Transcript: Need to Know Rochester for June 4, 2010
By Chris Campbell ~ Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 1:11pm
(VO): COMING UP ON NEED TO KNOW ROCHESTER: ELECTION 2010 IS SHAPING UP, AS THE PARTIES PICK THEIR CANDIDATES. WE LOOK AT THE CHOICES FACING VOTERS ACROSS NEW YORK THIS YEAR. ALSO, STILL NO STATE BUDGET IS IN SIGHT, WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO GET IT DONE? AND THE TENANTS ON TOP OF TIME SQUARE, ROCHESTER'S FALCON FAMILY, CAPTIVATES BIRD LOVERS AROUND THE WORLD.
(ANNOUNCER): ROCHESTER'S NEWS MAGAZINE SINCE 1997, THIS IS NEED TO KNOW ROCHESTER.
JULIE: I'M JULIE PHILIPP, THANKS FOR JOINING ME FOR THIS EDITION OF NEED TO KNOW ROCHESTER. THE NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES HAVE WRAPPED UP THEIR NOMINATING CONVENTIONS. THOSE THAT GOT THE NOD, AND A FEW THAT DID NOT, ARE NOW MOVING INTO FULL CAMPAIGN MODE. WXXI CAPITOL BUREAU CORRESPONDENT, KAREN DEWITT, AND MATT RYAN, OF NEW YORK NOW, ARE JOINING ME FROM ALBANY TO OUTLINE THE RACES. THANKS FOR JOINING ME. GUYS?
MATT: HI JULIE.
KAREN: HEY JULIE
JULIE: LET'S START WITH THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION, WHICH JUST WRAPPED UP, AND THE TOP OF THE TICKET, THE SELECTION FOR GOVERNOR.
MATT: WELL, THERE WAS A THREE HOUR FLOOR BATTLE AT THE CONVENTION ON WEDNESDAY IN MANHATTEN. A LOT OF SUPPORTERS THERE FOR STEVE LEVY. A GOOD NUMBER FOR RICK LAZIO. CARL PALLADINO, OF COURSE, FROM WESTERN NEW YORK, HE HAD A NUMBER OF PEOPLE THERE AS WELL. WENT OVER FOR ABOUT THREE HOURS, BUT IN THE END, RICK LAZIO WAS THE CHOICE. REALLY BECAUSE A LOT OF THE OLD-TIME REPUBLICANS, THEY DIDN'T EVEN WANT TO CONSIDER VOTING FOR A DEMOCRAT THAT TURNED REPUBLICAN, AND IT REALLY CAUSED SOME PROBLEMS. IT BECAME KIND OF A FRACTURED PARTY, REALLY, BY THE END OF THE TIME THEY WRAPPED UP ON THURSDAY. WE'LL HAVE TO SEE HOW MUCH THAT HURTS THEM, AS THE MONTHS GO BY HERE.
KAREN: IT'S ALSO KIND OF BAD NEWS FOR THEIR PARTY CHAIRMAN, ED COX, WHO HAD WANTED THE REPUBLICANS TO GO FOR STEVE LEVY, SUFFOLK COUNTY EXECUTIVE, WHO WAS A DEMOCRAT UNTIL ABOUT MARCH 19TH. BUT COX WAS JUST NOT ABLE TO CONVINCE THE OTHER REPUBLICANS TO GO ALONG WITH IT. AND THAT JUST SORT OF ADDED TO THE DISARRAY, THE ANGER, THE CONFUSION. IT'S NOT A GOOD START FOR REPUBLICANS STARTING OFF, ESPECIALLY SINCE BUFFALO BUSINESSMAN CARL PALLADINO HAS A LOT OF MONEY, AND HE'S GOING TO RUN A PRIMARY AGAINST LAZIO, SO LAZIO'S GOT A LOT OF DISTRACTIONS, WHEN REALLY THE REPUBLICANS WOULD HOPE THEIR FOCUS WOULD BE AGAINST ANDREW CUOMO -- WHO'S WAY AHEAD. EVERYBODY KNOWS HIM, HAS LOTS OF MONEY, HE'S THE MOST POPULAR POLITICIAN IN THE STATE.
