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Good news and bad news for General Electric

General Electric is getting a visit from the president - but they're also getting sued.
Thomas Hawk
via Flickr
General Electric is getting a visit from the president - but they're also getting sued.

General Electric is being sued by Saratoga County's water authority (SWCA), according to the Times Union, for costs related to PCB cleanup in the Hudson:

The legal papers cite SWCA as spending at least $62 million on the water system, including $27 million for the water treatment plant in Moreau and $35 million to build the pipelines to carry water south. This is the fourth lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court against GE by a municipality drawing water from the river. The other lawsuits were brought by the towns of Waterford, Halfmoon and Stillwater.

There is good news on the horizon for GE: the president will visit the firm's new battery plant, according to the Times Union, on Tuesday.  The paper reports that elected officials are pleased as punch:

"I'm very proud of our city and the wonderful things that we've done," said Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton. "We're the birthplace of technology and innovation. It's a natural fit for the President to come to visit here."

Book retailers rebound
The Democrat and Chronicle has a story profiling several independent booksellers, and the ways they've had to evolve in order to survive.  Some are selling eBooks thanks to a deal with Google.  Others are moving into the used book, toys, or antique markets:

Barry Caplan, who owns Sundance Books in Geneseo, also plans to stick with paper. The bulk of his profits come from textbook sales, which have slid over the past six years as more students shop online. He remains optimistic that good customer service and low prices will keep his shop alive. Though he believes that future generations of readers may not care as much about the tactile sensation of reading off of paper, he has no plans to get into the e-book market. "We sell books," Caplan said. "We're old enough and ornery enough to keep selling books until we can't."

Southern Tier gas drilling
The deadline for renewing or ending a lease between a group of landowners and a Colorado gas company is drawing near.  The Press & Sun-Bulletin reports that more details about the negotiation over leasing more than 140 plots should be out next week.

Meanwhile the paper has also archived a forum about natural gas and hydrofracking, featuring the Press & Sun-Bulletin's Jon Campbell, anti-fracking activist Walter Hang, and others. 

We've reported about SUNY's "empowerment" proposals and their likelihood of resurfacing in the new administration.  Now Gannett's Albany bureau is chiming in, noting that Governor Cuomo has indicated support for job creation through SUNY.  But hasn't signed off on the platform's more controversial elements, like allowing schools to set tuition rates.  The story is in the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

Metrodome repairs
A Buffalo area firm is hard at work fixing Minneapolis' stricken Metrodome, reports the Buffalo News.  Birdair built the stadium roof, which collapsed early in December during a rush of snow.  The repairs aren't expected to be done before March.


Tech awards
The nominees for the "Greater Rochester Excellence and Technology" (GREAT for those of you playing at home) awards are out.  Included on the nominee list, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, are heavy hitters like Xerox, Kodak-spinoff Carestream Health, and RIT. Financial literacy

An online literacy game from Visa shows that Buffalo Bills fans rank near the bottom of the leaderboard for their money smarts.  The Buffalo News reports that Bills boosters come in 27 out of 32 NFL teams that players can signal their support for.  Want to play?

Ag energy grants
The Post-Standard has more details on a program from NYSERDA that helps farms become more energy efficient.  Farmers can tap into up to $250,000 to implement energy saving projects. 

Elevated mercury levels
A study by Harvard's school of public health shows that one in 10 volunteers in a study in Ravena have elevated mercury levels.  The Times Union reports the results of the study of 172 people living near a cement plant:

The study was released during a packed meeting of about 100 people Thursday at the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School. The study had been initiated by a grassroots advocacy group, Community Advocates for Safe Emissions, which has been pushing for tougher controls on mercury pollution from the Lafarge plant across Route 9W from the high school.

Diaper duty
Attention parents: A Rensselaer entrepreneur has figured out a way to green diapers (Times Union).  But you still have to change them yourself.

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