9:26am

Tue August 30, 2011
Morning trail mix

"A level of afraid that I'm not used to" in flooded Capital Region

First, kudos to our colleagues at the Times Union and elsewhere in the region for their brave and compassionate reporting on flood victims.  Their dedicated work in difficult conditions over the past few days reminds us why the world still needs newspapers.

Also in your Trail Mix, genealogists are helping gas companies find the owners of mineral rights in Pennsylvania - which may vary from the owners of surface rights. Parts of the Thruway are still closed. Plus, your conflicted feelings about technology.

Irene recovery

"A level of afraid that I'm not used to" in Schoharie, as fears rose about a dam breaking (Scott Waldman, Times Union).

Crops were ruined by the flooding, and livestock died in the high waters in the Mohawk and Schoharie valleys, which were hit hard by flooding (Chris Churchill, Times Union).

Gauges to measure the height of the Schoharie River were washed out by Irene (Times Union).

The estimates on when the lights will come back on - not the lights actually coming back on - are expected to begin to roll out today (Larry Rulison, Times Union).

New York State Public Radio's Karen DeWitt went up in a helicopter with Governor Cuomo to survey flood damage and brought back these photos.

Resources for people affected by Irene (Jimmy Vielkind, Capitol Confidential).

A section of the Thruway between Herkimer and Duanesburg is still closed (Cathleen F. Crowley, Times Union). You can keep up-to-date on closures here.

Insurance premiums are expected to rise in the wake of Irene (Daniel Wagner and Christopher S. Rugaber, AP).

"It's good to be home" for a Vestal couple with water in their basement and mud and their garage (Debbie Swartz and Nancy Dooling, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

Tourism-dependent towns are worried that travellers will call it quits in the wake of Irene, and bail on their Labor Day plans (AP).

And for flood victims, we hope what Johnny Cash’s mom told him holds true for you: “good things come from adversity.”

Natural gas

Geneaologists are playing a bizarrely important role in gas leasing, helping to find rightful heirs to mineral rights - which stick with original owners, even if the surface land is sold (Jeremy Boren, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).

Diane Rehm tackled fracking on her talk show yesterday. It's not the first time she's done it, and it wasn't without controversy (Scott Detrow, State Impact PA).

A drilling lease on an apartment complex's land has been invalidated because of a restriction against commercial activity (Susan Phillips, State Impact PA).

The Virginia earthquake from last week wasn't caused by fracking (Susan Phillips, State Impact PA).

The Press & Sun-Bulletin is urging Binghamton University to unveil the terms of its gas drilling lease in an editorial.

There's yet another (different) estimate on how many jobs shale drilling has created in Pennsylvania (AP).

Business

About 150 workers at a Ford plant outside Buffalo will be laid off following the closure of a Canadian plant (Matt Glynn, Buffalo News).

Matt Daneman at the Democrat and Chronicle looks at Steve Jobs' legacy - and Xerox's role in creating it.

New Yorkers are very conflicted about technology - they use it, but they're "concerned about it" (Daniel Robison, Innovation Trail).

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