MATT: THAT IS A PROBLEM BECAUSE, AS YOU KNOW, KAREN, PALLADINO SAYS HE'S GOING TO PETITION HIS WAY ONTO THE PRIMARIES. HE'S GOT 10 MILLION DOLLARS TO SPEND. AND THAT'S REALLY GOING TO BE A PROBLEM FOR RICK LAZIO, WHO AT THE LAST FILING DATE, ONLY HAD ABOUT 600,000 DOLLARS IN THE BANK; COMPARE THAT TO ANDREW CUOMO RIGHT NOW, WHO'S GOT 20 MILLION. HE'S AT A HUGE DISADVANTAGE, AND NOW HE'S GONNA, IF PALLADINO'S ABLE TO PETITION HIS WAY ON, HE'S GOING TO HAVE TO SPEND SOME OF THAT LITTLE MONEY AGAINST CARL PALLADINO. AND MAYBE AGAINST STEVE LEVY, WHO WAS A LITTLE UNCERTAIN, AFTER WE TALKED TO HIM ON WEDNESDAY, WHETHER OR NOT HE WAS GOING TO TRY A THIRD PARTY RUN OF HIS OWN.
KAREN: AND UNFORTUNATELY, MODERN DAY POLITICS, YOU NEED MONEY, IN ORDER TO GET AHEAD AND GET WELL KNOWN. AND LAZIO ISN'T WELL KNOWN. HE'S BEST KNOWN FOR LOSING TO HILLARY CLINTON IN 2000, AND WAVING PAPERS IN HER FACE.
JULIE: BUT IS, IS
MATT: RIGHT. AND HE'S DOWN. HE'S DOWN 40 POINTS IN THE POLL.
JULIE: IS MONEY ENOUGH? ARE PEOPLE TAKING PALLADINO SERIOUSLY, YOU KNOW, COULD HE ENERGIZE THE TEA PARTY FOLLOWERS AND HAVE SOMETHING GOING ON?
KAREN: OH YEAH. I THINK HE COULD. THERE'S A LOT OF ANGRY PEOPLE IN NEW YORK STATE, IN THE NATION RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE THINGS AREN'T GOING THAT WELL. UPSTATE HAS BEEN IN DECLINE, THE ECONOMY'S BEEN POOR FOR DECADES, AS WE KNOW, AND I THINK THAT PALLADINO IS TAPPING INTO THAT. AND CERTAINLY, IF HE ENDS UP ON A THIRD PARTY, HE'S GOING TO TAKE POINTS AWAY FROM LAZIO, AND DILUTE THE VOTE AGAINST CUOMO AND MAKE CUOMO EVEN STRONGER. UNLESS, YOU KNOW, SOMETHING REALLY UNUSUAL HAPPENS, WHICH WE'VE SEEN A LOT OF UNUSUAL THINGS IN THE LAST THREE YEARS, BUT THAT SEEMS THE WAY THAT IT'S GOING RIGHT NOW.
MATT: I THINK SOME PEOPLE BEHIND THE SCENES, IN THE GOP WEDNESDAY, WE'RE SAYING THAT IT'S REALLY LAZIO'S WORSE NIGHTMARE TO HAVE A PRIMARY. AGAIN, BECAUSE HE DOESN'T HAVE MUCH MONEY TO SPEND. AND CARL PALLADINO, LISTENING TO HIM ON WEDNESDAY, HE GAVE THE BEST SPEECH. I MEAN, GRANTED, HE GIVES THE NEWS MEDIA A LOT OF GOOD SOUND BITES, AND THEY WERE ONE RIGHT AFTER THE OTHER. AND I REALLY DO THINK HE ENERGIZED SOME PEOPLE IN THAT CROWD. YOU HAD SOME PEOPLE CLAPPING FOR HIM, THAT WERE IN THE MYERS MERMEL CATEGORY OR LAZIO AND LEVY. I MEAN, SOME PEOPLE WERE CLAPPING FOR HIM THAT WERE IN, WHO WERE SUPPORTING SOMEONE ELSE. SO IT'S POSSIBLE HE COULD GAIN SOME SUPPORT. HOW MUCH I DON'T KNOW, BUT THAT'S A FEW VOTES AND A LOT OF MONEY HE COULD TAKE AWAY RICK LAZIO.
KAREN: YEAH, AS WE SAID, HE DOES RESONATE WITH A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF THE POPULATION. MAYBE A LOT OF THE POPULATION, THESE DAYS, ON SOME LEVEL.
