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Adelphia HQ up for sale again, Tops turns modest profit and Mod-Pac buys back more stock

From Business Today:


Adelphia Communications' former headquarters is up for sale. Though it cost $24 million to build when it was constructed, it's on the block for a mere $1.5 million. It's the third time the building has gone up for sale since 2007.

Located in Coudersport, Pa., the sprawling building was home to the Adelphia cable TV empire, founded by John Rigas along with sons Timothy and Michael. The family also owned the Buffalo Sabres. In 2002, they were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit security fraud. They are now serving prison sentences for looting the company of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Adelphia was the sixth-largest cable company in America. Its corporate operations moved to Colorado and the company's services were sold off.


Things are steady at Tops Markets. Tops Holdings Corp. reported a modest profit along with a 3 percent rise in overall sales. Stronger sales and increased productivity helped offset rising food prices.

Tops earned $293,000 during the second quarter, up from an $8.9 million loss a year ago. Sales increased to $560 million from $542 million, with gasoline sales rising 50 percent thanks to increased gas prices and the addition of three new fueling stations to the company's roster.

Sales of private label goods rose 5 percent, as many customers "traded down" to from premium brands to store products.


Mod-Pac Corp. will be able to repurchase almost 6 percent of its outstanding stock. The specialty printing company is expanding the stock buyback program by nearly 190,000 shares.

Mod-Pac has been buying back its shares since last August.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Enjoy your last day of August:


Local boilermaker builds $2 million boiler, Calamar completes two projects and MoneySmart explains mediation

From Business Today:


The city's only union boilermaker is hard at work making a huge boiler it will ship to Chicago in November. Nicolson & Hall Corp. on Ganson Street a 1,099,000-pound boiler for ArcelorMittal, which will make steam at its plant. There are 30 boilermakers working on the $2 million project, which will be shipped by lake freighter.

The company opened in 1922, when boilers were in high demand. But using coal to heat water has fallen out of favor, so the boilermaker industry has slowed dramatically.


A Wheatfield developer has two new projects under its belt.

Calamar Construction cut the ribbon on a $10 million senior housing complex on Weiss Avenue in Orchard Park this month. Eagle Crest Senior Village has 90 one- and two-bedroom units from residents ages 60 and over.

Calamar also finished the Tuscarora Indian Nation House, a 38,000-square-foot multi-use wood frame building. It will primarily be used as a medical and community center on the Tuscarora Indian Nation. Calamar worked in conjunction with URS Corp. and the Tuscarora Indian Nation on the project.

From MoneySmart:

If you've got a dispute you're ready to take to court, you may want to consider alternative dispute resolution.

Couples are beginning to discover that mediation is a much cheaper alternative to get through a divorce and to make child visitation arrangements. But mediation and arbitration can provide a similarly less expensive option for a wide range of conflicts that could otherwise end up in litigation.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Now, INXS explains how to mediate:


MoneySmart links from Aug. 29

Here are links to websites in Samantha Maziarz Christmann's article on alternative dispute resolution:

To contact the New York State Dispute Resolution Association, click here.

To contact Child and Family Services in Erie County about its Community Dispute Resolution Centers, click here.

To learn more through New York State's Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Court Improvement Programs, click here.

For a list of local mediators and their rates, click here.


Here are links to websites in Michelle Singletary's column on retirement decisions:

For AARP's retirement savings calculator, click here.

For AARP's calculator on pension plan retirement options, click here.

For AARP's Social Security benefits calculator, click here.





Layoffs at Olean call center, Financial Institutions Inc. buys back debt and the Marcellus Shale region may have much more gas than believed

From Business Today:


About 164 call center employees in Olean are facing layoffs. Employees at Minnesota-based Data Listing Services have been issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications. Call center labor is contracted to begin and end under time frames outlined in client contracts. The company has received several local and state job growth incentives, including a 2008 loan of $90,000 from the Cattaraugus County Legislature.


The parent company of Five Star Bank has bought back its debt. Financial Institutions, of Warsaw, bought back $16.7 million in debt and will take a $1.1 million pretax charge in the third quarter. The company used a portion of proceeds from its $43 million common-stock offering to buy back the junior subordinated debt, with a 10.2 percent coupon.


