Mon May 19, 2014

Albany not ready for crude oil accident + video report

Bakken crude oil train next to children's playground at Ezra Prentince Houses in Albany
Credit Jenna Flanagan / Innovation Trail

Albany County officials have recently tried to reassure the public over concerns about the crude oil trains that travel through the city. Officials have acknowledged that the trains pose a significant risk but they also admit that depending on the nature of an accident, there’s little they can do.

A recent Common Council meeting at the Albany Public Housing Authority tried to address residents’ fears and concerns.

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Wed May 29, 2013

With four weeks left, what can the legislature achieve?

The steady drum beat of scandal after scandal in the New York State legislature has led many to wonder whether lawmakers can focus on passing any major bills by the end of the session, which is fast approaching. As Karen DeWitt reports, the legislature returns Wednesday and has just four work weeks to act on items ranging from campaign finance reform to abortion rights, to economic development plans.

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Thu October 25, 2012

Capital Region cities seek to bridge a pedestrian divide

The aging Livingston Avenue Bridge will soon need to be rebuilt in order to accommodate rail traffic. Officials on both sides of the Hudson would like its pedestrian and bike pathway to be restored in the new plans.
Credit Marie Cusick / WMHT

As New York sorts out how to spend millions of federal dollars for railroad upgrades, officials in Albany and Rensselaer are hoping some of that money can help restore a pedestrian and bike pathway over the Hudson River to reconnect the two cities.

The Livingston Avenue Bridge is over 100 years old. It can still carry trains over the river, but it's nearing the end of its life, and its pedestrian walkway has been closed since the mid 1980's.

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Tue October 23, 2012
Government transparency

5 ways big data can build better governments

danxoneil via Flickr

How big a deal is big data?

It's pretty big. The question is how we should be handling all the massive amounts of information we’re collecting. The ubiquity of computers and the exponential growth in their processing power has made this a hot topic in just about every field of human endeavor, including government.

Big data touches everything from campaign contributions, to budgets, employment, environmental regulations, and corporate responsibility.

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Mon October 15, 2012
Urban Planning

Albany tries something new: urban planning

A view of Albany's Empire State Plaza at night. More than 1,100 buildings were destroyed and 9,000 people were displaced to make way for the plaza in the 1960s.
Matt Ryan WMHT

Despite Albany’s prominence as the state capital, over the years, large swaths of the city’s urban core have been either destroyed or in decline.

Earlier this year, for the first time in the city’s 400 year history, it adopted a comprehensive urban plan, aimed at turning things around. 

It outlines ways to improve everything from public transportation, to education, and affordable housing over the next 20 years.

Watch the full story below: