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Senator Ball says PA fracking "really raised my eyebrows"

Marie Cusick

Today in your Trail Mix: a surprising amount of Albany.

State senator Greg Ball talks to Capital Tonight about what he saw near drilling rigs in Pennsylvania.

The Pa. politician who said fracking spreads STDs clarifies.

Jobs numbers for New York are upbeat.

Plus, Albany is a pretty lousy minor league sports city - but at least Troy has its own t-shirt!

Natural gas

New York state senator Greg Ball has been in Pennsylvania checking out drilling operations.  He tells Capital Tonight that he's glad he went, because he's seen "things that really raised my eyebrows" (Maureen McManus, State of Politics/Capital Tonight):

New York's hydrofracking advisory panel met privately Thursday, to get the ball rolling on recommendations related to regulating the natural gas industry (Jon Campbell, Gannett).

Meanwhile, in another branch of state government, the attorney general's office has subpoenaed three gas companies to see if they lied to investors (Ian Urbina, New York Times).

Remember yesterday when we told you that Pennsylvania House Democrat Mike Sturla said drilling was causing STD rates to climb "amongst the womenfolk?"  Now he's responded to State Impact PA, saying he hopes the blog scrutinizes "the claims of job creation as closely as you do STD's."  He's got a point - they did take a pretty close look.

The top gas producing counties in Pennsylvania are Bradford, Susquehanna and Tioga, according to new data from Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection (AP).


Dozens of American Axle employees will lose their job when the Cheektowaga plant closes.  The company is making good on the promise it made to fold after a labor agreement failed to pass muster with union workers (Matt Glynn, Buffalo News).

But don't put your sad face on yet - Buffalo added 9,900 jobs in July, according to the Labor Department (Samantha Maziarz Christmann, Buffalo News).

"Oh yeah Buffalo?" retorts Rochester, which ranked number one in the state for adding jobs (Velvet Spicer, Rochester Business Journal).

New York continues to beat the national jobless rate, with 8 percent, compared to 9.1 percent nationally (Colby Hamilton, The Empire).

Ok, there is an opportunity to wear your sad face on the jobs front: nurses in Albany make $10,000 less than nurses elsewhere in the statewide (Eric Anderson, The Buzz).

The capital region's economic council has a new vision statement (Jimmy Vielkind, Capitol Confidential).

Chip fabrication

Senator Charles Schumer wants the Department of Defense to make its computer chips in Albany instead of investing in retrofitting a facility in Sacramento (Larry Rulison, Times Union).

Schumer made those remarks at a groundbreaking for a new manufacturing line in Canandaigua.  Here's the twist: the firm bringing in new jobs is Indian, and will work with a local community college to train local workers (Tom Tobin, Democrat & Chronicle).

IBM says it's built computer chips that can learn, just like the human brain (AP).

All over (for) Albany

The housing numbers in the Albany area look great - but that's only when you compare them to the sharp drop-off in real estate sales that followed the end of the Obama stimulus (Chris Churchill, Times Union).

Pete Dougherty at the Times Union laments that Albany ranks 168 in a spread of the top minor league sports markets (worth clicking through, if only for the grim shot of hockey fans doing the YMCA).  How does the rest of the Trail fare, according to the Sports Business Journal?  Syracuse comes in at number 6, Rochester nabs number 20, and Binghamton ties with Metairie, La. for 62.  Auburn, Batavia, Troy, Poughkeepsie and Elmira all come in before the Empire State's capital.  So who does Albany beat?  Oneonta and Glens Falls.  Oof.

T-shirt maker Threadless is running a contest to create a shirt celebrating your town.  Troy has already weighed in with its design (via All Over Albany). Rest of upstate, where you at?  Time to represent!

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