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The Three-Legged Stool of Economic Development

by Miriam Axel-Lute December 31, 2013

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  Urbanist gadfly Richard Florida recently attempted to tip the sacred cow of "eds and meds" (universities and hospitals) economic development by arguing that cities with a high percentage of employment in those sectors tended to ...

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Still Burning

by Miriam Axel-Lute December 19, 2013

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  I am and always have been a big fan of the winter holidays. Though I am not religious in the usual sense, nor much of a theist, I am a big champion of the power ...

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Five Things Engage NY Didn’t Intend to Teach My Kid

by Miriam Axel-Lute December 5, 2013

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  It’s always good to look on the bright side of things, right? (Or at least frequently good. Relentlessly doing so veers toward denial.) Nonetheless, when you have a kid in school in this age of absurd ...

We Would Like To Apologize For . . .

by Miriam Axel-Lute November 20, 2013

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  I’m traveling this week again. This means, among other things, that I get to hear a lot of people and companies say “We apologize for the inconvenience.” It took me a little while to realize why ...

“Smart” Kids and Hard Tests

by Miriam Axel-Lute November 6, 2013

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  A couple of weeks ago now, I attended the forum on the Common Core standards in Albany with Commissioner King. The parents and teachers and board members and principals who spoke were as a rule eloquent. ...

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Let Teachers Teach

by Miriam Axel-Lute October 24, 2013

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  This afternoon (Oct. 24), from 4 to 7 PM, there will be a forum with New York State Education Commissioner Steve King at Albany’s Harriet and Stephen Myers Middle School on the implementation of the ...

Who Gets to Play?

by Miriam Axel-Lute October 10, 2013

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  My 2nd grader wants to do everything (Soccer! Gymnastics! 4H! Garden club! Karate! Running club! Contradance!). The only reason an instrument isn’t on her list is because she wants to learn flute and she’s too ...

Please, Talk to Strangers

by Miriam Axel-Lute September 26, 2013

  On Wednesday morning I got forwarded the following alert: “Albany police are investigating a report of a male exposing himself on Delaware Avenue. Staff from Myers Middle School notified police that on Tuesday September 24, 2013 ...

History, We Hope

by Miriam Axel-Lute September 13, 2013

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  I’m writing this the morning after a historic primary election day here in Albany, and also the morning after a Presidential saber-rattling speech about a proposed act of war that, amazingly enough, even the general ...

Questions for Albany’s Next Mayor

by Miriam Axel-Lute August 28, 2013

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  During the Albany 2030 planning process, one of the things that came across loud and clear in the initial public meetings, but didn’t make it into the plan, was that the people of Albany wanted ...

Practical Magic

by Miriam Axel-Lute August 15, 2013

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  Many years ago when I was on staff at Metroland covering the ongoing story surrounding Albany Police officer Chris D’Alessandro’s suspension and the efforts of a little innovative community prosecution office headed up by Albany ...

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On Protesting Killer Coal

by Miriam Axel-Lute August 1, 2013

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  The cooling towers were the first thing we saw, clearly visible from the Little League field in Somerset, Mass., where I had joined several hundred people to call for the closing of Brayton Point Power ...

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Kids on the Range

by Miriam Axel-Lute July 3, 2013

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  At her birthday party last month, when it came time to light her candle, I handed my 7-year-old a box of matches. One of the kids gave her a funny look and said, “I don’t ...

Energy Independent by 2030

by Miriam Axel-Lute June 20, 2013

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  It is a surprisingly strong and sad thing that someone did along the way to convince many of us that “cynic” and “realist” meant the same thing. It’s this uncomfortable niggling belief that keeps many people ...

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Dads, Daughters and Dating

by Miriam Axel-Lute June 6, 2013

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  I was in my local Stewart’s a few years ago when I heard a guy, in the hearing of his teenage daughter, telling someone else that his daughter “wasn’t allowed to date until she’s 30.” ...

Study Says What?

by Miriam Axel-Lute May 23, 2013

  Back when I used to go to journalism conferences, I remember there frequently being workshops offered on the theme of “math for journalists.” In other words, lessons on how not to screw up, or get ...

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Opting Out Together

by Miriam Axel-Lute April 24, 2013

  This week and last week New York state students in grades 3–8 underwent hours and hours of new standardized testing as part of the state’s implementation of the new “Common Core” learning standards. The tests marked ...

If You Really Meant That Sign . . .

by Miriam Axel-Lute April 11, 2013

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  My feelings about marriage equality were well summed up by Feminist Hulk: “HULK SUPPORT QUEER AND FEMINIST CHALLENGES TO MARRIAGE AS INSTITUTION. HULK ALSO CHAMPION SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. HULK VAST, CONTAIN MULTITUDES.” But nonetheless, these are momentous ...

More Than “Insensitive”

by Miriam Axel-Lute March 28, 2013

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  “We support the residents of Ida Yarbrough.” That was the central theme of the 50-person community response rally that gathered on the corner of Livingston Avenue and North Pearl Street on Tuesday evening. Many residents of ...

What Is Safe Sleeping?

by Miriam Axel-Lute March 13, 2013

  It was with great disappointment that I saw the new Albany County advertising campaign on “safe sleeping” for infants, which discourages bedsharing and repeats the old, inaccurate canard that “babies sleep safest alone.” There are few ...

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Dear Labor, WTF?

by Miriam Axel-Lute February 28, 2013

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  To “Big Labor,” especially the AFL-CIO, from the diverse and rapidly growing climate change movement: So the past few years have been going pretty well for you and us, we thought. We got your back in ...

Ten Books To Blow Your Mind

by Miriam Axel-Lute February 13, 2013

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  It’s a good reading season, this six-more-weeks-of-winter-at-least time of year. So since I’m in the middle of a book that makes me repeatedly collar whoever is in the room with me to share the insights ...

Stop Segregating the Rich

by Miriam Axel-Lute January 30, 2013

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  “Gentrification will reduce crime and violence—but only if poor people stay.” That’s the title of an interesting recent blog post on MetroTrends describing a move some urban researchers are making toward taking a public health approach ...

Acceptable Victims

by Miriam Axel-Lute January 16, 2013

  As we start to emerge from the horror of the Newtown school shootings, I keep finding myself returning to the other half of what I thought to say when I wrote about it back in ...

Today the Kitchen, Tomorrow the World

by Miriam Axel-Lute January 3, 2013

  Sometimes our most satisfying triumphs are embarrassingly small. One weekend, I tackled our pantry floor, with its towering crates of jars and plastic storage containers. I had for years bemoaned the lack of an easy ...

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