Friday, Sept. 9, 2011
African Americans disproportionately hit in jobs drought
The unemployment rate sits at 9.1 percent, but for African American job seekers that number is nearly double. The latest Labor Department statistics show the jobless rate for African Americans stands at 16.7 percent. The Buffalo News has this report.
Historic floods in Binghamton
The storm that raged across New York has decimated the Binghamton area. Evacuations and rescues were the order of the day as the city struggled to keep two swollen rivers at bay and get its citizens out of harms way. The Binghamton Press and Sun Bulletin has this report.
In wake of flooding, task force to convene
The task force formed in 2006 after heavy flooding in the plain of the Mohawk River never actually met. The team of experts was authorized by the legislature to study ways to mitigate flooding in the Mohawk and its tributaries, but no meeting ever took place. Now, in the wake of the latest flooding, they will meet. The Albany Times-Union has this account.
Racetrack owners urge State Senate to allow commercial casinos
The State Senate held a hearing on the viability of allowing commercial casinos to operate in the state. Governor Cuomo has floated the notion that New York should change its constitution and allow gambling, now only legal on Native American lands. The Elmira Star-Gazette has this report.
A frozen moment
They were supposed to be running a simulated hijacking drill on the fateful day, but when the call from the Boston control tower came in to the Northeast Air Defense Sector headquarters in Rome, it was not a drill. The people on duty that day recall the sinking feeling that crept into their hearts as events unfolded. WIBX News Radio in Utica has this remembrance.
Crossing U.S./ Canadian border once routine, no more
Since the 9/11 attacks, the border security between the U.S. and Canada has been significantly tightened. What once was a fairly informal, even pastoral ritual, has now become a militarized exercise. North Country Public Radio has this report.
Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011
New York was hammered with heavy rains and flooding over the past 24 hours as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee passed over the state. Communities across the state are canceling school, closing roads and warning people to avoid any unnecessary travel. The Southern Tier was particularly hard hit as this account from the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin explains.
More misery for Albany area
Capital District officials are hoping for a respite from the heavy weather as they continue clean up efforts. The Albany Times-Union has this report.
Elmira area paralyzed
The counties of Tioga and Bradford have declared states of emergency and river flooding is escalating as this piece from the Elmira Star-Gazette reports.
Central New York damage and flooding
The Utica area also felt the brunt of the latest storm as roads flood and basement are inundated. The Utica Observer-Dispatch has this coverage.
Generous grants to fund nerve research at University of Rochester
Four donations in the past few days totaling $4.5 million will be used to conduct research at the University of Rochester. The research will focus on neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has this story.
New York public schools facing lean times
As children return to school, they may see more classmates in their classes, and fewer teachers and staff to attend to them. Districts facing the grim economic state of things have had to cut back, lay-off and get by with less. The Buffalo News has this piece on the impact these steps might have on students.
Hydrofracking report released
New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has released its report on the impact of hydrofracking in the state. WRVO in Oswego has this report.
After storms pass, environment slow to recover
Recent storms have caused obvious damage and destruction, but the longer term effects of the storms on the environment aren’t quite as manifest. North Country Public Radio has this report on the damage to the North Country’ s environment.
Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011
Remembrances of things past
No one quite knows the reasons why, but in 1861 the tiny hamlet of Town Line, New York seceded from the Union and aligned itself with the Confederacy. It wasn’t until 1946 that the residents voted to rejoin the Union, after seeking advice from President Harry Truman about how to go about it. The Buffalo News has this story.
Jobs crucial for New York economic recovery
As President Barack Obama prepares to address the nation and present his plan to create jobs, New York lawmakers are stressing how important job creation – whether through investment, regulatory relief or reformed tax policy – is critical for the state. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has this Gannett piece on the stakes for the state.
Read the story
DEC set to release hydrofracking report
The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation is poised to release its long-anticipated report on the safety of the natural gas drilling method known as hydrofracking. In the absence of state action, many communities are imposing moratoriums on the practice. Northeast Public Radio has this report.
Raucous crowd expresses their views at dissolution hearing
The Southern Tier village of Johnson City is again considering dissolving their village. The cash-strapped Binghamton inner suburb tried in 2009 to dissolve itself, but fell 40 votes short. The Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin has this report.
Prison populations muddy redistricting efforts
The state redistricting of senate and assembly districts may hit a snag as some lawmakers are challenging new regulations governing how prison populations are counted in the process. The Capitol Report has this piece.
Federal grant funds technology in the classroom
The Watkins Glen school district is getting help from a federal program that will enable the district to provide laptops to all of its student in grades 5 through 12. The Elmira Star-Gazette has this profile.
Tuesday Sept. 6, 2011
Perfect attendance not perfect policy
Rewarding students for making it to school may seem a reasonable approach to fostering better scholarship for kids, but some health professional see the practice as misguided. Sick kids should stay at home, they say, and programs designed to reward perfect attendance are perfectly flawed. The Buffalo News has this report.
Rochester fights ash borer blight
The city of Rochester is taking the fight to an insect invader that is threatening the city’s ash trees. The Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect from Asia, is a grave threat to the state’s ash tree population and the city is busy treating trees to defeat the threat. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has this report.
A truly perfect storm
As clean up efforts continue in New York following Irene’s deluge, an RPI professor explains just how severe and unprecedented the storm that hit last week was. The Albany Times-Union has this report.
Nature or nurture; the evolution of cities
A Binghamton University professor has just published a book about the evolution of cities and he thinks cities can evolve in measurable ways. He and his graduate students used Binghamton as their laboratory for their research and the result was the book The Neighborhood Project, Using Evolution to Improve My City One Block at a Time. The Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin has this report.
Monday, Sept. 5, 2011
DJ voice of calm as storm raged
With power, cable and telephones all out of commission during the height of Irene’s onslaught in the Castkills, the voice of WRIP radio was the only source of information for some storm victims. This New York Times piece details the 13-hour shift one DJ pulled as Irene rained down.
Labor shortage in Western New York threatens harvest
Agriculture is the leading industry in New York state. But the labor-intensive harvest has some farmers scrambling for workers. The Buffalo News has this piece on farmers’ challenges to get the crop in.
Yates County man killed in Afghanistan
A soldier due to return from Afghanistan in just 12 days to be married was killed while on patrol last week. The small town of Dundee is in a state of shock. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has this story.
Jobless numbers worse than they look
While the official unemployment rate sits at 9.1 percent, that number doesn’t include the many millions of part-time workers seeking full-time employment. This AP piece in the Albany Times-Union sums it up.
Read the story
Standardized teacher evaluations, the devil’s in the details
Teachers in New York school districts were rated at the local level, with each district adopting various approaches to rating their teachers. Now, a state mandate will change all that and districts are finding it difficult to implement new procedures. The Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin has this piece on efforts in the Southern Tier.
Slow going with flood cleanup in North Country
A week after Irene flooded many out of their homes, clean up efforts continue. The Plattsburgh Press- Republican has this account.
Tornado touches down in Amsterdam
Heavy weather yesterday in the Capital Region included a tornado that touched down in Amsterdam. Northeast Public Radio has this report.
More state involvement to fight EEE
A North Country State Senator is calling for more state involvement to battle the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus which has claimed the life of a 4-year-old girl and is thought to be spreading across central New York. WRVO in Oswego has this report.