The Marcellus Shale region may have more natural gas than was originally believed. A new U.S. Geological Survey concluded the region may have 84 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas, as opposed to the 2 trillion cubic feet estimated in a 2002 study. The new estimates take into account gas that could be recovered through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Meanwhile, the governor of New Jersey is recommending a one-year ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Alice Cooper is playing for free at the Central Wharf tonight. He's not 18 anymore:


Peek 'n Peak, Stereo Advantage site and Glen Campbell used-car lot sold, Rebates offered on high-efficiency appliances

From Business Today:


The bankrupt Peek 'n Peak Ski and Golf Resort will soon have a new owner. The Clymer leisure resort is being sold for $11.3 million in a bankruptcy court auction in Cleveland today. Scott's Development Co. had the high bid. It is run by the same people who own Erie, Pa.-based Scott Enterprises, which built Staybridge Suites on Sheridan Drive and Transit Road in Clarence. In 2008, it built the area's first Quaker Steak and Lube restaurant on Transit Road in Lancaster.


Stereo Advantage is moving. Developer Carl Paladino is buying the store's site at 5195 Main St., but the sale won't close until after the new year so that the Williamsville electronics dealer can finish out the Christmas season. Stereo Advantage will move across the street to the Walker Center. Paladino doesn't know what he'll do with the space yet, but it is in a prime location in Amherst on the edge of Williamsville. 


There is another incentive program in the works to get consumers to buy more energy efficient appliances. The New York state Energy Research and Development Authority is offering $3 million in rebates to consumers who buy high-efficiency refrigerators and washing machines under the "Buy Green, Save Green NYS High-Efficiency Appliance Rebate Program." Consumers will receive a $350 rebate when they purchase a qualifying refrigerator and $250 for a qualifying washer. Unlike last year's Great Appliance Swap-Out, there are no additional rebates when old appliances are recyled.

Benderson Development has acquired 5205 Transit Road in Clarence, next to its Eastgate Plaza retail mall. The Developer bought the site for $865,000 from an affiliate of Glen Campbell Chevrolet. It's the former site of a Swiss Chalet restaurant and is now home to a Glen Campbell dealership. Benderson plans to integrate it into the adjacent shopping center.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Here are some interesting thoughts about motivation:


Crawford Furniture struggles, new law gives CPAs fluid borders, DeltaPro helps generate power from landfills, and local unemployment rate holds steady

From Business Today:


 A more-than 125-year-old Jamestown company is fighting for its life. Crawford Furniture, which makes and sells solid-wood furniture, has had to close its factory, lay off workers and has been locked out of its Cheektowaga warehouse and Hamburg retail store by its landlord, Benderson Development for not  making timely rent payments. Michael Cappa, the company's president and chief executive officer said he is fighting to get the Hamburg store back open and to fill outstanding orders.  



A new law will allow certified public accountants in New York to serve out-of-state clients more easily. It will also make it easier for out-of-state CPAs to practice here, provided their credentials measure up. The Uniform Accountancy Act, commonly called the CPA mobility law, makes New York one of 48 "mobility states," which allows CPAs to practice in any state that allows mobility as long as their home state requires 150 hours of education, the passing of a CPA exam and at least one year of experience to obtain a CPA license. They must also have a license in good standing from their home state. 


 A Town of Lockport company is helping supply power to a North Carolina race track. The 34-employee DeltaPro Inc. will ship three landfill gas compression packages that are destined to generate power for the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Once the units are installed, they will generate 15 megawatts of power from landfill gas. DeltaPro is working on the $12 million project with Fortistar Methane Group, which owns and manages power plants. The associated landfill in Concord, N.C. is already being collected, but the power project will harness it to be used as energy.


