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Politics

Pro-biz endorsements and killer bees!

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jungle mama
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via Flickr
The military and academics are teaming up to figure out what's killing bees.

Endorsements
Pro-business group Unshackle Upstate released its endorsements yesterday and Republicans came out on top.  The Democrat and Chronicle reports on its Vote Up blog:

The endorsements went to 11 incumbents, or less than 5 percent of the legislative body, including Sens. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, Niagara County, Michael Ranzenhofer, R-Clarence, Erie County, and Catharine Young, R-Olean, Cattaraugus County; and Assembly members Robert Oaks, R-Macedon, Wayne County, Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, Bill Reilich, R-Greece, and Steve Hawley, R-Batavia. The lone Democrat the group endorsed is businessman David Nachbar of Pittsford, who is running for an open seat in the 130th Assembly District against Republican Sean Hanna, a lawyer.

Meanwhile the Buffalo News reports that printers in western New York are looking for a different kind of endorsement - they want politicians to use local shops to produce their campaign materials.

Killer (of) bees
The New York Times reports that military scientists are teaming up with university academics to figure out why a virus and fungus are decimating bee populations.  Real bees that is - not the robot bees that the military has experimented with in the past.

We're #1!
At losing jobs, according to a new report from the Empire Center for New York Policy.  On balance, New York lost the most jobs to other states in the nation, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.  Where did we fall down?  By not "nurturing small and start-up firms," according to the report's author, Scott Moody.

Identity crisis
After Tonawanda Coke was charged with releasing carcinogenic emissions, the Coke bottling plant in the town of Tonawanda launched a marketing campaign to make sure consumers know they're the real thing - and not the polluters in question.  The Buffalo News helps clear the air:

Results of testing by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, released in the last week, showed that the Tonawanda Coke plant annually emits more than 90 tons of benzene, a cancer-causing air pollutant. The Clean Air Act classifies anything in excess of 10 tons a year as a major source of hazardous air pollutants.

Shale trucking
The Press & Sun-Bulletin has an item from AP that reports that 208 trucks hauling waste water in the Marcellus shale were pulled out of service for violations like busted break lights, or incorrect permits.

Construction
Construction careers attracted more than 600 people to a demonstration day in Chenango Bridge yesterday, reports the Press & Sun-Bulletin.  Kids were drawn out by the demand for and portability of construction skills, according to organizers.

Bad medicine
The Times-Union reports that the Department of Health's prescription drug enforcement unit is "in shambles."  The allegations come from interviews with former Ulster County sheriff Kenneth Post after he filed a complaint with the state's Division of Human Rights, according to the paper:

Post described a beleaguered agency that he said has turned a blind eye to needed reforms. Instead of correcting serious problems outlined by the Inspector General, Post said, high-ranking Health Department officials have engaged in needless witch hunts designed to punish or terminate employees who have fallen out of favor.

Marketing
Small businesses are turning to geolocation services like FourSquare to recruit customers, according to the New York Times:

Location-based services can play many roles. They offer customer-relationship tools, rewards programs, social networks, games, business directories, city guidebooks and review sites. They help businesses present coupons, reward loyal clientele and gather valuable data about customers.

The piece in today's paper offers a guide to leveraging social media and smartphones for small business.

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