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Community gives feedback to Pine Hills Blog

April 17, 2015

by Molly-Kate Webster

Several city residents shared story ideas Thursday night with reporters for The Pine Hills Blog at a community meeting at the Pine Hills branch of the Albany Public Library.

During the meeting four student reporters from The College of Saint Rose told meeting guests and fellow students about the purpose of the blog and about recent stories they researched and reported. After explaining the blog,  guests contributed their feedback and ideas.

Patrick Hughes talking at the community meeting/ Adriana Rosales

Patrick Hughes talking at the community meeting/ Adriana Rosales

One reader of the blog, Patrick Hughes of South Pine Avenue said he liked the fact that the blog publishes local stories about the area. One thing that Hughes asked the journalism students to do is cover more serious and involved stories.

“I know the stories that you guys are talking about,” said Hughes. “I’d rather see more hard hitting stories.”

Hughes said that he doesn’t feel safe walking in some parts of the city.

Crime is actually down, said Ptl. Joe Acquaviva, who is assigned to the neighborhood beat. Acquaviva said Albany police is currently dealing with a graffiti issue on the eastern part of the Pine Hills neighborhood. Aquaviva said that people can send in complaints through an app called: see, click, fix,  on the City of Albany website.

Joe Acquaviva talks about crime/ Adriana Rosales

Joe Acquaviva talks about crime/ Adriana Rosales

Acquaviva said that if everyone does what they are supposed to do than the bigger problems don’t arise. “Be good citizens and neighbors, big problems won’t happen,” said Acquaviva.

The app allows people to take pictures of what is going on in their community and send them in.

Dan Herring speaks about issues in Pine Hills neighborhood /Adriana Rosales

Dan Herring speaks about issues in Pine Hills neighborhood /Adriana Rosales

Acquaviva said that once the photos are sent in they go to the Department of Building and Codes which addresses the issues immediately.

Councilman Dan Herring of the 13th ward in Albany said that the blog should expand its coverage to include stories from west of Manning Boulevard. While the Pine Hills Neighborhood association is the biggest one in the region, there are others, he said.

“You should expand your political boundaries,” said Herring.

The few who attended the meeting did said that they would like to see more quality of life stories about what goes on in the community. Common Council member Leah Golby said that she supports the students attending city meetings and works with them on their stories.

Golby said that she would like to see more stories about the young families that have planted roots in the Pine Hills neighborhood. She enjoys when profile stories are done of people and local businesses in the area.

When Hughes said he was concerned about a decline in the value of his property, Herring explained the issue of local taxes in the neighborhood and said that Albany is going through a reevaluation and residents will see changes. High taxes are important because they can drive people away, he said.

“Things are just changing,” said Hughes. “That’s just life.” -30-

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