for this weekend vol. 50

Friday, June 22nd

OUTPOST1: 5kinandbone5, knomad, Looney, DJ Prophet and DJ Cruise Ship: West coast sounds from the future headline this months edition of Albany’s monthly bass party.

Groundbreaking! Presented by Albany Barn & Chefs Consortium: A celebration of construction beginning at St Josephs Academy, which is future home of creative arts incubator, The Barn. Not to mention an array of amazing chefs.

Twerkaholics Anonymous at Club Illusions: DJ Ketchup and TGIF getting things moving. Also, cash prizes for the “twerk contest” hosted by Gee Money from Jamz 96.3.

What Cheer? Brigade Guerrilla Show: 19 piece radical marching band doing a guerrilla show under the Hoosick St Bridge, followed by an awesome dance party.

The Come Up Music Festival: Get ravey in the woods.

Final Friday and Everything Classic w/Trumastr and Nate Da Great: Old school hip hop, funk, r&b, reggae, etc., with the best DJs around. Let them show you how to get down.

Whiskey Disco: Sleazy McQueen from Orlando having a run at the Fuze Box, along with Jay Balance and Don Stone.

Saturday, June 23rd

Reddit /r/Albany Meet-up at McGearys: Meet some other nerds in real life! Make friends! Do things!

Rock Inc 80s Rock and Roll at The Barrel Saloon: 80s. Rock and roll. That is all.

Dance Magic Dance 80s Prom: One of the biggest events at Fuze is back. If you’ve never gone to one, this is the one to go to.

Booze Cruise w/DJ Prophet: Drinking on a boat, with music. And food.

Troy Flea with Caleb Lionheart: Tight Knit has been putting on some awesome handmade, vintage and antique art shows over in Troy and this weekend is no different. Also, Tony from Caleb Lionheart will be playing!

The Lucky Jukebox Brigade, Skeletons in the Piano, Peter Hazen, Charmed & Dangerous Burlesque at Red Square: Big ole carnival show is taking over Red Square. Step right up.

Sunday, June 24th

Municipal Waste, 3 Inches of Blood and Black Tusk: Three incredible metal outfits. One of the best shows ever to happen at Bogies. You are insane to miss this.

SIN at McGearys w/DJ Trumastr: Two for one drinks. No cover. Rad tunes. Patio.

Pine Hills Eyesore Razed

Before I dig in, let me just introduce myself. Uh…hi. I’m Sean. I am a habitual dissenter who generally directs this towards politics. Andrew was nice enough to offer me a space to vent in a more, shall we say, sophisticated fashion than my usual 140 character diatribes lacking nuance. I also work for Citizen Action of New York and as an organizer for New York Students Rising. Really looking forward to talking with y’all and contributing to this space – we just so happen to live in a fantastic little city with so. much. potential. And I love talking about it. So, without further adieu…

At long last, it seems like someone had the inspiration to do something with the long abandoned 566 Washington Ave property (pictured above) that used to house a dry cleaner. City officials finally gave the go to demolish the building. But what’s really mind-numbing about this:

Thursday’s burst of action at the site, 12 years after it burned, laid bare the underlying turf skirmishes between city and county officials over who ought to receive proper credit for the action and blame that it took so long.

Apparently, doing nothing for 12 years and finally acting on an obvious problem is cause for accolades. Both McCoy and Jennings have been around for over a decade. Both live in the city of Albany. They’ve probably seen this building easily at least once or twice a week throughout their tenure, considering it’s on one of the city’s busiest avenues.

The vacant/abandoned housing/storefront problem is just not a priority for our elected officials unless there is some big ticket redevelopment project that would eliminate such blight – today’s demolition notwithstanding. City and county officials desperately need to abandon this mentality because all it leads to is procrastination and inaction.

Sigh.

I guess my only question now is when does someone shut down the Abbott? Didn’t even realize that is still a thing.

Wolff’s Biergarten to show the 2012 Tour de France

One of my favorite things about living in New York was being able to wake up and ride my bike over the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan to be able to catch every stage of the Tour de France live. Not to mention get my morning coffee and breakfast in the same spot. And this summer, I’m really excited I’m going to be able to do almost the exact same thing in Albany, at Wolff’s Biergarten.

The prologue starts on June 30th, and save from a few rest days, goes every day until Sunday, July 22nd.

See you there!

Q&A from the June 5th Community Meeting about St. Joe’s

The Historic Albany Foundation has done an immense amount of work and has transcribed notes from the community meeting on Tuesday June 5th at the Ten Broeck Mansion. This document outlines everything that was discussed and all the concerns of the people who live close to the proposed brewpub.

Hit the jump to read the full Q&A.

Continue reading…

River Street Festival 2012: Photos and Recap

river-st-fest-2012-01
river-st-fest-2012-02
river-st-fest-2012-03
river-st-fest-2012-04
river-st-fest-2012-05
river-st-fest-2012-06
river-st-fest-2012-07
river-st-fest-2012-08
river-st-fest-2012-09
river-st-fest-2012-10
river-st-fest-2012-11
river-st-fest-2012-12
river-st-fest-2012-13
river-st-fest-2012-14
river-st-fest-2012-15
river-st-fest-2012-16
river-st-fest-2012-17
river-st-fest-2012-18
river-st-fest-2012-19
river-st-fest-2012-20
river-st-fest-2012-21
river-st-fest-2012-22
river-st-fest-2012-23
river-st-fest-2012-24
river-st-fest-2012-25
river-st-fest-2012-26
river-st-fest-2012-feat
river-st-fest-2012-01 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-02 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-03 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-04 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-05 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-06 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-07 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-08 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-09 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-10 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-11 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-12 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-13 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-14 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-15 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-16 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-17 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-18 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-19 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-20 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-21 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-22 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-23 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-24 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-25 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-26 thumbnail
river-st-fest-2012-feat thumbnail

This past Saturday was this years River Street Festival in Troy. I wandered around to see what there was to offer and there was a lot of neat things. Wishbone Letterpress (self explanatory) was one that stuck out as having really great offerings, as well as Funcycled, which is a furniture repair and up-cycling company which had a lot of really great things on display. There are too many things to list and remember, but these little festivals are always worth checking out. I wish some of these vendors would move into all the vacant storefronts on River Street permanently. Also, The Arts Center of the Capital Region had their chalk drawing competition going, and some of the entries were really great.

Also, if you don’t already go to the Troy Farmers Market every Saturday, you’re really missing out.

Hit the jump or click the picture above to launch the gallery! Continue reading…

Morrissey to play the Palace Theater October 18th

Pitchfork’s got the scoop on Morrissey’s new tour, and there’s a surprising show in the list: “10/18 Albany, NY – Palace Theatre”. Tickets go on sale Friday.

This makes sense if this is a move from their newly hired executive director, who stated in a TU article:

“The community already loves the facility, and it’s just doing rentals,” said Carlon. “Can you imagine if were doing a lot more shows, bringing in more powerful acts? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

If this keeps this up through the next few seasons, the Palace is going to be an absolute powerhouse when it comes to talent coming into Albany.