Posted tagged ‘Long Island’

Dolan Media Pre-Christmas Rush

12-17-07

Before you break out your favorite Christmas movies, here’s a delectable selection of news morsels from around Dolan Media….

green-river-formation.jpgShell Oil Company wants to extract oil from the Green River Formation, which contains one of the largest oil shale deposits in the world. According to the Colorado Springs Business Journal’s Amy Gillentine, the government’s permitting process runs on a different track than Shell’s research on how to squeeze the goo from the rocks.

Shell submitted the application a year ago, but withdrew it when the company realized that research was going to lead in another direction, said Tracy Boyd, spokesman for the Mahogany Project, the name for the oil shale research work being conducted on 17 acres in the Colorado back country near Rifle.

“But that doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped anything,” he said. “It’s a delay, but other things are going on at the site. We’ve finished building the freeze wall test and it’s 100 percent online now. They’re working on heating tests elsewhere on the site.”

The next step, which requires combining both the freezing and heating elements into one big test to see if Shell can really wring oil from the rocks, is causing the delay.

“It takes about a year to process the application, and things in this research are changing so fast that knowing exactly what you want to do in a year is difficult,” Boyd said. “We’re learning a lot more all the time. We’ll resubmit the application a year or so down the road when we have better information to know exactly what kind of integrated test we want to do.”

Shell, which has secured 200 patents for oil-shale extraction technology, is the only oil firm working this problem on such a massive scale. As one might expect, the whole shale-oil enterprise has its critics and skeptics. (more…)

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Holiday Slices of Dolan Media

11-21-07

Well, it happened. Rachel Paulose, the controversial young U.S. Attorney for Minneapolis, has left the frozen north and will return to Washington DC. Minnesota Lawyer Blog’s Mark Cohen has been getting a lot of eyes on his insightful farewell-to-Paulose post:

I believe that Paulose made the right choice in opting to end her often stormy tenure and accept a policy job in main Justice in Washington, D.C.

It has always been my belief that it was a management situation causing the disruptions at the office. Paulose has sterling academic credentials and a highly impressive resume for her age. But she had little real management experience.

Intent on impressing her bosses and no doubt deeply believing in her priorities, she plowed ahead and redirected the office without getting buy-in from the troops. She was also reportedly sometimes dictatorial in manner and abrasive toward subordinates. These are rookie mistakes frequently made by inexperienced managers. But when that manager is in charge of 100 talented individuals at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and operating in a fishbowl, there is little room for error.

While I am not adverse to occasionally giving an important role to a highly talented young person and giving them a chance to grow into it, such a person needs guidance and support. As far as I can tell, such support was completely lacking from the problem-riddled Department of Justice.

Read the whole thing; and go back and read Minnesota Law Blog’s coverage of the Paulose story going back the past few months. It is much more than a just footnote to the DOJ controversies of the past year….

Deon Roberts of New Orleans’ The CityBusiness Blog is irate that the Crescent City is being passed over as a presidential debate site:

Who says we are “not ready” for an event of that size?

We hold Mardi Gras, for crying out loud. What about the Sugar Bowl, Jazz Fest and Essence Fest?

We surely could handle 3,000 journalists. What are they talking about?

One of Deon’s commenters, Wendy King, speculates the Republicans put the kibosh on it because they

would have to come down here, get a guided tour of the devastated parts of the city, and explain to their supporters why this city’s recovery isn’t on a faster track.

Now, this is awkward…another Dolan Media market, Long Island, is getting a presidential debate. According to LI BizBlog, the third one will be held at Hofstra University. If it turns out to be Giuliani vs. Clinton, I think we’re all going to feel left out….

A circuit judge in Virginia has ruled that property owners near Chesapeake Airport should get compensated for the diminution of their homes’ value due to noise, according to VLW Blog….

In Maryland, a biochemistry professor is about to get very rich, according to The Daily Record.