JULIE: NOW WILL LAZIO, I ASSUME, CONTINUE TO TRY TO RUN AGAINST CUOMO FOR THE TIME BEING? AND WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE CUOMO-DUFFY TICKET, WHICH IS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST HERE IN ROCHESTER?
KAREN: WELL, I DON'T KNOW. I SUPPOSE THEY COULD SIT BACK FOR A WHILE. IT SEEMS LIKE THEY SAT BACK THIS WEEK, AND LET THE REPUBLICANS FIGHT IT OUT. BUT I THINK THEY HAVE TO GO AHEAD AND LOOK ACTIVE. THEY'LL PROBABLY START TELEVISION ADS. CUOMO'S PUT ON THIS DETAILED 224 PAGE PLAN, AND I ASSUME HE'S GOING TO BE VERY ACTIVE. HE SAID HE'S GOING TO GO TO EVERY COUNTY IN THE STATE. AND HE'S PROBABLY GOING TO START OFF AND YOU'LL SEE THEM ALOT, I THINK, PROBABLY STARTING NEXT WEEK.
MATT: YEAH, I THINK HE'LL PROBABLY WANT TO INTRODUCE HIMSELF AND MAYOR DUFFY TO A LOT OF THE PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF ROCHESTER. YOU KNOW, WE MIGHT SEE THEM IN THE NORTH COUNTRY AND SYRACUSE AND THE LOWER HUDSON VALLEY. AND I THINK THAT ANDREW CUOMO DOES WANT TO GIVE BOB DUFFY SOME FACE TIME HERE. I THINK HE WANTS TO INTRODUCE HIM TO THE PUBLIC, AND SAY, LISTEN, I HAVE PICKED SOMEONE WHO I THINK CAN BE A CHIEF EXECUTIVE RIGHT AWAY, IF SOMETHING UNFORTUNATE HAPPENS TO ME, OR IF I MOVE ONTO SOMETHING ELSE. SO I THINK WE'LL BE SEEING THEM, HOW MUCH I'M NOT SURE, BECAUSE AS KAREN SAID, THE GOP IS BEHIND BY 40 POINTS RIGHT NOW. THEY DON'T HAVE TO DO TOO MUCH. BUT IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW MUCH THEY DO HERE, IN THE NEXT MONTH.
KAREN: YEAH. THAT SAID, I DONT' THINK THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE IT FOR GRANTED, I THINK. BECAUSE, I THINK, THEY'RE REALLY TO HAVE TO TRY HARD AND NOT JUST THINK, WELL, YOU KNOW, WE'RE JUST GOING TO GET AHEAD. I THNK THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY AND REALLY, YOU KNOW, HAVE A PRETTY DYNAMIC CAMPAIGN.
JULIE: WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT LAZIO'S RUNNING MATE?
KAREN: WELL, HE'S THE CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY EXECUTIVE. I MEAN, YOU CAN MAKE COMPARISONS TO MAYOR DUFFY IN THAT IT BALANCES THE TICKET, BY HAVING AN UPSTATE PERSON LIKE THAT, ESPECIALLY THE FURTHER-MOST, FURTHEST-MOST CORNER OF THE STATE, SO YOU'VE GOT TWO ENDS OF THE STATE, WITH RICK LAZIO BEING FROM LONG ISLAND AND EDWARDS BEING FROM CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, BUT OTHER THAN THAT, HE'S NOT REALLY WELL KNOW AROUND THE STATE.
MATT: YEAH, ONE THING A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE TALKING ABOUT, JULIE, WITH GREG EDWARDS, IS HE REALLY, HE'S MORE OF AN UNKNOWN THAN, OF COURSE, MAYOR DUFFY IS, WHO'S THE MAYOR OF A MAJOR CITY. SO THEY'VE REALLY GOT TO INTRODUCE EDWARDS TO THE VAST POPULATION OF NEW YORK STATE, BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS HIM. AND A LOT OF THINGS, SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE WERE TALKING ABOUT, ON WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY, WHEN HE MADE HIS SPEECH, IS THAT USUALLY THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PICK IS KIND OF THE RED MEAT GUY, AS HE REALLY GOES AFTER THE OTHER CANDIDATE. AND GREG EDWARDS CHOSE NOT TO DO THAT ON THURSDAY. WHETHER THAT CHANGES OR NOT, WE'LL HAVE TO SEE, BUT HIS SPEECH TO EVERYBODY THERE IN MANHATTEN WAS PRETTY BENEIGN .
