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Attendance at DEC fracking hearings tops 6,000

Zack Seward
Ruth Marchetti, of the Catholic Diocese of Rochester's public policy committee, testifies at a DEC hearing about fracking on November 16 in Dansville, N.Y. More than 6,000 people attended four hearings held across the state.

Today in your Trail Mix:

Totals from this month's fracking hearings.

Kodak offers space to a community college for a downtown campus - for an undisclosed price.

New York looks to Canada for cheap hydroelectric power.

Plus, it's snowing!  Remember last year when that happened?

Natural gas

The attendance numbers for the DEC's hydrofracking hearings are out now: 6,000 people attended four hearings and 590 testified (Jon Campbell, Vote Up!).

More than 1,250 comments were officially submitted to the public record at the hearing in New York City on Wednesday (Colby Hamilton, The Empire).

Scott Detrow of State Impact PA reports that an impact fee on gas drilling in Pennsylvania would inhibit local zoning authority - sound familiar? (All Things Considered).

Landowner coalitions are not pleased that the state has opened up a longer comment period on fracking regulations, fearing that could push back permitting (AP).

Police have charged a man with illegally dumping "some sort of petroleum sludge" on Pennsylvania state land - initially reported by a gas company contractor (Steve Reilly, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

Foreign Policy magazine has named SUNY Fredonia's Dr. Gary Lash one of its 100 "Top Global Thinkers" for his work on the geoscience of the Marcellus Shale (Jamestown Post-Journal).

A Cornell professor is touting soon-to-be-published research that contradicts the work of another Cornell prof. The new report argues that natural gas is cleaner for the climate than coal (Press & Sun-Bulletin).

The Columbia Journalism Review's Alysia Santo profiled the Innovation Trail's efforts to cover fracking.

New York NOW is taping an episode with DEC commissioner Joe Martens today - thanks to everyone who submitted questions about fracking for us to ask.  Check your local listings to see when you can watch the show, starting December 9.

Higher ed

Kodak is pitching Monroe Community College on buying some of its excess space for a downtown campus - but won't reveal how much its asking for the parcel (James Goodman, Democrat and Chronicle).

A professor at SUNY Albany is developing a video game that will help people recognize the bias apparent in their decision-making - so they can make better decisions (All Over Albany).

Students at Binghamton University held a teach-in to argue for the future of the school's "philosophy, interpretation, and culture" graduate program (Monica Gray, Binghamton University Pipe Dream).

Upstate Medical University has begun construction on its redevelopment of Syracuse's Loguen's Crossing (Ellen Abbott, WRVO).

This fall, the Innovation Trail took a listening booth on the road to ask people what they make. The first person to answer that question in our series is RIT professor Elouise Oyzon: "I make fun things."


Rochester's PAETEC is now officially part of Arkansas' Windstream - and 52 local workers will soon be part of neither, as they're let go in the acquisition (Zack Seward, Innovation Trail).

The banking industry has named Buffalo's Robert G. Wilmers its "banker of the year" (Jonathan D. Epstein, Buffalo News).

Some business groups "are open" to the governor's idea to overhaul the state's tax code (Jimmy Vielkind, Capitol Confidential).

Albany's airport is trying to find a silver lining in posting its lowest number of boardings since 1999, by arguing that 2011's number must be the bottom (Eric Anderson, Times Union).


New York is looking to Canada to source hydroelectric power from massive mega-dams (Part 1 of 2, Emma Jacobs, Innovation Trail).

Arista Power (nee Windtamer) is charging that a battery company stole trade secrets (Jeffrey Blackwell, Democrat and Chronicle).

National Grid says storms Irene and Lee have so far cost it $23 million, and that the full toll could rise to $35 million (Larry Rulison, Times Union).


Occupy movements across upstate are facing perhaps their most fearful foe: winter (Marie Cusick, Zack Seward, Daniel Robison, Innovation Trail).

Protestors against unmanned drone flight operations housed in the Syracuse area are guilty of disorderly conduct, according to a judge's ruling (Charles Ellis, Post-Standard).


Miss the regional council presentations earlier this week? You can watch each of the ten councils bid for their chunk of $200 million in state funds (Innovation Trail).

North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann is back from his reporting trip in Canada, and reports that Canada's government could prove a good model for the U.S. - if we'd only listen.

Flood recovery

Getting flood recovery cash out of insurance companies has been "painfully slow" for some Southern Tier residents, according to Senator Charles Schumer (Steve Reilly, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

National Grid says storms Irene and Lee have so far cost it $23 million, and that the full toll could rise to $35 million (Larry Rulison, Times Union).

Winter's here! (Or at least in Buffalo)

I hear from Twitter that it's snowing "for real" in Buffalo.  Remember last year at this time when it snowed FOR REAL FOR REAL in Buffalo? (WNED).

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