August 21, 2008

The Daily Record News Briefs: August 20, 2008

Study: U of R is $1.9 billion local power

As the largest employer in Rochester, the University of Rochester is a $1.9 billion local power and has a significant economic impact on a five county region, according to the Center for Governmental Research. A CGR report on the U of R and its affiliates, such as the Eastman School of Music and Strong Health, offers a clearer look at the university's role as growing economic pillar of the greater Rochester area. The report found that in 2007 the U of R employed about 19,000 full-time equivalent employees and paid wages of more than $1 billion

According to CGR, about 43,000 jobs overall are associated with the university or its local affiliates, either directly or indirectly.

Although some of this employment is a result of purely local demand, the report found, more than 28,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in labor income can be attributed to demand for goods and services from outside the Rochester area. .

In 2006, the university surpassed Eastman Kodak to become the areas largest employer.

GRE, RBA to host economic summit

Officials with Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) and the Rochester Business Alliance (RBA) have announced plans for a second Eyes on the Future economic summit from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 10 at St. John Fisher College. The event will bring together local, state and federal elected officials, and representatives from a range of different businesses, large and small.

Among the guest panelists will be Richard Rosen, an economic development specialist from the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, and Greg Elum, a national site selector. GRE President and CEO Dennis Mullen will provide a progress report on economic development efforts throughout the region.

Gov. David Paterson has been invited to be the keynote speaker, organizers said.

Admission to the event is free and students, local companies, engaged citizens and others are encouraged to attend, organizers said. To find out about volunteer or sponsorship opportunities, call (585) 381-0810. To find out more about the event, go to

AP settles suit with VeriSign

The Associated Press has settled a copyright lawsuit against a company that aggregates and redistributes news online.

The AP had accused Moreover Technologies Inc. and its parent company, VeriSign Inc., of improperly using copyright-protected headlines, stories and photos. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Moreover is part of a business unit that VeriSign intends to sell. Malloy would not comment on the progress of those plans.

The AP filed the suit in October in U.S. district court, claiming that Moreover used AP content without permission.

The dispute centered on the "fair use" provision of copyright law, which allows quotation of copyrighted material for commentary and certain other purposes without asking permission -- but prohibits direct reproduction of those works.

The AP, a not-for-profit news cooperative, has vigorously pursued similar cases. In April, it sued AHN Media Corp., claiming the company copies and redistributes AP stories from Web sites that legitimately carry the material. That lawsuit is still pending.

Butter to biodiesel

The butter sculpture is one of the New York State Fair's most popular attractions.

But what happens to the nearly half-ton of butter when the fair is over?

This year, students and faculty at the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry will turn the butter into biodiesel fuel.

Dan Nicholson, a graduate student and research support technician in the college's chemistry department, said the process is pretty much the same as using waste frying oil to make fuel, which the college has been doing for a couple of years.

"Butter is 80 percent fat and oil and 20 percent water and protein," Nicholson said. "What we have to do is render it -- heat it to separate the fats and oils from the water and protein."

The water and protein is thrown away. Then the oil and fat is clarified to make it pure and clean and processed into biodiesel fuel.

At 15 miles to the gallon, 900 pounds of butter should be enough to power five round trips to the college's Cranberry Lake Biological Station in the Adirondacks.

This year's butter sculpture will be unveiled today in the fair's Dairy Products Building, where it has been a centerpiece since 1969. The fair begins Thursday and runs through Labor Day.

Clinton: US should be energy independent

The United States can capture the world's imagination by creating an energy independent state, territory or nation, former President Bill Clinton told an energy summit.

"We have got to convince people this can be done and it would be good economics," Clinton told the politicians and energy experts meeting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

"There should be one state to prove you could do it -- and it should be you," Clinton said. "I promise if you do, it would rock the world."

Clinton said Puerto Rico would be a prime candidate for energy independence because it imports most of its power at a high cost to the people. Clinton also suggested several nations, including Rwanda, Papa New Guinea or one of the Caribbean nations -- places that have low power demand and are sunny and windy.

The group plans to develop recommendations and bring them to the Democratic and Republican parties.

Originally published by The Daily Record Staff.

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