JULIE: ONE OF THE OTHER RACES, I'M SORRY, THAT PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT IS THE US SENATE SEAT, THAT IS NOW HELD BY KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND.
MATT: RIGHT. INTERESTING RACE THERE, BECAUSE SHE'S GENERALLY CONSIDERED THE WEAKEST CANDIDATE, AND THE TWO PEOPLE WHO ARE GONNA BE ON THE PRIMARY IN SEPTEMBER, AGAINST HER, ARE BRUCE BLAKEMAN, WHO'S A LONG ISLAND LEGISLATOR. HE'S NOT VERY WELL KNOWN. AND DAVID MALPASS, AGAIN, SOMEONE WHO IS NOT VERY WELL KNOWN; WORKED FOR BEAR-STEARNS, I BELIEVE. IT'S NOT A STRONG FIELD THAT'S GOING TO BE AGAINST HER RIGHT NOW. THEIR JOB RIGHT NOW IS TO GET PEOPLE TO KNOW THEM.
KAREN: THERE ALSO MIGHT BE A THIRD CANDIDATE, JOE DIOGUARDI, HE HAS THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY LINE, AND HE SAYS HE MIGHT PETITION ON, SO KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND'S GOT TO BREATHING A BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.
MATT: BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.
KAREN: IF SHE HASN'T ALREADY WITH THIS, BECAUSE SHE'S, THE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO FIGHT WITH EACH OTHER AND THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE FOCUSED ON HER. AND SHE'S PROBABLY GOING TO GET A PRETTY EASY RIDE, WHEN A FEW MONTHS AGO, SHE THOUGHT SHE MIGHT GET A CHALLENGE WITHIN HER OWN PARTY, HAROLD FORD, REMEMBER, CAME TO TOWN AND SAID HE WANTED TO CHALLENGE HER. A COUPLE OF CONGRESSMEN AND WOMEN WANTED TO CHALLENGE HER. AND ALL THAT'S BEEN WIPED AWAY, I THINK WITH THE HELP OF SENIOR SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER. I MEAN, YOU DON'T REALLY EXPECT THE REPUBLICANS TO PUT UP SOMEBODY STRONG AGAINST SCHUMER, BECAUSE HE'S SUCH A POPULAR AND POWERFUL POLITICIAN, BUT YOU WOULD'VE THOUGHT THEY COULD'VE FOUND SOMEBODY AGAINST GILLIBRAND TO MAKE IT A REAL RACE, BUT IT DOESN'T LOOK THAT WAY.
MATT: AND SCHUMER HAS GARY BERNSTEN AND JAY TOWNSEND GOING AGAINST HIM. AGAIN, TWO PEOPLE THAT REALLY NO ONE KNOWS, OUTSIDE OF NEW YORK CITY. TWO PEOPLE WHO REALLY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK VERY HARD TO EVEN GET 30 PERCENT OR 40 PERCENT AGAINST CHUCK SCHUMER.
KAREN: AND TO HAVE THESE PRIMARIES IN BOTH OF THESE US SENATE RACES IS REALLY GONNA WEAKEN THE REPUBLICANS.
MATT: NO DOUBT.
KAREN: YOU KNOW, ED COX SAID IT WILL STRENGTHEN THE PARTY, BUT I DON'T REALLY SEE HOW. THEY'RE GOING TO USE UP ALL THEIR RESOUCES, AND WHEN ARE THEY GONNA HAVE PRIMARIES? LATE THIS YEAR, IT'S NOT UNTIL SEPTEMBER 15. AND THEY'VE GOT WHAT, SIX WEEKS OR LESS FOR, TILL ELECTION DAY?
JULIE: I THINK THE ACTUAL DATE IS THE 14TH. ONE OTHER RACE I WANT TO TALK ABOUT, AND WE GO BACK TO THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION A WEEK AGO, A LOT OF PEOPLE LINING UP FOR THAT ATTORNEY GENERAL SEAT, WHICH ANDREW CUOMO, IF ELECTED, WILL BE VACATING.
