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Here in New York, industrial development agencies (IDAs) are one of main job creation mechanisms for local communities.In 2009, IDAs gave away close to half a billion dollars in tax breaks to companies in the name of economic development.IDAs are known as "public benefit corporations" - they're supposed to help their local communities, and create jobs.But in their four decades of existence, they've been accused of everything from failing to comply with state laws, to simply being inefficient.You can follow the Innovation Trail's investigation into how IDAs spend your tax dollars by subscribing to the RSS feed on the right.

Regulator will look into job shifting charge in Monroe County

Marie Cusick
Lots of yummy bits in your Trail Mix this morning - including yogurt!

Today in your Trail Mix:

A campaign for more oversight of taxpayer funds used by industrial development agencies.

Another victory for home rule in a municipal drilling ban.

The debate over an underwater transmission line from Canada.



A coalition of labor groups is pushing for the Authorities Budget Office (ABO) to investigate what they say is job shifting on behalf of the Monroe County IDA (Zack Seward, WXXI/Innovation Trail). Here's a refresher on IDAs.

The ABO says it'll at least look into the charges (Matthew Daneman, Democrat and Chronicle).

Amending New York's constitution to legalize gambling and rewrite legislative districts ain't easy (Jon Campbell, Gannett).

A new state program helps businesses hire disadvantaged youth - and keep young jobseekers on track (Daniel Robison, WNED/Innovation Trail).

WXXI's 1370 Connection hosted a conversation about the proposal to raise the state's minimum age [AUDIO].

The lieutenant governor took the Cuomo administration's mandate relief plan to Syracuse (Ryan Delaney, WRVO, Innovation Trail).

Why the governor's two percent tax cap doesn't add up to two percent (Elizabeth Doran, Post-Standard).


A landowner who sued to lift a fracking ban in the Town of Middlefield has lost - the second time in a week that judges have ruled in favor of home rule.  Both decisions are likely to be challenged or appealed (Jon Campbell, Gannett).

Landowners in the Delaware River basin are getting antsy for a regulatory body to make a decision about drilling (Susan Phillips, State Impact PA).

Penn State predicts the "dry" gas that's abundant in Pennsylvania is "overmature" and won't be in very high demand in the future (Steve Israel, Times Herald-Record).

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for its Pipeline website, which has been recognized by the American Business Editors and Writers as the "best blog" for its coverage of drilling in the Marcellus Shale.


PepsiCo has inked a deal with Empire State Development to bring a German yogurt firm to a Batavia site, joining Chobani and Fage in New York's yogurt economy (Thomas Kaplan, City Room).

Syracuse's economic development organization is revamping its annual business show (Rick Seltzer, Central New York Business Journal).

Jon Gertner mourns for the old days of Bell Labs and its "move deliberatly and build things" approach in an op-ed in The New York Times.

A Buffalo business organization says the closure of a post office risks the region's direct mail business (Mike Desmond, WNED).

Maple syrup producers are taking a risk and tapping their trees early (Matt Hayes, Star-Gazette).


Upstate power producers are upset about a proposal to run Canadian hydropower directly from Quebec to New York City (Larry Rulison, Times Union).

Going green requires "generational commitment" to make it affordable (read: big subsidies) (David Robinson, Buffalo News).

Rust Belt livin’

Rust Wire gives us a look at "Rust Belt Chic."

Interracial couples find themselves welcomed in Rochester (Todd Clausen, Democrat and Chronicle).

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