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First Niagara continues shopping spree with HSBC purchase

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Your Trail Mix is slightly delayed this morning.  But that's ok, you need a big lunch because if I know you, you skipped breakfast.

Analyzing the impact of First Niagara's acquisition of HSBC's upstate branches.

Windstream's purchase of PAETEC involves a lot of "wait and see" for downtown Rochester.

We get to see the meeting dates for the regional councils - but we won't get to see the meetings.

Plus, sprawl as art.

HSBC/First Niagara deal

First Niagara's acquisition of HSBC's upstate bank branches is still resonating.  Chris Churchill reports at the Times Union that the move "doubles" First Niagara's market share in the Albany area.

The move is part of an aggressive strategy to nearly triple First Niagara's number of branches over the past two years (Jeffrey Blackwell, Democrat and Chronicle).

First Niagara will bulk up its presence in the Southern Tier and central New York as a result of the deal (Traci DeLore and Kevin Tampone, Greater Binghamton Business Journal).

As a result of the deal though First Niagara may have to close branches for regulatory or financial reasons - but the CEO says other local banks will move in to acquire those banks (Jonathan D. Epstein, Buffalo News).

The Buffalo News also has a set of "frequently asked questions" up about the deal (Matt Glynn, Buffalo News).

PAETEC purchase

The soon-to-be owner of PAETEC says it's "way too early" to say what will happen to a planned headquarters construction in downtown Rochester (Brian Sharp and Matthew Daneman, Democrat and Chronicle).

Apparently Windstream (that's the soon-to-be-owner in question) had been considering the acquisition for "a long time" (Matthew Daneman, Democrat and Chronicle).

In a conversation with the Innovation Trail's Zack Seward, PAETEC CEO Arunas Chesonis had to give a lot of "wait and see" answers.  We've also got video of Rochester-mayor-turned-lieutenant-governor Bob Duffy giving the downtown PAETEC deal his vote of confidence.

Regional councils

The headlines across the state this morning: Regional councils will meet.  The governor has released the dates for the first meetings of each of his 10 regional councils, but it's not clear how much of those meetings will be open to the public (Nick Reisman, State of Politics).

Given that the Cuomo administration is being pretty tight-lipped about the councils, the stories are all pretty much the same, with different dates:

Money and politics

An audit by the New York State comptroller finds that the city of Binghamton "lacks adequate controls" - and that it's missing about $13,000 in parking funds (Nancy Dooling and Jennifer Fusco, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

Upstate is having another confab designed to bring people around the table on the subject of economic development.  This time it's the Accelerate Upstate conference.  State of Politics has video of organizer Craig Turner discussing the event.

Here's how New York's delegation voted on the debt ceiling deal (Nick Reisman, State of Politics).

Here are three reasons to be scared to death about the economy (Jacob Goldstein, Planet Money).


ProPublica has more details on the announcement from the EPA that it's going to regulate air quality around hydrofracking sites.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is working to meld an outside consultant's recommendations on natural gas drilling with its own draft rules - and waiting on that process is pushing back the public's opportunity to comment (Jon Campbell, Gannett).

Landowners who signed leases for a pittance in Pennsylvania may soon get their chance to reup those contracts for much more, as the original lease terms come to a close (Michael Rubinkam, AP).

Over at Pennsylvania State Impact, Scott Detrow has created word clouds - visualizations of terms that crop up a lot - based on the governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission report.

Higher education

SUNY officials say that a combination of tuition increases and grants from the state will jumpstart a $823 million capital investment and create thousands of jobs (Cara Matthews, Gannett).

Genesee Community College has a new president (AP).

SUNY Canton's president has been told that he has to resign or be fired as a result of a merger between SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam (Susan Mende, Johnson Newspapers).

Clarkson University is teaming up with New York's Energy Research and Development Authority to study how wind power can be better distributed based on real-time needs (Leah Buletti, Times Union).


National Grid customers could see their bills decline next year, ironically, thanks to a to the way a rate hike was structured (Larry Rulison, Times Union).

Syracuse's flagging destination retail project, Destiny USA, gave tours Monday to boost confidence in the project (Bob Niedt, Post-Standard).

Albany's NanoCollege is picking up a solar manufacturing line from a firm that's getting out of the business (Larry Rulison, Times Union).


In case you missed it - Angie Schmitt has pulled together a compilation of songs that celebrate or denegrate suburban sprawl (originally posted at Streetsblog, reposted to Rust Wire).  Here's my favorite:

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