MATT: YEAH, I THINK THAT'S REALLY, KIND OF THE MOST EXCITING RACE ONLY BECAUSE, ONE, THERE'S SO MANY PEOPLE IN IT. THERE'S SOME BIG NAMES IN THIS. HERE IN ALBANY, YOU'VE GOT ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN, A VERY WELL KNOWN SENATOR FROM MANHATTEN. RICHARD BRODSKY, A VERY WELL KNOWN ASSEMBLYMAN FROM THE WESTCHESTER AREA. TWO VERY OUTSPOKEN PEOPLE. KATHLEEN RICE, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY FROM NASSAU COUNTY ON LONG ISLAND.
KAREN: WHO ANDREW CUOMO IS SAID TO FAVOR.
MATT: BEHIND THE SCENES.
KAREN: ALTHOUGH HE DIDN'T GET INVOLVED LAST WEEK, AT THE CONVENTION. THEY LET ALL FIVE OF THEM BE ON THE BALLOT. AT FIRST, THEY WERE GOING TO TRY TO STEER SOME THINGS AND THEY DECIDED NOT TO. AND YOU HAVE SEAN COFFEY, KNOW FOR FIGHTING WALL STREET, AND ERIC DINALLO, FORMER INSURANCE SUPERINTENDENT. YEAH, SO THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIGHT IT OUT TOO, BUT I GUESS THE DEMOCRATS FEEL LIKE THEY CAN AFFORD TO HAVE A PRIMARY FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL. AND YOU HAVE DAN DONOVAN, ATTORNEY GENERAL, FOR REPUBLICANS.
MATT: WHO WILL BE THE ONLY ONE.
KAREN: HE'LL BE THE ONLY ONE, THAT'S
MATT: THE ONLY RACE THEY DON'T HAVE A PRIMARY FOR.
KAREN: YEAH, SO IT'S SORT OF THE OPPOSITE THERE, I GUESS. THE DEMOCRATS MIGHT BE IN A WEAKENED POSITION, BUT I GUESS THEY'RE HOPING THERE'S GOING TO BE STRENGTH AT THE TOP OF TICKET TO CARRY OVER WHOEVER'S ATTORNEY GENERAL.
MATT: BUT AGAIN, ALL OF THOSE CANDIDATES ARE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK VERY HARD, ESPECIALLY UPSTATE, BECAUSE, REALLY, PEOPLE IN ROCHESTER, SYRACUSE, BUFFALO, NO ONE KNOWS YOU, UNLESS YOU'RE A DIE-HARD POLITICAL JUNKIE, THEY DO NOT KNOW WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE. SO THEY REALLY HAVE TO FUND RAISE AND REALLY GET OUT THERE THIS SUMMER.
KAREN: BUT THE PRIMARIES WILL PROBABLY BE MOSTLY DECIDED ON THE DOWNSTATE VOTE.
MATT: SURE, ABSOLUTELY.
JULIE: WE'VE ONLY GOT A FEW MINUTES LEFT
MATT: A LOT OF THOSE, THEY ALL COME FROM DOWNSTATE AREAS.
JULIE: WE'VE GOT A FEW MINUTES LEFT, DO YOU MIND IF WE CHANGE GEARS NOW, AND TALK ABOUT THE STATE BUDGET OR LACK THEREOF, FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES?
KAREN: YEAH, IT'S BEEN INTERESTING COUPLE OF WEEKS, BECAUSE USUALLY WHEN THE CONVENTIONS HAPPEN, THE PARTIES HAVE KIND OF A GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT THAT NOTHING HAPPENS IN ALBANY, BUT BECAUSE OF THE BUDGET CRISIS, THINGS JUST KEEP HAPPENING IN ALBANY. WE HAD GOVERNOR PATERSON THIS WEEK SAYING HE'S GONNA TAKE CHARGE, AND HE'S GOING TO TRY TO IMPLEMENT HIS PENDING CUTS, MAYBE EVEN SOME OF HIS TAX IDEAS AND THESE WEEKLY SPENDING EXTENDERS -- THEY HAVE TO RENEW THE SPENDING EACH WEEK -- BECAUSE, OF COURSE, WE DON'T HAVE A BUDGET, AND IT'S TOO MONTHS LATE. AND PATERSON GOING TO TRY TO FORCE SOME OF HIS BUDGET CUTS DOWN THE THROATS OF THE LEGISLATURE, SO IT'S A VERY INTERESTING IDEA AND IT'S GOING TO BE VERY INTERESTING TO SEE HOW IT PLAYS OUT NEXT WEEK.