(Lawrence R.) Sita, a chemistry and biochemistry professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, has been working for the past eight years on a new method of making pure plastics without chemical additives.

The issue of chemical additives in plastics is a hot topic, with mounting numbers of product recalls and controversy over reform of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Suddenly, Sita, a lifelong academic, is seriously considering licensing his technology from the university and starting a company of his own.

Success would require catching the attention of the global plastics industry, including big names such as Dow, that produces 110 million metric tons of plastic each year.

That’s enough plastic to rebuild the Great Pyramid at Giza 44 times over, Sita said.

Maybe this guy will give Professor Sita a call….

benjamin-braddock-the-graduate.jpg

Happy Thanksgiving….

Dolan Media, Reporting For Duty

11-09-07

With the Veteran’s Day weekend upon us, let’s do a surprise inspection of some of Dolan Media’s business and legal stories this week….

New Orleans City Business has a story about yet another lasting change to the city after Katrina: The inability of elderly residents to get back home. Reporter Richard A. Webster interviews Gordon Wadge, a local Catholic Charities official, about his mother, Gloria.

“We had some very emotional conversations,” Wadge said. “She told me, ‘I just want to come home and die in the house your father and I built.’”

Gloria Wadge’s home was undamaged but the circle of neighbors she depended on was shattered.

“There was an elderly couple she kept up with, but the husband died of a heart attack during the evacuation,” Wadge said. “Then there was the neighbor on the other side who came over for tea every day who was so traumatized by the storm that she moved across the lake to live with her daughter.

“And there was another neighbor across the street who was sick with cancer. I’m sure the stress of the storm accelerated that illness because he’s since deceased.”

For reasons like this, the numbers of New Orleans residents under 65 has dropped a staggering 63 percent, NOCB reports….

The impending long weekend has put two Long Island Business News editor in the mood for recreation. Publisher John Kominicki ponders a proposed year-round indoor skiing resort in Riverhead, and how that might help NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg attract more Euro-tourism….

Meanwhile, Associate Web Editor Henry Powderly II continues his LI wine tour, this time stopping at Roanoke Vineyards for a few helpings of jazz and rosé….

The Journal Record in Oklahoma City is hosting a dinner Nov. 29 to honor the “Best Dressed” Oklahomans…but the big buzz in OKC is about the NBA’s Seattle Supersonic’s owner announcing a move to “the Capital of the New Century,” which has upset the NBA commish. He’s mad at Seattle and Washington state officials for not building the Sonics a new home….

The Colorado Springs Business Journal has a feature about the, uh, breathtaking competition in the “vanity oxygen” industry. Reporter Joan Johnson writes:

Oxygen bars, which are popular at various athletic and social events, are facing competition from hand-held canister packs, which contain 25 breaths of 95 percent pure, enriched oxygen — more than four times the amount of oxygen found in ambient air.

Just as bottlers convinced consumers that it wasn’t ludicrous to pay $2 for a bottle of water, oxygen companies are betting that people will be willing to pay for a breath of fresh air.

Marketing canned or portable oxygen appears to have started in Asia, and grew out of the scuba industry. People were using small, supplemental oxygen tanks outside diving because of the air quality in major cities, said Kevin Berigan, president of Oxygen Plus Inc.

Berigan said that more than 11,000 7-Eleven stores in Japan began selling private-label oxygen about a year ago.

Bill Miller, creative director of Oxygen Plus, said that his company doesn’t claim its products have any medical benefits or can cure any ailments, but he said there are benefits for skiers, cyclists, hikers, partiers, spa goers, athletes and smog breathers.

But she also quotes a pulmonary specialist as saying the whole business is “a scam.”

I wonder if the next big thing will be bottled air from exotic locations like Maui…the North Pole…the Greek Islands….or Paris….

CUT TO: Casablanca Airport, Night

(A cloud of fog mixes with engine smoke.)

Ilsa: But what about us?

Rick: We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.

