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Syracuse firms square off over radar contract

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A new radar system for the Air Force and Marines will be developed in Syracuse - it's just not clear yet by who.

Radar row
The Post-Standard has a David and Goliath story, pitting defense Giant Lockheed Martin against a smaller radar firm, called Sensis:

The unlikely opponents are competing over something called Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long Range Radar (3DELRR). It will replace a radar system designed and first built in Syracuse in the 1980s by GE, Lockheed’s predecessor. The man who led the GE team that developed that earlier radar, called the AN/TPS-59, is Jud Gostin. He’s back in the competition this time — only now Gostin is the Sensis founder and CEO who wants to steal the contract from his old employer.

Sensis thinks it has the advantage because the Defense Department has signaled it wants to invest more in smaller, more agile companies.  But both firms have been the recipient of millions of federal dollars so far, as initial investments on a new system.

Workers fight cancer and government
Workers from a ceramics plant in Tonawanda are fighting to get federal officials to acknowledge that their high rates of cancer are related to work they did for the Cold War nuclear program.  They're using spotty old employment and medical records to "reconstruct" their dosage of radiation, reports the Buffalo News:

Under the dose reconstruction process, people are awarded benefits of $150,000 if they prove a 50 percent likelihood or more that their work-related radiation exposure caused them to get cancer. Those who prove a 49.9 percent likelihood don't get a dime. "It's Kafkaesque," [Antoinette] Bonsignore [a lawyer representing the workers] said. "It's crazy."

Prisons for sale
The Times Union has details on what it's calling "the Great New York Fire Sale," as the state sells off Camp Gabriels, a former minimum-security prison.  It's the latest in a series of sales, including former prisons in Clinton and Wayne County, and other state facilities.

Steel memoir
A former Bethelem Steel worker, Michael Langan, has written a memoir of his life in the Lackawanna plant, reports the Buffalo News.

"The furnaces were hot and dangerous. Sweat, smoke, sulfur fumes and graphite dust permeated the scene," wrote Langan, who began as a laborer but quickly worked his way up to working the open hearth furnaces. "It is an awe-inspiring activity that, once you know what you're doing, takes your breath away. It's like being in hell every day, because of the heat and the smoke and the fire -- and I don't mean that in a bad way," Langan said.

Foreign language cuts
Petitioners - more than 13,000 of them - are trying to keep SUNY Albany from shuttering its foreign language program, reports the Times Union.  French, Russian and Italian have been closed for new enrollees, in the wake of state budget cutting.  People from 37 countries and 49 states and D.C. have signed on:

The petition cites the 500 million French speakers across the globe, Russian's classification as a "critical need" language by the U.S. government and New York's large Italian-American population.

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