November 5, 2004

I found another Upstate-focused blog that I think is worth mentioning, though I find its obsession with taxes and business-friendliness painfully narrow. is a project of the Public Policy Institute of New York, which is itself affiliated with The Business Council of New York State. It may be a "non-partisan" site, but it clearly has a perspective.

Apart from the perspective, I love the way that it scours upstate papers for interesting news. Despite the "state briefs" in most papers, there isn't usually a lot of coverage of what's happening across the state on things like budgets, elections to state office, and a variety of other indicators that make stronger points when you see them as a group rather than as individual stories. A lot of Dryden residents seem to read both the Cortland Standard and the Ithaca Journal, which gives them two-county coverage, and the Syracuse Post-Standard is available, but it seems unusual for people here to read the Auburn, Corning, Elmira, or Binghamton papers. covers a much wider range than that, from Buffalo to Poughkeepsie and sometimes New York.

At the same time, though, while calls itself "A Blog of Ideas and Comments," those ideas and comments flow only one way - from the writer to the reader. There's no room for reader comments here, which is disappointing. (Managing comments is a huge nuisance, largely because of spammers, but it's been well worth the trouble for me.) There are also no archives and no way to link to individual stories that I can find.

While I don't share their perspective, I do give them credit for correcting stories in ways that aren't necessarily in their favor. For instance, in a story from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the writer mentioned "I also said that New York City has cost us tax dollars," which the blog notes is wrong:

It's worth noting one myth here: For years, more tax dollars have flowed from Downstate to Upstate, and not the other way around. As our recent report pointed out, Upstate's extra tax burden (up to $6 billion more than an average state pays) is due mainly to excess local government employment and Medicaid, in that order of priority.

It's worth checking out, and possibly emulating from other perspectives.

Posted by simon at November 5, 2004 9:56 AM in
Note on photos