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Wednesday headlines

Aug 24, 2011 12:16 am
Wood quarantine extended to Orange County
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Tue., Aug. 23 added Orange County to its eastern state quarantine area (Ulster and Greene Counties) to prevent the spread of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a tree-killing beetle. The Emergency Quarantine Order encompasses all of Orange County and restricts the movement of ash trees, ash products, and firewood from all wood species in order to limit the potential introduction of EAB to other areas of the state. Nineteen counties in New York are quarantined, and Greene and Ulster counties joined that list last year. On July 13, 2011, an adult EAB was discovered in an EAB purple prism trap in an ash tree on the West Point campus. The order prohibits certain wood -- mostly ash -- from being transported between counties, and now, also from Pennsylvania. The Emerald Ash Borer first appeared in the U.S. in southeastern Michigan in 2002, and has since killed tens of millions of ash trees here. New York has more than 900 million ash trees, representing about seven percent of all trees in the state; all are at risk should EAB become established across the state. For more information on EAB, please visit DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html.

Work finally set to begin on Greenport hotel, entertainment complex
Mike McCagg in ccSCOOP News reports that demolition of the former V&O Press building on Route 66 is expected within “two or three weeks.” Developer Harbalwant Singh said they are currently removing asbestos and other pollutants. Then they will build an A&W restaurant and drive-thru, Mobil gas station, retail unit, and a liquor store. Then they plan a 100-room Comfort Suites Hotel with a restaurant and bar, and, eventually, a bowling alley, an indoor play area, a climbing wall, a laser tag facility, and arcade. “We have to be up by December 2013, but we hope to be up and running before that,” Singh told McCagg. Read the full story in ccScoop.

Wall Street Journal names Albany 'Where the Action Is'
Emily Maltby in The Wall Street Journal names Albany one of "the hottest spots across the country for starting a new business." Albany's emerging nanotechnology research is making for a positive business climate, the paper says. "The city now boasts more than 4,000 people in the industry, centered on the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany," Maltby writes. "The school has doubled in size during the recession to its current 800,000-square-foot complex. Dozens of nanotechnology companies have established a presence there to take advantage of research facilities and business incubators; since 2008, nearly 50 new start-ups have launched within its walls." Read the full story in The Wall Street Journal.

Latest round of prison gerrymandering filings
Jimmy Vielkind in Capitol Confidential, the Albany Times-Union's political blog, reports on the battle about whether prisoners count in the census where they are incarcerated, or where they live. "A coalition of civil rights groups is fighting a Republican motion to rule unconstitutional a 2010 law, known as Part XX, which mandates prison inmates be counted at their last known address, not their jail cell," Vielkind writes. Greene and Columbia counties would lose sizable populations -- and various government monies proportioned by population -- if the law is allowed to stand. Last week Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed counter-motions and Monday, Aug. 22, Sen. Martin Malave Dilan filed an amicus brief supporting that same argument. Read the full story in Capitol Confidential.
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