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links for 2011-04-04

  • Two years ago, New York hiked sporting license fees across the board to help keep the state Department of Environmental Conservation solvent. Since then, DEC has been hit with 140 layoffs, closed two environmental education centers and eliminated some lab functions including effluent testing at wastewater treatment plants. The cuts leave Walker and others wondering where exactly their money is going.
  • Osborn claims there was a conspiracy to damage wineries supporting the grocery store measure and that his operation has lost an estimated $200,000 in the past two years and was forced to lay off some people. He said he and his wife are working seven days a week to keep the 110-acre farm and vineyard running.
  • …since taking office in January, Mr. Cuomo has neither taken a single trip out of New York nor appeared on any talk shows. And while other governors make national headlines for their battles over labor unions, budget deficits and illegal immigration, Mr. Cuomo is virtually invisible outside his home state…
  • State email records obtained by the Times Union suggest a top Health Department official used the agency's influence in her mother's bid to obtain a kidney transplant at Albany Medical Center Hospital.
  • Some of the New Yorkers who stand to benefit most from Albany’s decision to kill the temporary income tax surcharge on the state’s high earners — the so-called millionaires’ tax — do not feel like millionaires.
  • Although legislative member items were left out of the 2011-12 state budget, the fiscal plan includes $136 million to pay off previously committed grants — plus a bit of an insurance policy if the money runs out.
  • A man who bought a used 300-foot Staten Island Ferry to convert it into a waterborne dorm for New York college students is drowning in a bad case of buyer's remorse.
  • Student and faculty leaders at Columbia University have voted to welcome the military's ROTC program back to campus four decades after it was banned during the Vietnam War peace movement.