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Cutting jobs, and fusion energy

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The DEC says efforts to curb forest depletion from acid rain could be stalled by job cuts.

Campus beat
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is giving the Rochester Institute of Technology more than $13 million, according to the Democrat and Chronicle:

"This is confirmation of the fact that we have the world's leading program in industrial sustainability," said RIT President Bill Destler.

The cash will be used to complete a new building for the Golisano Institute for Sustainability.

Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Rochester are working with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California to create fusion energy.  One researcher tells the Democrat and Chronicle that commercial production of the limitless power source could be 40 years out.

DEC job cuts
The Times-Union reports that 209 employees at the Department of Environmental Conservation could be on the chopping block, as part of the governor's plan to cut 2,000 jobs by the end of the year:

A slowdown on acid rain research, untrammeled poaching, dirtier rivers and even a poor fishing season are possible results of the state's plans to lay off up to 209 Department of Environmental Conservation employees, environmentalists warned Wednesday.

Property tax relief
Western New York's other millionaire-turned-gubernatorial-hopeful, Tom Golisano, gave a talk about property taxes Wednesday.  From the Democrat and Chronicle:

Golisano said the state's assessment system is unfair because it relies on the judgment of a single assessor, and the burden of proving an assessment wrong falls to the property owner. "The whole process is ambiguous and one-sided," he said.

Tech transition
Two smaller tech groups have teamed up with Digital Rochester to combine their promotional power.  The EBusiness Association and Association for Women in Computing are joining the fold.

Cutting down on diesel fumes
Diesel trucks can get a break on their weight, if they install auxiliary power units to cool and heat the trucks while drivers rest.  The Press & Sun-Bulletin reports that the governor has signed the measure into law, to prevent trucks from emitting diesel fumes while idling.

Bored with this planet?
The New York Times reports that scientists have found a planet that could potentially support water - and therefore life.  Don't get too excited though.  It's 20 light years away.

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