Ilsa: Oh Rick, I have a bottle of Paris right here. Want a hit?

Rick: Here’s looking at you, kid!

Electrifying News from Dolan’s Pubs

11-06-07

Here are a few interesting stories our reporters have picked up the past day or two….

Portland’s one of those towns with some tasty microbrews. In fact, its unofficial nickname is “beertopia.” Today we learn from the DJC’s Libby Tucker that three local breweries are investing–a lot–in energy conservation schemes, including recovery of the intense heat from the brewing process and using biodiesel instead of natural gas to run the boilers. Breweries are “big, dirty behemoths,” one brewmaster is quoted as saying…..

If you’re in Idaho, here’s a name to start remembering: Gateway West. That’s what Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power Co. call a 650-mile power line project they announced Monday, according to IBR. Conservation groups are worried, and ratepayers won’t like the effect on electricity bills. But utility officials say the rolling blackouts Idaho almost experienced last summer could loom again unless this new capacity comes on line….

FedEx was confused by the EEOC’s allegedly inconsistent way of notifying the company whether an employee has charged discrimination or not. So they filed suit. Today the case was argued before the Supreme Court, and from DC Dicta’s report, it sounds like the justices were not just confused, but annoyed….

This can’t be good. The Daily Record’s Jackie Sauter was out on the streets of Baltimore with a photographer and came upon a smattering of snow-like particles. Thanks to some construction workers, a building is shedding white foam, and the breeze is distributing it on the city’s west side. Some of the stuff attached itself to Jackie’s clothes. Where else is it going?

novint-falcon.jpgAnd can you guess what this is?→→→→

Go to LI Biz Blog to find out. A company in Port Washington, N.Y. firm makes markets them, and pretty soon, everyone will want one…..

A Monday Communiqué from Dolan Media

11-05-07

Do college students like to text-message? Uh, yeah. So officials at the University of Maryland and other colleges in the state can’t figure out why so few have signed up for an emergency-alert program instituted after the shootings at Virginia Tech.

According to the Daily Record, one law enforcement official thinks students are wary of a scam:

Some students, faculty and staff might be concerned about the cost of text messages, (Robert M. Rowan of the University of Maryland) theorized. Some mobile phone or wireless service providers charge mobile users per message.

And many probably are concerned they’ll be inundated with junk messages, said Courtney Jolley, a spokeswoman at Loyola College in Maryland, where 1,400 have signed up for the text message service that began over the summer.

“We’ve made it very clear to them this is not designed for us to be able to send any announcement we want,” Jolley said. “It’s just an extra point of contact in truly grave emergency situations.”

The director of communications at the U’s College Park campus found some success by treating the emergency text program as a marketing problem.

“What we realized was we needed to do a broad-based awareness [campaign] of our various emergency notifications,” he said.

The school held a campus-wide Emergency Awareness Week last month, including the distribution of educational materials about the service and booths set up throughout campus where students could learn about the service and register on the spot.

Towson, like many of the schools, made the text message alert system part of its orientation for new students over the summer, Herring said. It also has taken out ads in its school paper, and is planning to set up an informational table at the student union.

….Up the Atlantic coast, Long Island Business News blogger Henry Powderly II continues his illustrated winery crawl with a visit to Corey Creek Vineyards. Bet you didn’t know Long Island was a wine region. (more…)

Windmills, Dams, Poker and Ghosts: Tuesday Evening Dolan Wrap

10-23-07

“Global warming is here.”  That’s how Richard Kessel, until a few weeks ago the chief of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), greets Long Island BizBlog’s David Reich-Hale and Henry Powderly II when they meet at Kessel’s favorite breakfast spotMary Bill Diner in Merrick, N.Y.  It’s mostly a chat about his personal plans, but Kessel did speak out on behalf of an offshore wind energy project that the new LIPA CEO opposes:

He shared concerns about the costs, but he asked “find me a project that is renewable, and it’s cheaper.” Unfortunately, there is no place to put these windmills on land on Long Island.

