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Let the shale fight begin! and mystery magnets

Shira Golding
via Flickr
Fears about anti-fracking protesters kept the EPA from scheduling a Marcellus Shale hearing - until now.

Updated: The one-day pause for the shale hearing isn't for protests - it's for primaries.

Here's your morning trail mix line-up: fracking gets a hearing, Schenectady gets the power, chipmakers are finally hiring, agriculture is buoying the economy, and the drinks are on us.

Frack is back
The EPA's Marcellus Shale hearing is back on, set for September 13 and 15.  It's been expanded for more time for testimony, with a day between for primary elections.  If New York lifts its effective moratorium on fracking, there's a firm ready to move in to treat the water used in the gas extraction technique

Details from the Press & Sun Bulletin:

Jay Smith, an executive representing Livingston County-based Salt Water Solutions LLC, said the company is looking at potential sites to build wastewater treatment plants in Binghamton, Corning and northern Broome County. He declined to give specific locations. Smith spoke at a Joint Landowners Coalition of New York meeting at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County. "We're looking at these sites because from a Marcellus standpoint, Binghamton is the mother lode," he said.

Getting the power
A Schenectady firm and several research partners are using stimulus funds to look into storing solar and wind power using magnets.  It's a different solution to the same problem the Innovation Trail's Dan Bazile addresses in his piece about fly-wheel technology: what to do with excess energy from renewable power?

The head of the state's power authority visited a plant in Lysander to call for the adoption of "Energize New York" - a program that would extend New York's deal with manufacturers to swap reduced power costs for job creation.

Chip progress
A long anticipated chip manufacturer near Albany is finally making some progress on opening its doors - it's starting to hire.  Techy positions, like engineering, will be filled first, hiring on lower-skilled production jobs begins later. 

Global Foundries set up shop in Albany because of the region's chip-making legacy, cemented by IBM.  Whatever happened to them?  Oh, that's right, they've just claimed to have created the world's fastest computer chip.

Agriculture ascending
Business Facilities magazine says Livingston and Genesee counties are the "second-best food processing region in the country," according to the Democrat and Chronicle.  The New York Times says agriculture is "a small bright spot" in the economy - especially in the wake of rising wheat prices following drought problems with the crop in Russia and Eurasia.

Back to work
The Buffalo News reports that the National Guard is helping WNY members get jobs, so that they don't leave the guard for better paid full-time military service. 

Several big employers in the Syracuse area are hoping to take advantage of the federal government's offer to subsidize benefits for retirees and their dependents not eligible for Medicaid.  If you're a Binghamton-area nurse who loves CSI: Binghamton University is offering online "forensic health" continuing education courses.

Finally, you can't have trail mix without something to wash it down with.  This flight offers alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.  Saratoga springwater is making its way to China, according to the Times Union.  If you want a beer, there's an app for that.  North American Breweries has released an iPhone app that helps people find a place where they can buy the brewery's "Imperial" brand beer.


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