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Buerkle appears to be victor in NY-25

Image of Ann Marie Buerkle
Courtesy www.buerkleforcongress.com
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Republican Ann Marie Buerkle has picked up enough votes that it's unlikely Dan Maffei can win in continued vote counting.

25th district
The Democrat and Chronicle and Post-Standard are reporting that Republican challenger Ann Marie Buerkle appears to have the 25th congressional seat tied up.  Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei appears to be down by more votes than are left be counted.  The D&C reports that neither campaign is acknowledging that though, waiting for a court appearance on Tuesday to declare victory or concede defeat. 

Scrap metal empire
The Post-Standard has a profile of a collector (of art, of antique stoneware, of scrap metal) who's traveled a twisted road in pursuit of wealth.  It's a fascinating look into the expansionist mindset of the entrepreneur - and how that all-consuming urge can build and destroy.

Student protest
On the heels of protests over cuts to foreign language at SUNY Albany, students at SUNY Geneseo are waging a sit-in to save their communication disorders major, reports the Democrat and Chronicle.  The program, along with computer science and and studio art, is on the chopping block to balance the school's books in the face of state cuts to SUNY.

So far an online petition to save the program has over 1,200 signatures and statements of support.

The road less traveled
An architecture professor at the University at Buffalo has created a mapping app that asks smartphone users to stop and smell the roses en route, reports the Buffalo News:

Their Serendipitor app uses Google Maps to provide a route to a requested or random destination, but with a set of whimsical instructions to follow. Walk behind a dog until it notices you. Find the nearest tree and sit under it for one minute. Locate a dark alley and walk down it, and if you can't find one just close your eyes. "The applications that I write are trying to get us to stop doing this," Shepard said, holding his face close to his phone, "and start looking outward again."

Green investment
A regional economic development organization based in Rochester is looking to gather funds for investment in "green energy," reports the Democrat & Chronicle.

GRE President and Chief Executive Mark Peterson said he hopes by year's end to get commitments for at least $15 million from local investors. The money would be the local portion of a larger fund that would be put together and managed by U.S. Renewables Group, a 7-year-old private equity firm that focuses on renewable energy investments.

But Greater Rochester Enterprise president Mark Peterson says their motivation isn't boosterism, the paper reports:

"Don't kid yourself — they're not doing it because 'ooh, we love upstate.' If you're money looking for good ideas, you go where the assets are," he said. "They see the opportunity. This is an uncrowded space."

To join or not to join
Onondaga County could be saving more than $200,000 a year, if it dropped out of its more than 200 membership organizations, reports the Post-Standard:

They include the National Recreation and Parks Society, the Wellness Council of America, the state Public Welfare Association, the Water Environment Federation, the state Planning Directors Association, Greening USA, the Syracuse Press Club and the Camillus Sportsman Club. “Do I think any of these is an out and out waste of money?” said [county comptroller Robert] Antonacci. “Probably not. But nothing would shut down county government or subject us to a lawsuit if we didn’t belong to them.”

M&T Bank
The Buffalo News has a profile of M&T's effort to acquire wealthy customers, by buying regional banks like Wilmington Trust in Delaware.  The $351 million deal will add more fee-based income to M&T's books:

"The whole industry is looking for revenue," said John Barlow, president and CEO of Barlow Research Associates, a business banking consulting firm in Minneapolis that counts M&T among its clients. "What Wilmington Trust has that M&T wanted was a high level of noninterest income that is not dependent on either loan demand or reinvestment of [deposits]." Wealth management services are particularly attractive because fees are high and it's a means of deepening relationships with profitable customers, including business owners.

Aging infrastructure
Gas lines in New York are coming under increasing scrutiny after the explosion of a gas line in San Francisco killed eight.  The Times Union has a look at the dangers that pre-1970s pipes pose - and how state and federal regulators are working to mitigate those dangers.

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