Lead Stories


Sat May 25, 2013

Army bases' land is resource for generating energy

Fort Drum sits on more than 107,000 acres in northern New York.
Credit U.S. Army

The U.S. military is the largest consumer of energy in the federal government. But it also has a tremendous resource for generating its own energy: all the land its bases sit on.

Fort Drum, for example, takes up more than 107,000 acres in the North Country. That's ample space to harvest biofuel or plant a solar panel field, says Jerry Davis, an engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, which is working with the Defense Department on net zero energy projects.

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Fri May 24, 2013

Cuomo's tax-free zones draw mixed reviews

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:02 pm

Governor Cuomo has been traveling the state promoting a plan to allow new businesses to go tax free for up to a decade if they locate near a State University campus.  The plan, which is yet to be drafted into bill form, has raised some questions.

Governor Cuomo has been to several key upstate cities in recent days, promoting a plan to declare tax free zones around state college campuses, in hopes of attracting new businesses.

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Fri May 24, 2013

Taxpayers bearing the brunt of climate change costs

National Resources Defense Council

The impact and severity of weather events like the tornado that hit Oklahoma City earlier this week are increasing due to a changing global climate, according to research from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

“We get more extremes everywhere, so really it’s climate disruption, the term global warming is not really the best term to use because what we’re seeing, and what we’re expecting to see from all the models, is a lot of extreme events. Not per se the number, but the extremity of them,” says Laurie Johnson, chief economist for the NRDC’s climate and clean air program.

And, she says, more of the related economic fallout from these disasters is being carried by taxpayers.

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Fri May 24, 2013

Upstate farmers get innovative to access major food markets

Eric Andrus of Ferrisbrug, Vt. working on the 'Ceres', the Vermont Sail Freight Project.
Sarah Harris NCPR

Sarah Harris asks whether upstate NY farmers have access to the major markets in the big cities.

Most of the time, Eric Andrus is a beef and rice farmer. But lately, he’s learning to be a boat builder. On this day, he’s in the barn, sanding the hull of a big wooden barge.

“We’re about to apply the second layer of plywood,” Andrus says.

Andrus lives in Ferrisburg, Vt., near Lake Champlain. This fall, he plans to load up the boat with potatoes, grains, honey, apples, beans, and maple syrup, all produced in the Champlain Valley, and sail to markets further south. It’s called the Vermont Sail Freight project.

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Thu May 23, 2013

Senecas last holdout in casino negotiations with state

Seneca Casino, Niagara Falls
Daniel Robison/WBFO

In quick succession, the State of New York has reached agreements over casino rights with two Native American tribes: the Oneidas in Central New York and the Mohawks in the North Country.  That leaves the Seneca Nation in Western New York as the last remaining tribe whose dispute with the state is still unresolved. 

"We're continuing to talk. We have two out of three," Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

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