Big events are in motion on the national political scene. The new federal fiscal year starts tomorrow. This year that means that the statewide health insurance exchanges mandated under the Affordable Care Act open for business. NPR has an explainer on the complex system of costs, benefits and subsidies.
And there’s a good chance the federal government could mark the beginning of the new fiscal year by shutting down all but essential services. The House and Senate are standing by competing and mutually incompatible bills that would keep the government running. Mark Memmott of The Two-Way blog reports on the process and the prospects for a midnight shutdown of federal services.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s Albany office is citing Champlain, NY rail car maker Testori Interiors Inc. for 24 health and safety violations, which could result in $170,100 in fines. The agency press release states:
“Testori’s deficient safety protocols place its workers at grave risk of injury, including amputation risks and death,” said Kimberly Castillon, OSHA’s Albany area director. “The fact that no serious injuries resulted from these hazards is fortunate because workplace safety must be established through proactive initiative, not complacency. The large penalties proposed in this case reflect the severity of the hazards and this employer’s disregard for safety.”
NYS Sen. Patty Ritchie wants to give St. Lawrence County winemakers a boost and has introduced a bill to create a “St. Lawrence County Wine Trail” featuring producers in Lisbon, Black Lake and Winthrop. According to Ritchie, the Wine Trail, “will create a new county-wide tourist destination that will provide new business and employment opportunities for neighboring restaurants, stores and attractions.”
A research team at Clarkson University in Potsdam has been awarded nearly $400,000 to study the ecological, social and economic impacts of wetlands restoration. According to the press release from Clarkson:
The project, awarded to Clarkson by the University of Michigan Water Center, will examine the effectiveness of wetlands restoration projects on 50 private properties across northern New York…
The Clarkson team — Associate Professor of Biology Tom Langen, Biology Professor Michael Twiss and Associate Professor of Economics and Financial Studies Martin Heintzelman — will examine whether wetlands projects that successfully restore wildlife correlate with higher property values and homeowner satisfaction.
Here’s what’s coming up for your Tuesday morning coffee on The Eight O’clock Hour:
- Brian Mann reports from the small town in Quebec that’s still struggling to recover from this summer’s deadly rail accident. Local officials now say parts of the downtown may be so contaminated that they’ll have to be abandoned permanently.
- What your neighbors have to say about what’s happening in Congress
- New York State may have some money for you, and it’s waiting at a place called “The Office of Unclaimed Funds.” State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli explains it all to reporter Natasha Haverty.
- And..look up! Astronomer Aileen O’Donoghue stops by to share what’s happening in the night sky this month.