An on-time budget? In New York State?

If so, it'll be the first since 2006, says the NY Daily News. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders announced a deal on the budget this afternoon, and it looks a lot like the budget Cuomo proposed back in February:

The budget calls for a 2% decrease in overall spending and closes a $10 billion deficit - without any new tax hikes or borrowing.

"It is a big deal when this state passes a budget on time," Cuomo said after striking the deal. "It's an exceptionally big deal when the state passes a budget on time under these circumstances."

Aside from a handful of changes, the agreement largely mirrors the spending plan Cuomo proposed on February 1 and represents a significant victory for the freshman governor.  Read more

Ulster County teens arrested after break-in bacchanalia

With a glut of vacation houses standing empty most of the year, break-ins are a perennial problem in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. But this one kinda takes the cake: A scrum of (mostly) teenagers allegedly occupied a house on Beaverkill Road in Stone Ridge for a week: drinking, hosting live bands, and even stealing the homeowner's car and abandoning it in midtown Kingston.

Three people have been arrested: 16-year-old Jade Terwillegar of Connelly, 18-year-old Marshall Joslin of Stone Ridge, and 20-year-old Jeremy Bennett of Port Ewen.

The Times Herald-Record has an account of the debauchery, including this tidbit:

Police said they solved a second case when they busted the party house. Terwillegar had been partying for so long that someone reported her as a missing person.

Potshots: Politics in Wawarsing

"Potshots," by Bovina artist Gary Mayer, runs every Sunday. You can see Gary's collected Sunday cartoons by clicking here. For some context on this week's cartoon, click here and here.  Read more

Alleged antiques thieves didn't go far enough to sell their booty

With the help of two antiques dealers, the Ulster County Sheriff's Office is reporting that it has arrested Joseph Hunter and Quinn Gaffney for allegedly stealing antiques on Partition Street in Saugerties and then selling them 100 yards away on Main Street.

The suspects, according to a press release, are two Saugerties teenagers who allegedly stole the goods from the Partition Street store by sneaking in through a back entrance.  After chatting about the robbery with the owner of the Main Street store, the owner of the Partition Street store reportedly identified his stolen property himself.

Here's the press release in full:

Detectives from the Ulster County Sheriff's Office report the arrest of two Saugerties residents on burglary related charges stemming from an investigation that began in late December, 2010.  Read more

Late night with Liz

Martha Frankel, a Boiceville-based writer, artist and provocateur, shared some intimate memories of the late Elizabeth Taylor with the Daily Freeman this week. Frankel recalls that she met Taylor while strenuously trying not to offend her by making eye contact on the set of Sweet Bird of Youth in 1989:

After a while, though, Taylor must have noticed this woman who tried to not even look at her, because, Frankel said, “she finally came over to me and said, ‘OK, who are you?’”

Taylor then invited Frankel to her house for a party, where Frankel had a front-row seat as Taylor stayed up until 2am telling stories about her famous life and times:  Read more

90 anti-frackers demonstrate outside governor's chambers

The Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog reports that scores of protesters chanted "No Fracking Way" in the War Room of the Capitol building in Albany yesterday, in a show of force that probably reached Governor Andrew Cuomo's ears in the next room over. Reporter Rick Karlin notes that these protestors came from one particular demographic: 

These folks were older and whiter than the protesters who’ve been marching for a Millionaire’s Tax and against school cuts, but they were plenty energetic.

See a video that the blog posted here.

Lawsuit filed over spoiled casino dream

Victor Whitman at the Times Herald-Record reports this morning that a onetime casino investor who sold land in Bridgeville to the Seneca Nation for an ill-fated casino project wants both his land back and $15 million in damages. Charles Petri of 3D Associates hoped to make a mint selling the rest of his Bridgeville land holdings once the casino was built, the paper reports:

Petri and his partners also want $15 million in damages from the Senecas only, saying they committed fraud by misrepresenting their intentions and abandoning the casino attempt. [3D Associates, Petri's company] planned to sell 18 acres next to the casino. It was anticipating more than $15 million in that sale, but the deal fell apart because the casino was never built.  Read more

"No Calico:" A Farm to Market interview with Bruce Baker

Bruce BakerBruce BakerFor the third and final installment in our series of interviews with experts who will speak at this Sunday's Farm to Market Conference in Liberty, we talked with Bruce Baker, a marketing consultant who teaches farm and food business people how to improve their sales, packaging, and customer relations. He surprised us with some strong opinions about what he called "country sappy stuff."

Watershed Post: What will you talk about at the conference?

Bruce Baker: My area of expertise is sales and customer service: what to say and how to use language that entices people. It’s following the four distinct phases of a sale, and improving the visual merchandising. I find that these farmers' markets that are just starting up, someone brings a card table and flops some garlic on it on top of a tablecloth with a crazy calico print on it. The result is busy and slapdash.  Read more

Paprika at RAG: Shake it, Roxbury

In upstate New York, March is dreary season: a month made of mud, sleet, damp, and forlorn hopes for spring. In Brazil, March is Carnaval: riotous color, parades, wild costumes, and the infectious beat of the samba. After months of winter, it hardly seems fair.

In town to right the balance a little this Saturday, March 26, is Paprika, an all-woman band from Brooklyn that dishes out mighty helpings of Brazilian samba, Afro-Caribbean beats, and a pastiche of rump-shaking dance jams from around the globe. The band plays at the Roxbury Arts Center at 7:30pm, with a salsa lesson from Jacinto Jorge at 7.

Want a sneak preview? Here's a clip of Paprika's Vanessa Roe in Madison, Wisconsin -- another locale that could use some spicing up -- giving her all to "Nao Deixou a Samba Morrer." (Translation: "I Won't Let The Samba Die." She won't, either.)

  Read more

Don't drive by State Police barracks at 104 mph

Sheri Rails: NY State PoliceSheri Rails: NY State Police

The State Police in Liberty are reporting that a 47-year-old Pennsylvania woman gave them an easy arrest on Sunday when she allegedly raced by their barracks on Rte. 17 at 104 miles per hour while high on a controlled substance. Sheri Rails was quickly stopped and arrested on $1,500 bail, the press release states. Here it is in full:  Read more