All alternative energy projects will cost a lot up front and pay off over time, that’s the problem. Bills would rise to cover the up-front costs, he said. And as for the windmills, Kessel swore there is no cheaper way. “In the end the wind project is going to look pretty good when oil hits $100.”

As for solar power on the per-house level, it takes a lot of time to install solar panels and if you spend the same money on them as the wind farm would have cost, you’d generate less electricity.

The bottom line is, alternative energy costs more. If we don’t want to pay, then “stick with oil and see what happens.”

There are wind-energy battles going on all over the country, the most notorious in Massachussets.  NIMBYism and environmentalism are on a collision course and, so far, NIMBYism is getting the better of it….

For those who don’t recognize the NIMBY acronym, it means Not in My Backyard.  Planners love these kinds of acronyms to describe foes of controversial projects.  This one seems perfect for Long Island:  GOAH.  It stands for Gedoudaheah….

The largest dam to be demolished in the Pacific Northwest in 40 years started coming down today, and DJC’s Libby Tucker was there to watch.  It was demolished by the same general contractor, Natt McDougall, who built it 18 years ago….

DJC links to a video here….

The IRS has noticed the poker tournament fad, and wants its cut, reports DC Dicta….

Halloween in New Orleans?  Why, it’s a “mini-Mardi Gras,” according to New Orleans City Business.

“When you enjoy the reputation as one of the nation’s most haunted cities, naturally Halloween is a big draw for people who want to make Halloween a destination,” said Mary Beth Romig, spokeswoman for the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Hotel Monteleone bills itself as “most haunted,” a distinction not every hotel wants…. 

Duel In The Sand, Gone With the Wind

10-22-07

Some gritty Dolan Media highlights for a Monday morning…

Despite recent passage of a new state law, anti-immigrant activists and business interests that benefit from immigrant labor are both turning to the ballot box to get their preferred fix, according to the Arizona Capitol Times’ Jim Small.

Neither measure has qualified yet, but a war of words has begun.

“In comparison to the other initiative and the law that’s already passed, my initiative will be the toughest employer sanctions law the Constitution allows,” said Andrew Pacheco, chairman of the Stop Illegal Hiring campaign committee.

However, critics say Pacheco’s measure is designed to protect the interests of the business community, which hires illegal immigrants at cheaper wages to maximize profits.

“They want to change nothing,” (State Representative Russell) Pearce, R-18, said. “They want to continue to hire with impunity.”

Don Goldwater, a former gubernatorial candidate and another advocate of a tougher employee sanction bill said the move by business will force him to redouble his efforts to get the Legal Arizona Workers Act on the ballot. According to Small,

many had hoped Goldwater’s group would refrain from actually putting its initiative on the ballot if the state law was enforced to their liking, the chances of that happening now are zilch.

“There is no chance in heck we can drop our initiative now,” Goldwater said.

kk-river-cleanup-crop.jpgWisconsin’s Kinnickinnic River is one dirty, filthy toxic river, according to Sean Ryan of the Daily Reporter. Salmon swim up it to spawn — and then die. There are islands made of shopping carts and bowling balls. But now what locals call the KK is getting cleaned up, due to the combined efforts of developers who want to build waterfront condos, environmental groups, and Milwaukee municipal agencies. If federal money can be found, the river will be dredged, and a stretch of concrete bottom might be removed….

After four years, the Long Island Power Authority will apparently shelve plans for a wind energy facility. Now Delaware wants to build one, and some say they should study what Long Island did — and do the opposite. Details in LI Biz Blog….

A judge in Maryland thinks it’s possible a woman consented to being slugged by her husband at a gas station. So he dismissed the case against her. Details here….

Despite assurances to the contrary, the new South Waterfront neighborhood in Portland, Oregon is “make-sure-you’re-wearing-your-good-underwear-windy,”says DJC blogger Alison Ryan….