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Canadian shopping spree and testimony from National Grid

thanksgiving_Lawrence OP.jpg
Lawrence OP
via Flickr
Cornucopia: Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend kicks off the holiday shopping season. It is good, and so western New York retailers give thanks.

The Canadians are coming!
The Buffalo News reports that the Canadians are beginning to descend on western New York.  Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving, so this weekend our northern neighbors are hitting the shops:

Many shoppers are beginning their journey at Duty Free stores on the border. "It's certainly something to see," said Bonnie Gates, marketing manager at the Peace Bridge Duty Free store. "It's pretty exciting. They're ready to shop, and they're ready to have a good time."

Utility in the hot seat
National Grid's top U.S. official will testify before the state senate this month, to answer questions about employees squandering the utility's funds.  The Times-Union reports the hearing will be held October 19 in Albany.

Voting down
Erie County voters will get to decide whether or not they want to shrink their legislature, reports the Buffalo News.  A judge has cleared the way for the initiative to be on the November ballot.  Opponents say they'll appeal.  A similar measure proposed in Monroe County earlier this year never made it out of the legislature.

Verizon follows Yahoo's lead
As predicted by the Innovation Trail's Daniel Robison, Verizon is taking preliminary steps that could lead to it opening a data center in western New York.  The phone company is looking for a tax break for a facility that could create 200 jobs, according to the Buffalo News.

Moving on up
MVP Healthcare is taking up residence in downtown Syracuse.  The Post-Standard reports that the firm is hoping to spark a renaissance in the neighborhood:

“In Syracuse we know there is momentum afoot to revitalize the city center,” said David Oliker, president and CEO of the Schenectady-based insurer. “We want to keep that momentum going and we want to do it in an area that’s not improving as fast as the rest of downtown. We want to see Warren Street become a bustling business district.”

Infection research
Scientists in Albany are working to find ways to fight microbes that are resistant to existing treatments.  According to the Times-Union, it's a "five-year, multi-million-dollar effort."

As the Innovation Trail's Emma Jacobs and Ryan Morden have reported here, here and here, New York looks to Pennsylvania for advice about hydrofracking for natural gas.  The Press & Sun-Bulletin reports that members of Broome County's legislatures consulted a Pa. official about fracking yesterday.

Meanwhile, other New York officials got a briefing on how the region could reap the benefits of natural gas drilling - like cheap energy - by setting up "special districts."

Education cuts
Students are protesting over cuts to public education, including the elimination of foreign language classes at the University at Albany, reports the Times-Union.  The SUNY system was cut by $210 million as the legislature worked to balance the state's budget this summer.

A company in Avon uses worms to convert manure into fertilizer.  The Democrat and Chronicle has some of the gross details, and be on the lookout for a video story from the Innovation Trail's Zack Seward.

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