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Politics

Irene damage totals $1 billion, 600 homes destroyed

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Marie Cusick
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WMHT
Workers at Brown's Brewing Company in Troy, N.Y. clean up equipment soaked by flood waters.

Today in your Trail Mix, more Alec Baldwin!

The rescue effort for Irene is now over, and the billion dollar clean-up begins.

Conflicting economic reports tell two different stories about employment in New York.

A state senator says Pennsylvania-style fracking happens in New York "over his dead body."

Plus, all is revealed in PAETEC-Windstream merger.

Irene

Federal officials say rescue operations for Irene are over and now recovery has begun (Jimmy Vielkind, Times Union).

The price tag for Irene damage: a billion dollars (Nick Reisman, State of Politics).

The Times Union has advice on applying for disaster assistance.

Watch out for clean-up scams, if you were affected by Irene (Cathy Woodruff, Times Union).

Older infrastructure was hit hardest by Irene (Eric Anderson, Times Union).

About 600 homes were destroyed by Irene's floodwaters (Tom Precious, Buffalo News).

Job and the economy

Conflicting economic reports, as usual. The Innovation Trail's Marie Cusick has the word from the Fiscal Policy Institute that one in seven New Yorkers is un or under employed.  But at Capitol Confidential, Rick Karlin reports on a Rockefeller Institute report that shows that New York "outperformed" the nation on economic indicators.  New consumer confidence numbers underline that New York is feeling better about its fortunes than the rest of the nation (Joseph Spector, Gannett).

Count Buffalo as one of those places where the jobless rate is beating that of the nation as a whole (David Robinson, Buffalo News).

A rising dollar stomped on Canadian exports, causing the country's economy to shrink for the first time since the recession (Bloomberg).

Natural gas

New York state senator Greg Ball's rhetoric on fracking keeps getting stronger and stronger after his tour of drilling sites in Pennsylvania with filmmaker Josh Fox.  Now he's saying that New Yorkers will be subject to the same conditions Pennsylvanians were "over his dead body" (Susan Phillips, State Impact PA).

Spectra Energy Watch has advice on how to test your water quality in advance of hydrofracking.  The Innovation Trail has also offered thoughts on how to protect yourself.

Business and government

The PAETEC merger with Windstream can move forward now - federal regulators aren't seeking to expand the waiting period (Will Astor, Rochester Business Journal).

The day has come: PAETEC's disclosures about its acquisition by Windstream are public now, and it turns out the firm had been in talks about being sold, all the while telling the city of Rochester that it was still planning a downtown headquarters (Matthew Daneman, Democrat and Chronicle).

The Southern Tier's regional council is holding its first public input session today (My-Ly Nguyen, Press & Sun-Bulletin), following in the footsteps of the Finger Lakes and central New York councils.

MVP wants to boost health care premiums by more than 8 percent (Will Astor, Rochester Business Journal).

Onondaga County could use about $18 million of its surplus in property tax relief (Rick Moriarty, Post-Standard).

Alec Baldwin

... is becoming the Chuck Norris of central New York.

He donated $25,000 to sports programs at West Genesee School District yesterday (Sarah Moses, Post-Standard).

He's joking about being mayor of Syracuse (Mike Whittemore, State of Politics).

So quick, someone make a portrait of Alec Baldwin out of Post-its – stat! (Jacob Goldstein, Planet Money)

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