Archive for December, 2011

Casinos

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

One of the many provisions in last night’s budget announcement was the idea of a New York State constitutional amendment to allow for non-Indian casino gaming, statewide.

Great idea. Look how the Senecas have turned downtown Niagara Falls around!

I don’t understand how the heck casinos became a default economic development option. Yes, it worked in Las Vegas. But it hasn’t worked anywhere else; heck, Atlantic City declared bankruptcy a few years ago. And even Vegas is more of a general entertainment destination these days. Casinos are a smaller part of the draw than ever.

On this Day…

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

…in 1928, Noam Chomsky was born.

13 years later, Pearl harbor was bombed by Japanese fighters, bombers, and torpedos.

Coincidence?

Presidential Salaries

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Always nice to see RPI in the news…

In the decade from 1999-2000 to 2009-10, average presidential pay at the 50 wealthiest universities increased by 75 percent, to $876,792, while professorial pay increased 14 percent, to $179, 970.

“The job of college president has changed dramatically in the last 30 years, as have the demands,” David L. Warren, the president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, said in a statement. “There is just a small pool of candidates who possess the skill set that is required and are willing to take on the stressful 24/7 nature of the position.”

It’s nice to see that that “we have to pay outrageous amounts to attract talent” argument has finished migrating from industry into higher ed. Perhaps if every school in the country wasn’t so damned focused on getting bigger and improving its ranking in US News, this wouldn’t be so egregious.

Charging Stations

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

One of the big problems with an all-electric car like the Nissan Leaf is that it doesn’t have the sort of gasoline versatility of a Prius or a Volt – once you’re out of charge, you need to fill up. And the infrastructure for doing so isn’t prevalent, especially compared to the one-on-every-corner deployment of gas stations.

Well, it’s getting a little easier on the Medical Campus.

Sprinkled throughout the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus are 21 electric charging stations for plug-in cars that many are betting will be the wave of the future.

The 240-volt GE DuraStations represent a $300,000 investment, heavily subsidized by federal grants and tax credits. They are sprinkled throughout four parking areas around the campus in hopes that they will see use from top scientists down to regular staff and hospital visitors.

It’ll be interesting to see how much use these get. It’ll be just as interesting to see how long it takes some crackhead to electrocute himself trying to steal one for copper scrap.