Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 21, 2015 · Page A10
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October 21, 2015

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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page A10

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Rochester, New York
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015
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Page A10
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Page10A Wednesday,October21,2015 DemocratandChronicle. com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tate News and issues around the Empire State. ALBANY - Claudette McKenzie, a teacher in M ount Vernon, says she’s a ble to supplement her inc ome by being a driver for U ber, the ride-sharing company. But she has to go to New Jersey or Connecticut to do so. Uber on Tuesday said it would undertake an ad campaign and tour to get a state law so it can expand to upstate and the New York City suburbs. But the company faces opposition from current livery companies and questions f rom state lawmakers about whether the high number of jobs estimated by Uber would be realized. “It’s an important consideration” to pass legislation to help Uber and Lyft, a similar company, s aid Assembly Insurance Committee chairman K evin Cahill, D-Kingston. “But it’s a consideration that has to be viewed in context and not in isola- t ion.” Uber offered substantial claims of upstate jobs: 13,000 drivers, mainly part time, that would prod uce 500,000 trips per m onth. It says 350,000 New Yorkers outside New York City, where the service is already operating, have downloaded its app. M cKenzie, who spoke a t Uber’s kickoff at the Capitol, said she has been able to lower her debt and provide financial stability for herself and four child ren by working about 20 t o 30 hours a week for Uber. “With Uber, I can make my own schedule, and I know I can always earn e xtra money while I share time with my family,” she said. Josh Mohrer, general manager for Uber NY, said state legislation is n ecessary because the company is unique, such as needing new insurance regulations and the ability t o do third-party background checks of its drivers. Also, taxi laws in mu- n icipalities are piecemeal, and a state law would add uniformity, he said. For example, an Uber driver can operate in Westchester County, but o nly if the route begins or e nds in New York City. Uber operates by allowing customers to re- q uest a ride through the app. Then drivers use GPS with their own vehi- c les to pick up riders, who pay a fare. Drivers can work part-time or full- time to pick up riders. “We’re a technology company that matches drivers in their own cars, who have spare seats, with riders look- i ng for a ride,” Mohrer said. “The taxi and limousine ‘regs’ are for taxis and limos. That’s not what this is.” Astate law, however, could change how Uber operates in New York City, which has resisted a ttempts to allow Uber to operate solely as a p eer-to-peer service and instead functions as a livery company under the same rules as all t axis. Unions and taxi associations have beaten back attempts to allow Uber to operate as it l argely does in other loc ations, which is as a ride-share facilitator. Critics said that Uber could set up under existing laws outside New Y ork City, but chooses n ot to. “They are fully allowed to operate. They just have to follow the laws of the state of New Y ork – like all the other t ransportation companies in New York state,” Kevin Barwell, president of the Limousine, Bus, Taxi Operators of U pstate New York, said. By its own estimates, Uber drivers would be largely part time: The 13,000 jobs would be estimated to bring in $80 m illion in fares a year. That’s about $6,000 a year per driver in income. C ahill said he expects new legislation on the issue when the session re- s umes in January. He’s holding a roundtable discussion on the issue Wednesday in Albany. “It’s a dynamic piece of legislation that will be tailored to meet the n eeds we encounter a long the way,” Cahill said. JSPECTOR@ Gannett.com www.twitter.com/ g annettalbany Uber pledges upstate jobs, faces challenges JOSEPH SPECTOR ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF “I can make my own schedule, and I know I can always earn extra money ...” CLAUDETTE MCKENZIE UBER DRIVER ALBANY - Expanded o fferings and good weather led to a record n umber of visitors to New York campgrounds this summer. Attendance sur- p assed two million for the first time in state history, a 4 percent increase over last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo an- n ounced Tuesday. A s of Columbus Day weekend this year, slightly more than two million peoplecamped at state parks, surpass- i ng the record last year o f just under two million campers. Cuomo in 2011 launched a “NY Parks 2020” with plans to spend $1billion on upgrades to the state’s parks over the n ext decade. New York’s 180 state parks and 35 his- t oric sites are visited by 62 million people annually. Attendance at the parkswas up nearly 10 p ercent this summer compared to last summer. Campgrounds in the Finger Lakes had 371,135 visitors in 2015 to the re- g ion’s 12 state park camp- g rounds, up from 366,604, or about 1.2 percent, from the