MATT: YEAH, IT WILL GIVE LEGISLATORS, AS YOU'VE SAID BEFORE KAREN, AN OPT OUT, AND SAYING, WELL, I HAD TO VOTE FOR THIS OR GOVERNMENT'S GOING TO SHUT DOWN. SO IT GIVES THEM AN EASY OPT, BUT WE MIGHT BE A LITTLE BIT CLOSER TO A BUDGET, IF, DEPENDING ON WHAT WE SEE COMING OUT OF THE EXTENDER THIS WEEKEND.
KAREN: YEAH, THIS COULD ACTUALLY WORK, BECAUSE OKAY, THEY CAN SAY, OH BLAME GOVERNOR PATERSON, HE'S THE ONLY ONE NOT RUNNING FOR ELECTION, SO HE'S KIND OF TAKING IT UPON HIMSELF. SO I THINK SOME PEOPLE, SOME PEOPLE IN THE LEGISLATURE ARE SORT OF ENCOURAGED BY THIS IDEA. WE'LL HAVE TO SEE HOW IT PLAYS OUT. IF PATERSON GOES TOO FAR, IT MAY CAUSE AN EVEN WORSE CRISIS, PARTICULARLY WHERE THEY HAVE SOME BIG DISAGREEMENTS ON HOW MUCH TO FUND SCHOOL AID AND THINGS LIKE THAT. BUT IT IS
(Julie) What are the biggest sticking points right now? What are people most concerned that Patterson is going to force through?
(Karen) I think it's mostly the schools. The assembly democrats don't agree with how much Patterson wants to cut schools. Senate democrats do and I think then they have some issues about taxes. Patterson wants a so-called sugar tax, senate and assembly don't want to do that, but they have to come up with the money. Up to now there's a 9 billion dollar deficit.
(Matt) Which Patterson says might be a billion more now.
(Karen) Yeah. If they don't get this Federal Medicaid money, but they've agreed roughly on how to take about 6 billion so it's $2.5 billion, which is a lot of money, that they haven't been able to agree on and that's been stalemated since about Mid-March. So I think the governor thinks if we can't have a real budget and we might not have one until even after election day, maybe this is a way that we can kind of get things moving if we do it in this piecemeal fashion. I think it's going to be chaotic for the people who depend on state money because they are not going to know. Hospitals, nursing homes, they won't know their reimbursement rates all kinds of other things.
(Julie) What are some of the areas that they were able to compromise on, that they were able to close some of that gap?
(Karen) Not much. The parks. They agreed to open the parks. That's about all we've got so far.
(Matt) But again, to do that they had to take money out of the environmental protection fund and that angered a whole lot of people in Albany, so they're not pleasing too many people as you can imagine.
(Julie) We have about 30 seconds left can I ask each of you to take out your crystal ball, when will we have a state budget?
(Karen) I think it's possible that we might not have one and it's just piecemeal implemented week to week. Otherwise the only other pressure is summer is coming on. July 4th. The lawmakers, they hate to be here when it really gets to be summer.
(Matt) That's what I was going to say. July 4th. I think they'd like to get this done, go home for the summer and maybe start campaigning for this fall.
(Karen) They have campaigns too.
(Julie) Thank you both. MATT RYAN OF NEW YORK NOW, AND WXXI CAPITOL BUREAU CORRESPONDENT KAREN DEWITT. KAREN DEWITT WAS JUST NAMED MEDIA PERSON OF THE YEAR BY THE WOMEN’S PRESS CLUB OF NEW YORK STATE. YOU CAN LISTEN TO KAREN EVERY WEEKDAY DURING MORNING EDITION AND ALL THINGS CONSIDERED ON WXXI-AM 1370 OR FM 88 POINT FIVE. ALL OF HER REPORTS ARE ALSO POSTED ON LINE AT WXXI DOT O-R-G.
(Julie) TWELVE YEARS AGO, TWO PEREGRINE FALCONS STARTED A FAMILY ON TOP OF THE KODAK OFFICE TOWER ON STATE STREET. OVER THE NEXT DECADE, 43 YOUNG FALCONS HATCHED IN THE KODAK NESTING BOX – A NATIONAL RECORD ACCORDING TO THE GENESEE VALLEY AUDUBON SOCIETY. BUT WHEN KODAK DECIDED TO DO SOME WORK ON THE TOWER, THE BOX HAD TO BE MOVED. JIM PISELLO IS WITH THE AUDUBON SOCIETY. He joins me now. Thank you so much for coming in today.
