10:52am

Fri February 10, 2012
Morning trail mix

STOCK act passes House to tamp down on insider trading

Today in your Trail Mix:

Anti-insider trading legislation for congressional members passes Congress.

Pennsylvania maps where drilling impact fees will pile up.

What the mortgage settlement means for New Yorkers.

Plus, upstate's most romantic city.

Politics

The House has now passed legislation that cleared the Senate last week, barring legislators from profiting from stock trades made based on Congressional knowledge (Brian Tumulty, Gannett).

But western New York congresswoman Louise Slaughter, a longtime booster of the bill, says the bill falls short of what she'd originally envisioned (Mark Leitner, WNED).

The Seneca Nation is bringing in lobbyists to help with a campaign to prevent state-sponsored casino gambling in western New York (Tom Precious, Buffalo News).

A pro-business group is hailing the governor's Tier VI pension relief proposal (Colby Hamilton, The Empire).

Governor Cuomo says the 2 percent tax cap, coupled with increased education spending, will help increase achievement in urban school districts (Sean Kirst, Post-Standard).

A new report claims that New York's Environmental Protection Fund generates $7 in economic benefits for every dollar spent on conservation (Cara Matthews, Vote Up!).

Energy

State Impact PA has compiled a map showing where revenue from Pennsylvania's new drilling impact fee will hit home (Scott Detrow).

GE and Switzerland's Advanced Power AG are siting a gas-fired power plant in the Albany-area, at a cost of $1.4 billion (Larry Rulison, Times Union).

Chesapeake Energy has been fined in a fracking fluid spill that coincided with the anniversary of the Gulf oil spill.  Price tag: $565,000 (Jim Polson, Bloomberg).

The federal government has to decide if it wants to double down on renewable energy - or cut its losses (Matt Richmond, WSKG/Innovation Trail).

Mortgage settlement

New York's attorney general talks about why New York joined the mortgage settlement and what it means for the state [VIDEO] (Maureen McManus, State of Politics).

Around 46,000 homeowners will benefit from a $790 million settlement (Joseph Spector, Gannett).

Planet Money's Jacob Goldstein explains why the settlement may actually mean more foreclosures in the offing.

Manufacturing

The narrative out of the Buffalo Auto Show is resurgent American manufacturing (Daniel Robison, WNED/Innovation Trail).

American manufacturing "punches above its weight" when it comes to the tech sector (Ron Scherer, Christian Science Monitor).

Packaging maker Sealed Air has filed a WARN notice saying it's cutting 70 jobs in the Capital Region, and says it's also planning to drop 180 workers in the Rochester area over 2012 and 2013 (Zack Seward, WXXI/Innovation Trail).

On the heals of Kodak quitting camera making, the owner of the Kodak Theater in Hollywood is fighting the bankrupt photo company's attempt to get rid of its naming rights (Will Astor, Rochester Business Journal).

Agriculture

Maple sugar producers are faced with a warm winter dilemma: to tap or not to tap (Debra J. Groom, Post-Standard).

The Thruway Authority is recruiting farmers to participate in farmer's markets at rest stops (AP).

Redevelopment

Kaleida Health is having a competition to redevelop a Buffalo hospital (Henry L. Davis and Matt Glynn, Buffalo News).

Binghamton suburb Johnson City is looking to revitalize its main street with a $24.5 million performing arts center (Steve Reilly, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

Ithaca celebrated the first tenant at its Center for Venture Development, which was nearly recruited away from the region (Rachel Stern, Ithaca Journal).  That’s pretty common in the Ithaca area as it tries to build critical mass for a life sciences research cluster.

Weird

There's a purple squirrel in Pennsylvania.  And because it's from Pennsylvania, naturally people are looking to fracking for an explanation (Susan Phillips, State Impact PA).

Amazon says Rochester is one of the nation's top 20 "most romantic" cities, based on sales of romance novels, Barry White albums, and other ridiculous indicators (Troy L. Smith, Rochester Business Journal).  Other beacons of romance: Tallahassee, Erie, Dayton, and Pittsburgh.  Amazon, I think your survey is broken.

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