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Politics

Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke love their New York water

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Christopher Harte
/
via Flickr
Actor Mark Ruffalo has lent his signature to the anti-fracking cause.

Capitol Confidential has a round-up of the slate of bills under consideration to regulate the natural gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing.

These include the moratorium bill that passed in New York's Assembly last week, plus measures to regulate drilling waste and the withdrawal of lots of water from area waterways.

Rallies took place around the state in support of the measures. Mayor Matt Ryan joined protestors outside Binghamton City Hall.

Celebrity advocate Mark Ruffalo appeared in a new, star-studded web video to stop companies "fracking" with New York's water.

In a new web video produced by environmental groups, “The Kids Are All Right” star joins other celebs in proclaiming his passion for New York’s water. The one-minute spot shows Ruffalo fishing in a running stream, Zoe Saldana’s commitment to dental hygiene and Ethan Hawke bathing with cucumbers on his eyes. The video ends with Josh Charles of “The Good Wife,” downing some coffee — presumably made with the Empire State’s finest — and proclaiming: “I love my New York water, so stop fracking with it.”

This means we're about stocked for a Marcellus Shale video round-up, so stay tuned to this space for more goodies.

Syracuse says "yes" to education, yes to teacher cuts

Maureen Nolan at The Post-Standard reports on a district-wide collaboration to improve Syracuse schools. Say Yes is a non-profit, and also the name of the initiative in Syracuse that combines extracurricular academic and social support with college tuition guarantees for high school graduates.

While cutting roughly 470 jobs, the district plans to spend $5 million from its $334 million budget on Say Yes plus another $5 million in grant money. The community, it seems, is banking more than ever on Say Yes to Education Inc. to cure a graduation rate of less than 50 percent.

Say Yes, the nonprofit, and Syracuse University have shouldered a lot of the costs but plans call for the district to support the whole program by the 2013-2014 school year.

A schools representative told Nolan "the district is not an employment agency," and Say Yes is a worthwhile priority.

Immigrants say yes to Rust Belt cities

And Rustwire picked up on a new Brookings study that says Rust Belt destinations, including Buffalo and Syracuse, are doing a good job at attracting one desired population: highly-skilled immigrants.

Immigrants in these metropolitan areas tilt toward high-skill because they blend earlier arriving cohorts who have had time to complete higher education with newcomers entering who can fit into the labor market because of their high educational attainment. Several of the cities in these metropolitan areas also campaign to attract and retain immigrants, signaling appreciation for the small number of high-skilled immigrants they do have. In total, there are 44 high-skilled destinations; the majority in the Northeast and Midwest.

You can look through the entire report here.

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