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Made in New York: shop stocks only Empire State goods

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Dimitri Ponirakis
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via Flickr
New York, rendered here in Play-Doh (Ed: so cute!), still makes things, like flatware, gloves and backpacks.

New York, New York
Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle has a profile of a store in the suburb of Irondequoit that sells only products made in New York.  Among the options:

... backpacks made in Schenectady, butcher blocks built in a Fairport basement, ceramics, china and dinnerware designed and crafted upstate. And many other homegrowns, as well. It turns out New York's manufacturing palette still has a lot to offer.

But wait, there's more:

There are sweaters and shorts and jackets. There are shelves of shiny flatware, forged not in some distant land but in Sherrill, Oneida County, in a large factory built on the site where the Oneida Community, a mid-19th-century religious commune, once made bear traps and later turned out silverware. There are games of various kinds, including KanJam, a flying disc sort of entertainment invented by two Buffalo men in the mid-1990s. And there are gloves — leather-palmed woolens also made in Schenectady.

It took the store's owner more than a year to research and source the items.  The owner says the store concept takes "buying local" beyond food, and helps people realize that manufacturing does still exist here.

Cheap college towns
Buffalo is the second most affordable college town for real estate, the Buffalo News reports.  The list is compiled by real estate broker Coldwell Banker.  Muncie, Ind. beat out Buffalo for the top spot.  Syracuse came in at #25 and West Point came in at 106.  The full listing is at Coldwell Banker's website.

Cuomo transition team
Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo has tapped Rochester mayor Robert Duffy-cum-lieutenant governor to lead his transition team, reports the Democrat and Chronicle.  And the Post-Standard reports that its county executive, Republican Joanie Mahoney, who crossed party lines to endorse CUomo, will also serve.  Their task: picking the crew that will serve in the Cuomo administration.

Rising health care costs
The Buffalo News has a profile of rising health care costs, reporting that premiums are going up by "as much as 20 percent next year."  Small business owner Dionne Kress told the paper she went for rock bottom this year:

"I basically just said, 'What's the cheapest plan you can offer me, and what's included?'" Kress said. "I'm a healthy person. I was just thinking dollars and cents." Kress, 40, is now paying $860 per quarter for a health plan with a $1,500 deductible upfront. And she's spending a lot of time taking care of herself and also educating herself about health care, including what to ask doctors and how to avoid unnecessary office visits.

Hydrofracking
The Press & Sun-Bulletin has a number of stories about hydrofracking this morning.  Jon Campbell reports that the state's Department of Environmental Conservation expressed concerns about how leases for gas drilling are being reviewed, in emails obtained by an anti-fracking activist.

AP's Marc Levy has a look at how a Republican Congress could affect drilling:

... the GOP takeover of the U.S. House will almost surely doom efforts in Congress to impose federal regulation over gas drilling. Among many Republicans, there is elation. GOP strategist Karl Rove told participants in an oil and gas industry conference in Pittsburgh last week that they can now expect "a period of sensible regulations." "As a signal, is it good? Yes," said a more cautious-sounding William Garner, a Houston lawyer and former investment banker who specializes in the natural gas industry. "But will it make a difference? Time will tell."

And Andrew Cuomo has gone on the record saying that he supports gas drilling "if it can be done safely."

Meanwhile, the Times Union has a Q&A with ousted Department of Environmental Conservation chief Pete Grannis.  He was asked to resign by the Paterson administration after memos were leaked to the paper, expressing concerns about the ability of the agency to enforce environmental policy in the wake of state-mandated lay-offs.  Grannis tells the TU that he would consider returning to the agency.  He also defends New York's approach to hydrofracking, saying:

"...the truth is that the department has a phenomenal track record of regulating drilling, and we've set the most stringent standards in the country for hydraulic fracturing."

IBM lawsuit
A lawsuit against IBM, over the leak of the chemical trichloroethylene, in Endicott, is slowly moving toward trial, according to the Press & Sun-Bulletin.  Depositions are wrapping up at the end of November, and the case could be in court in early 2012.

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