(Jim Pisello) You're welcome. Thank you for giving me the opportunity.
(Julie) You must have been anxious after last year when no babies were born in the new nest, but things are picking up.
(Pisello) We were. There was quite a bit of drama in 2009. Our resident falcons who had been in town, really, since 1998 one of them failed to return. The male failed to return from his spring migration and the female was actually driven out of the territory after a three day battle that went right through Easter Sunday and replaced by two new falcons that hadn't been there before.
(Julie) And this year they had two hatched?
(Pisello) Two hatched out of four eggs that were laid, which is not uncommon for a first year group of falcons that are just mating for the first time.
(Julie) Now, you know all this because there are video cameras aimed on these birds and you have bird watches. What do you do with all this information that you are gathering?
(Pisello) Right, we have the Rochester Falcon cam that's available at our falcon cam.com. There are 5 cameras that look into the nest box. We also have a live video feed from the nest box. In the past we've used the still pictures that we've gotten from the falconcam for all kinds of research. There's a group called the Canadian Peregrine foundation that was instrumental in helping us set up the original bird cam on Kodak tower and they used a lot of our data that we got from these high quality pictures that we were able to pick up from the welcomes to learn more about the growth cycle of falcons, not a lot of which was known about before this.
(Julie) And they were endangered for quite some time as well too.
(Pisello) Yes. Until 1999 they were on the federal endangered species list. They are still considered to be endangered in New York State.There are about 90 pair total in New York State. Prior to 1980 there were none.
(Julie) But it's not just scientists looking at these pictures or these videos. There's a lot of interest from the general public too. What is it that captivates people about these birds?
(Pisello) Well, this is like the ultimate reality show. You get to see really an ideal example of patenting if you think about it. In this nest box every year these parents are solely focused on raising their young and making sure they give them every opportunity to be successful. Just the ability to have this window into the lives of these birds, they are the fastest animal on earth. In a dive they have been clocked at over 200 mph. They are really unique for a number of reasons. They are at the top of the food chain. They are what we call an apex predator and because of that they are a really good indicator of the overall health of the ecosystem. Because if they are not thriving, it means that their prey, which are other birds primarily, are also not thriving. And those birds are eating insects or plant material or what have you, Being able to judge the health of the Peregrine falcon population helps us to have a better understanding of the ecosystem as a whole.
(Julie) And when have you been able to watch, there names are Beauty and Archer? They have names. Do the chicks have names yet?
(Pisello) Not yet. When they get their ID bands, which is going to happen next Thursday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will send some wildlife technicians and biologists out. They will take the chicks out of the nest and give them ID bands. At that time they will be assigned names.
(Julie) That sounds like a simple process but I'm guessing when you have Peregrine falcons involved and the parents involved it's not quite that easy.
(Pisello) Peregrines are extremely territorial. They are very fierce in defense of their nests and their young. It's not uncommon to have them actually strike members of the team that are removing the chicks from the nest. We wear hard hats and protective eye wear when we go up there. I've actually had a pair of eye glasses taken right off my head by a peregrin falcon who passed by a little too closely. They are very territorial and can be aggressive so it's not without a little bit of danger but we try to minimize that by not being out any longer than we have to and not putting any undue stress on the birds.
(Julie) You band them so you can track them the rest of their lives. Soon these birds will be flying. What happens then? They are at the top of a very tall building in the middle of a city. What are the dangers and how are you dealing with those?
(Pisello) The dangers for urban raised peregrines these days are mostly urban dangers. Glass fronted buildings that they may look at and see the reflection of the sky and fly into are one of the big dangers. Obviously when the new falcons first start flying they have pretty weak wings so they tire quickly. They may fall down into the street into traffic. There are feral cats and even foxes in cities sometimes especially around here in the river gorge. We have lots of wildlife that can be a danger to a falcon should it come down. Then they have to spend the next 4 to 6 weeks learning how to fly and hunt because eventually they are going to need to leave the territory. If they don't leave on their own, which most of them will, the parents will actually push them out. So they are going to have to find their own territories.
(Julie) They can't move into the basement. You have volunteers that are there on the ground to catch them or replace them if they become injured?
(Pisello) Yes. We've done a handful of rescues over the years.
