10:43am

Wed October 20, 2010
Morning news round-up

Cuomo says yes to hydropower, Irondequoit says no to wind

Cuomo would keep Power for Jobs

The Buffalo News is reporting that Andrew Cuomo has clarified that he won't change the state's hydroelectric power distribution program, after a comment he made in Monday's gubernatorial debate.  The "Power for Jobs" program gives upstate businesses cheap hydro power in exchange for job creation.  Cuomo says his remark about getting power "down from western New York" to New York City was about building additional transmission capacity - not moving subsidies.

No wind for Irondequoit

Irondequoit, just north of Rochester, has passed a non-binding resolution banning offshore wind development in its little patch of Lake Ontario.  A number of shore towns have passed similar measures over the past year as the New York Power Authority considers five bids to build offshore wind projects - but continues to refuse to reveal where the projects might be built.

M&T shares up

Earnings at Buffalo-based M&T Bank were up by 53 percent in the third quarter, reports the Buffalo News.  Earnings were $1.48 a share:

Driving M&T's earnings higher was a combination of reduced loan losses and the increased profitability of its basic banking business of making loans and taking in deposits.

Utility hearings

The Post-Standard has a couple of stories about utility companies and their dastardly deeds this morning.  At a hearing before the state senate yesterday, National Grid officials were chastised for allowing employees to ship wine (and a cat, weirdly), and send kids to private school with company dollars.  If an audit reveals more questionable spending, utility customers could get a refund.

At the same time, National Grid is seeking permission to increase rates from the Public Service Commission, to the tune of $400 million.  The next hearing on that measure is October 26 in Syracuse.

MVP targets Buffalo

MVP healthcare is driving hard to make an impact in the western New York.  The Buffalo New reports that the insurance game is currently dominated by HealthNow New York, Independent Health Association, and Univera Healthcare.  A spokesman tells the Buff News that the business community seems to be pleased that there's now more competition in the market.  Schnectady-based MVP is already a major player down the Thruway in Rochester, where it and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield split the market about 40-60.

Goodbye to bad buildings

Albany Residents are shedding no tears over the demolition of derelict and foreclosed buildings, reports the Times-Union:

It's one of the unusual side effects of urban blight: A building's collapse is hailed as good news.

"I think its better to rip it down, maybe replace it with something somebody can live in," said a man who lives nearby and declined to give his name. "It's no good to have these empty buildings."

Hardcore for hard copies

The New York Times reports that it’s students who are the Luddites when it comes to digital text books.  The paper has a piece today about how students at Hamilton College in Clinton are negotiating the newly complicated textbook market – largely by sticking with used or borrowed books. 

Mall getting new life

Niagara County Community College's Culinary Arts Institute will be moving into an abandoned mall in Niagara Falls.  It's being called a "game changer," the Buffalo News reports, for a town that has suffered in the shadow of its Canadian counterpart across the falls.

Instructable

And finally, looking for a new old hobby?  The Buffalo News has this instructive video about how to smelt iron ore.  Now you can make those spurs you always wanted!

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