previous year. Watkins Glen had the most popular campgrounds in t he region, but it had a 2.6 p ercent decrease in visitors, from 68,604 last year to 66,814 this year. Cayuga Lake State Park had a 1.8 percent increase in visits from 39,107 visitors in 2014 to 3 9,798 this year. In the Rochester area, t he four state park campsites saw about a 14.5 percent increase in visitors. In the Buffalo area, its t hree campsites saw a slight decrease: from 94,445 campers in 2014 to 93,835 in 2015. The most popular site was the Four M ile Creek State Park, w hich had nearly 62,000 visitors this year. There is still time to make a visit to some of these sites. In the Finger L akes region, Robert H. T reman State Park in Ithaca—which saw a 3.1per- cent increase in visitors— will remain open through Nov. 21. State park campgrounds in the Taconic re- g ion in the Hudson Valley saw a decrease in visitors f rom 76,020 last year to 75,438, a 0.7 percent decrease. The two state park c ampsites in the Palisades region, also in the Hudson Valley, saw a 5.5 percent increase in visitors, from 48,436 visitors in 2014 to 5 1,122 this year. The parks B eaver Pond State Park and Sebago Cabins State Park, both had an increase in visitors from the previous year. N MUSCAVAGE@ G annett.com www.twitter.com/ nmuscavage SHAWN DOWD/@SDOWDPHOTO/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Park visitors hike past the 115-foot-high Lucifer Falls along the Gorge Trail at Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca in August. Treman State Park is open for camping through Nov. 21. NY campgrounds lure record 2 million visitors NICK MUSCAVAGE ALBANY BUREAU ALBANY - The wind- f alls keep coming for New York. I n separate announcements Tuesday, regulators said they’ve received s ettlements that will add hundreds of millions of dollars to New York’s gene ral fund — the latest infusion of cash into the s tate’s coffers. The state has received $7.5 billion from financial firms to settle legal actions over the past two years, mostly related to the 2008 financial crisis, a ccording to the state C omptroller’s Office. Attorney General Eric S chneiderman announced asettlement with major tobacco companies Tues- d ay that will bring $550 million to New York. T he funds, which were trapped in an escrow account during a decade- l ong dispute between the state and tobacco companies, will be dispersed t hroughout the state, Schneiderman said. T he funds will be available as soon as the independent auditor of the master settlement agreement is able to make payment, which should be no later than April 2016. “ Big Tobacco must pay f or the damage it has done and continues to inflict on c ommunities across New York state,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “ My office will continue to hold these companies a ccountable for the burden their addictive, deadly products impose on the t axpayers of this state, and we will act to ensure that the people of New Y ork are compensated for the enormous harms they h ave suffered.” The pot includes nearly $8.5 million for Monroe County and about $1mil- lion for both Ontario and Wayne counties. Genesee County received $649,000 a nd Orleans County got $ 429,000. Meanwhile, the state D epartment of Financial Services for the State of New York, announced t hat Crédit Agricole will pay $787 million and ins tall an independent monitor for New York banking Law violations in connect ion with transactions between 2003 and 2008 on behalf of countries and e ntities subject to U.S. sanctions, including Sud an, Iran, Myanmar and Cuba. JSPECTOR@Gannett .com www.twitter.com/ gannettalbany Tobacco settlement brings $550M to N.Y. locales JOSEPH SPECTOR AND NICK MUSCAVAGE ALBANY BUREAU ALBANY - With a share of nearly $2.3 bill ion on the line, the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils began pitching s tate officials Tuesday on why their plans to revitalize their regions des erve an infusion of public money. The Mid-Hudson, Southern Tier and Capi- tal Region councils were the first to present to a state panel of decision- makers Tuesday, hoping to convince the committee and the public that t heir regions deserves one of three available top prizes: $500 million. The presentations — w hich continue Wednesday and conclude Thursday — are one of the last s teps of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, a $1.5 billion economic-development competition among the state’s regionsthat some have likened to the “Hunger Games.” Another $750 million through the state’s traditional Regional Council p rogram will be divvied up among the seven regions that miss out on or aren’t eligible for the top a wards. The winners will be announced in December. S even of the state’s 10 regional councilswill compete for the three $500 million prizes. New York City and Long Island are ineligible, as is the Buffalo region, which has already been promised $1billion in state assistance separate f rom the Regional Council process. They, along with the four eligible regions who miss out on a top p rize, will receive between $90 million and $105 million in funds. J CAMPBELL1@ gannett.com Twitter.com/JonCamp- bellGAN Councils pitch for share of $2.3B JON CAMPBELL AND JOSEPH SPECTOR ALBANY BUREAU

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