11:03am

Thu March 29, 2012
Morning trail mix

NYC to buy 300 subway cars from Plattsburgh's Bombardier

Today in your Trail Mix:

New York City and an upstate manufacturer work out a deal.

Landowners in Tioga County are hoping they've found a loophole in the state's moratorium on fracking.

SUNY funding stable in budget, community college cash is up.

Plus, jobs picture still bleak at a Niagara Falls job fare.

Transportation

New York City's 300 new subway cars will be made in the North Country, at a Bombardier plant in Plattsburgh (Dan Heath, Press-Republican).

The governor's "New York Works" infrastructure program in the state budget would pool the resources of dozens of state agencies (Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation).

An infusion of cash from the state budget could help Buffalo's bus authority cancel a fare hike (Tom Precious, Buffalo News).

Energy

Landowners in Tioga County say they've brokered a deal to frack for natural gas using liquid propane, rather than water - and they say that the method isn't banned under the state's current moratorium (Tom Wilber, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

That puts the DEC in a bind - review the fracking under a set of 20-year-old environmental standards, or ask for a more rigorous review (Jon Campbell, Gannett).

State Impact has two great explainers up. First, a primer on Three Mile Island, which celebrates (celebrates?) the 33 year anniversary of a threatened nuclear disaster that reshaped the energy industry (Scott Detrow).

And Susan Phillips has a look at how friendships have fared at ground zero of the fracking debate: Dimock, Pennsylvania.

The Rochester suburb of Rush has banned fracking for year (Democrat and Chronicle).

Stephen Colbert told anti-drilling activist (and sometimes actor) Mark Ruffalo that he was "frack-blocking" America on The Colbert Report last night (Liz Benjamin, State of Politics).

Higher ed

SUNY's allocation in the state budget doesn't change, but community colleges are picking up an additional $2,000 or so per student (Legislative Gazette).

SUNY Fredonia is getting its first female president (WBFO).

Buffalo's bid for a second center of excellence, focused on materials informatics, has been granted by the state.  Sort of - they picked up $200,000 in the budget to get the center geared up (Alissa Kline, Buffalo Business First).

Cornell's picked up some federal cash for a project to test cold-weather resistant grapes (Dirk Lammers, AP).

Money and the economy

"Cash mobs" leverages the power of social media and rising "buy local" sentiment to buoy small businesses (Daniel Robison, WBFO/Innovation Trail).

A job fair in Niagara Falls Wednesday showed the nation's economy in miniature (Mark Leitner, WBFO).

New Yorkers are getting a break on sales tax on clothing purchase up to $110 - but competition from Internet retailers, which may not collect sales tax, still endangers brick and mortar stores (Eric Anderson, Times Union).

Buffalo's regional council is looking for a firm to help it spend the billion dollars promised to the region by the governor (Matt Glynn, Buffalo News).

The governor claims he can save the state $1 billion over the next five years by consolidating "back office" tasks like purchasing and issuing permits (Rick Karlin, Times Union).

Occupy Rochester will have to leave its encampment in a Rochester city park, per a judge's ruling (WXXI).

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