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Politics

Teachers take on tech, and Paladino and Cuomo on education spending

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AV club to the rescue: teachers are struggling with technology as districts struggle to fund training.

In the classroom
The Buffalo News has a breakdown of how Cuomo and Paladino compare on education policy. The paper reports that both agree on capping property taxes and adding more charter school options.  Despite Cuomo's campaign to facilitate municipal consolidation, he doesn't favor bigger school districts - Paladino does.

In another item from the Buffalo News, we learn what many beleaguered seventh graders already know from Mr. Martin’s failed attempts at using the projector:  teachers still struggle with computer and web literacy.  The paper notes that training on many tools is still considered a "frill:"

In an evolving era of interactive white boards, screencasting and wikis, teachers everywhere are finding it more and more challenging to keep up with the technology applications that are capable of reaching computer-savvy students in ways that pen and paper never could.

Verizon hangs up on phone book
Verizon won't be delivering white pages, the residential listing, to customers starting next year, reports the Post-Standard:

According to Gallup surveys commissioned by the publisher of Verizon phone books, SuperMedia LLC, only 11 percent of households used residential white-page directories in 2008, down from 25 percent in 2005. In other states that already permit delivery of residential white pages on demand, about 2 percent of consumers request a copy, Verizon said.

Turning on the lights in Canandaigua
An Indian firm will help build the nation's first organic light emitting diode (OLED) manufacturing line in Canandaigua at the Infotonics Center, reports the Democrat and Chronicle.  The firm, Moser Baer, will invest more than $11 million.  OLEDs are thin sheets of molecules that emit a warm light using very little energy.  Right now they're most common in TV screens and smartphones.  Don't get it?  Let MIT's TechTV explain using a glowing pickle.

Natural gas
A public hearing about hydrofracturing in Broome County was more low key than previous events, reports the Press & Sun-Bulletin:

A combined crowd of about 60 showed up over two sessions to hear the public speak on a Broome resolution that would allow the legislature to lead an environmental review required for the lease of mineral rights on county-owned land. The resolution also sets parameters for a potential lease.

A controversial gas-fired power plant in Rensselaer is finally operational after a decade of discussion.  Environmentalists had worried that the plant would belch emissions, and that developers weren't putting enough effort into remediating the site, a former BASF plant.

State workers get a raise
The state could wind up paying some workers more as part of its effort to shed employees from its rolls, reports the Times-Union.  As senior employees retire, younger employees are getting promoted into managerial positions:

"We're going to end up with more chiefs than Indians," one insider remarked, expressing fears that there will be more managers and fewer people to perform the hands-on tasks his agency is supposed to do. And it raises questions about whether the savings from early retirements are being diminished. On the one hand, the state is saving money by downsizing. But on the other hand, some of those who are remaining will earn more.

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