10:22am

Thu March 15, 2012
Morning trail mix

Ups and downs in New York's yogurt boom

Today in your Trail Mix:

The trials and tribulations of New York's dairy industry.

Vestal citizens turn out for a drilling ban.

Casino gambling clears a hurdle in the state legislature.

Plus, Cornell's rare flower is set to bloom.

Dairy

Senator Schumer is trying to rig up a federal tax credit for dairy farmers to purchase milk-producing cows, to meet immediate demand for milk for upstate's burgeoning yogurt industry (Brian Nearing, Times Union).

Schumer is also seeking a million dollar grant to help a yogurt producer set up shop in western New York (Paul Mrozek, The Daily News).

Meanwhile Chobani's yogurt plant in New Berlin has been charged with 34 health safety violations (Douglass Dowty, Post-Standard).

Gas drilling

Petitioners in favor of a fracking ban in Vestal delivered more than a thousand signatures to the town board last night (Debbie Swartz, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

Drilling in Pennsylvania is largely contained to 11 counties according to data from the state (Kevin Begos, AP).

Anti-drilling activists have "nonviolent direct action" planned for a meeting of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission today (Susan Phillips, State Impact PA).

An Ohio family says gas drilling contaminated their water well (Alison Grant, The Plain Dealer).

Paul Krugman compares Pennsylvania to North Dakota, and says it's "silly" to use North Dakota as an example of why additional drilling and mining are good for the economy.

Flooding

Big projects to prevent flooding like that of 2006 are unlikely to happen in the Southern Tier - instead, the federal government is taking a piecemeal approach to mitigation (Matt Richmond, WSKG/Innovation Trail).

It's not meant to be ironic: A Binghamton city councilman is seeking a discount on water bills for flood victims (Nancy Dooling, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

Energy

A report from a national solar energy advocacy group argues that New York needs more incentives to help grow the solar industry here (Larry Rulison, Times Union).

The Hudson Valley conducted the most energy efficiency projects last year, with the Binghamton area coming in second (Nancy Dooling, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

Gambling

The state legislature has taken the first step to making non-Indian casino gambling legal in New York (Tom Precious, Buffalo News).

The president of the Seneca Nation says Indian gaming is being "demonized" during the march toward state gambling (Colby Hamilton, The Empire).

Economy

Planet Money has a nice visual explainer on what exactly the U.S. contributes to the global economy (Lam Vo, Planet Money).

The National Bureau of Economic Research is challenging the conventional wisdom that small businesses drive job creation - a new report argues that it's actually young businesses that create the most jobs (Eric Anderson, Times Union).

MoveOn.org is hosting a rally in Syracuse today to replace the head of Federal Housing Finance Agency (Charley Hannagan, Post-Standard).

Senator Gillibrand claims that New York has a surplus of unfilled manufacturing jobs because of a lack of training, and is hawking legislation that she says will provide funding to fill that gap (LeShea Agnew, WXXI).

Sean Dobbin's stirring look at the plight of a group of homeless men being evicted from their encampment in Rochester has already sparked a solution: They've been offered a temporary home (Tina Yee, Democrat and Chronicle).

Government

The entire New York State congressional delegation has signed off on a plan that would bring spy planes to Niagara Falls, to save the base there (Jerry Zremski, Buffalo News).

The Brookings Institution's Bruce Katz told an audience in Buffalo yesterday that there's a "national buzz" about the governor's plan to send $1 billion to the region for economic development (WBFO).

Whether the calendar says it or not, winter is officially over in Buffalo - the city is suspending snow parking regulations (Omar Fetouh and Eileen Buckley, WBFO).

A coalition of groups backing the sale of wine in grocery stores are continuing to push for the measure, which they say would benefit the state's wine industry (Cara Matthews, Vote Up!).

Potentially awful or great

Cornell University's rare "corpse flower" will be on display for the next few days (Brett Israel, Our Amazing Planet).

While you’re on your road trip to check it out, why not tune into WITH’s Open Tunings tomorrow from 9 a.m. to noon when I take a turn as the DJ?

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