(Julie) And they get training and you'll be doing that soon too?
(Pisello) That's right. June 19 we are planning on having an informational session for the public and it will be at the Rundell Library. Saturday around 9am and the public is invited. Anybody who's interested in being a fledge watcher can come down and we'll tell them all about Peregrin falcons and their behavior and how to rescue a falcon safely and all that other good stuff.
(Julie) Thank you so much for coming in today.
(Pisello) You're welcome. Thank you.
(Julie) JIM PISELLO OF THE GENESEE VALLEY AUDUBON SOCIETY. FOR A LINK TO ROCHESTER FALCON CAM, GO TO OUR WEB SITE WXXI DOT O-R-G. IT’S TIME NOW FOR THE BUSINESS SECTION WITH THE DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE.
(Julie) Matt Daneman, business reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle joins us again. Good to see you.
(Matt) Julie. A pleasure.
(Julie) Now, we've been on a roll having some more positive business stories over the last few weeks and you have another one for us today.
(Matt) I feel like I'm no longer the merchant of death talking about recession like we've been talking about since early 08. A couple big announcements of a burst of jobs coming to the Rochester area. Most significantly, a British private equity firm that owns a number of companies around the globe, mostly in the UK, is looking to expand three of them and those three expansions will be at Kodak property here in Rochester. We are talking over the next 5 years they are anticipating 250 jobs. 250 fairly high end fairly technical R&D and manufacturing jobs paychecks estimated to be in the $80,000 range. Pretty significant financial boon to this community where we've seen so much decline in manufacturing and as the Rochester area tries to capitalize on it's high tech assess, this being a nice little victory for Rochester economic development.
(Julie) It kind of runs in the face of all those who say New York State taxes keep businesses from coming here.
(Matt) It's interesting because tax is obviously still a huge issue in this state but the reason the British private equity firm chose the Rochester area, the reasons they cited were, We've got the university system with a lot of high tech know how, you've got a skilled work force, you've got a lot of technical training and ability in this community things that weren't really replicative and also the available very high quality Kodak space that was available needing almost no work done to it. Sort of a confluence of factors that that you just couldn't find pretty much anywhere else on the globe.
(Julie) And also a good place to find suits. Hickey Freeman.
(Matt) Hickey Freeman also looking at adding a number of jobs. Here's a company that had a really questionable future whether it was even going to exist just a year ago. It's parent company was going through bankruptcy. Now the new parent company of Hickey Freeman talking about big investment, talking about adding jobs and really marketing the Hickey Freeman brand to places around the globe where traditionally it's been a high end US brand just for the US consumers. So you're seeing an investment in this company that could really spawn quite a bit of new jobs. They are talking about adding 25 just in the next few weeks, but adding 70 or so over the next year plus.
(Julie) So we are talking close to 400 jobs but at the same time printing methods inc may be losing some jobs.
(Matt) Exactly. You can't have good news without bad news. Printing methods inc and Albion color, sort of sister commercial printing companies owned by the same person out in albion, printing methods in rochester, apparently pretty much close to dead. The companies laid off pretty much their entire work force about a week ago they've got major problems with finances. Employees are a week behind on being paid. The companies are being fined by the department of labor. All sorts of issues that seem to indicate that the two companies are about to go on the block. It's a tough time to be in the printing world in this community and in general. Printers all over the place have seen, due to the recession, their workloads decline and had to lay off employees. So if you're talking about 170 press operators and pre press people looking for work in this community, that's going to be a pretty tough row to hoe.
(Julie) Only about 30 seconds left, but let's touch on tourism really quickly.
(Matt) Another casualty of the recession. In 2009, tourism numbers for monroe county were down 7 or 8% to about $880 million. Still, a healthy decent amount of money on the tourism industry in the rochester area and a lot better than the state did overall, down 14% across New York State which is kind of significant when you consider places like Niagara fails and New York City are major tourist draws. Rochester actually weathered 2009 decently. Obviously we are going to be looking for those numbers to go up as the economy, knock on wood, picks up and people feel free again.
(Julie) Kind of cautiously optimistic.
(Julie) Thanks so much! Have a great weekend.
(Matt) You too.
(Julie) MATT DANEMAN, BUSINESS REPORTER FOR THE DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE. FOR NEED TO KNOW ROCHESTER I’M JULIE PHILIPP. HAVE A GREAT WEEK.