The unemployment rate in the Buffalo Niagara region didn't change for July, staying at 7.7 percent. It's the lowest July rate since 2008, when unemployment was at 5.8 percent. The unemployment rate here is slightly lower than the state average of 8 percent and the seasonally unadjusted national rate of 9.3 percent, according to numbers from the state labor department.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Here is how they turn landfill gas into energy in Colorado:


National Fuel's Wales transfer station gets closer to an upgrade, baby boomers may bring stock values down and Unifrax acquires part of a Chinese business

From Business Today:


National Fuel Gas Co. is one step closer to upgrading its Wales transfer station. The Amherst-based energy company got a positive assessment from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its Northern Access Project, which would pump Pennsylvania-produced natural gas from the Marcellus Shale region to the TransCanada Pipeline through existing pipelines. 

The commission will accept public comments about the project until Sept. 16. Comments can be emailed to the FERC at  or mailed to Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St. NE, Room 1A, Washington, D. C. 20426.


Baby boomers selling investments to finance retirement may bring down U.S. stock values for a while, according to the Federal Reserve Bank.

Equity to price earnings soared during the boomers' peak earning years from 1981 to 2000. But as they pull out, stock values could see drops for the next two decades, the Fed said.




A Niagara Falls manufacturer has acquired part of a Chinese company's business. Unifrax, which makes insulation products used in high-temperature applications, acquired the emission control-mat business of Zhejiang Bondlye Motor Environmental Technology through its Hong Kong subsidiary. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

This ought to give you a chuckle:


Job seekers turn to vocational school, a closer look at the unemployed and learning the basics of budgeting

From Business Today:


Many in the latest wave of job-seekers are turning to vocational schools rather than traditional universities as they gather new skills to bring back to the work force.

Some are seeking a job that is a better fit than the one they left, others feel having hands-on skills will give them more security and stability in a volatile employment market.


The News took a closer look at a few of the 45,000 people in the Buffalo Niagara region who are out of work.

Among them are a woman looking for a full-time banking or paralegal job for five years, an electrical engineer willing to drive a forklift and a laid off vice-president of a Rochester-based business school, who has made networking a full-time vocation since she lost her job.


From MoneySmart:


Budgeting is the key to financial success, no matter what your income or debt. You're better off if you can learn it before you get yourself in financial trouble. But if you've already made mistakes, good planning can help you dig yourself out of the hole. Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo has been teaching people how to get out of debt for years. It recently launched a program that will teach the financial basics to consumers who aren't (yet) in a dire situation.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

 The Silhouettes make it sound so easy:


MoneySmart links from Aug. 22

Student loan repayment links:

For the income-based repayment calculator, click here.

For more information on income-based repayment plans, click here.

For more information on student loan consolidation, click here.

American Axle to close, Phillips Lytle opens Canadian office, Buffalo Niagara adds jobs and Schumer rails against small business tax

From Business Today:


American Axle is closing its last local plant. The Cheektowaga gear-maker will close its doors early next year, taking 86 local manufacturing jobs with it. When it opened in 2000, American Axle & Manufacturing employed 2,800 workers. The Detroit-based company said it will close another plant in Michigan. It will shift work from both plants to another location in Ohio, Indiana or Mexico.


Phillips Lytle has a new Canadian office in Kitchener, Ont. The office is intended to bolster the law firm's offering of cross-border legal services. The firm has an existing base of 200 Canadian clients, which will be served out of the office while the company seeks more clients. Kitchener has become a hub for start-up and high-tech companies, the likes of which Phillips Lytle hopes to attract.


The Buffalo Niagara region added jobs for the 11th consecutive month, a promising sign the area's job market is rebounding. The two-county region added 9,900 jobs in July, compared to the same month last year. That number is up 1.9 percent over July 2010. The private sector added 8,000 jobs here, for an increase of 1.8 percent. The local job increases beat both the state and nation's numbers.


Sen. Charles E. Schumer was in town Thursday to protest what he called a "job-killing" tax on small business owners. The debt ceiling compromise put an end to interest-free loans for jobless benefits. That stuck the state with a $95 million interest bill, which is now being passed on to business owners through a tax averaging $18 per employee.




Who is getting ´╗┐hired, promoted and honored?

Grand Funk Railroad is playing for free tonight in Lockport. Hopefully they've updated their wardrobe since this L.A. concert in 1974:


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