Local unemployment rate hits 13-year high, candidates debate energy issues, pharmacy college changes its name, yet another new hotel

The Capital Region unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in September -- that's up from 3.8 percent a year ago. It's the highest unemployment rate for the area in 13 years. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Jim Buhrmaster and Paul Tonko, the two candidates for the 21st Congressional District (McNulty's seat), talked a lot about energy during their debate last night. Both have experience on the topic -- Buhrmaster's family owns a heating oil company and Tonko was head of NYSERDA. Buhrmaster said new drilling for oil should one of the first priorities in a national energy plan and Tonko said it should be one of the last. [TU]

Still to come in the race between Kirsten Gillibrand and Sandy Treadwell for the 20th Congressional District: a lot of TV ads. [Daily Gazette]

A former deli worker at the Sam's Club in Latham is suing Walmart (Sam's parent company) for $1 million. The man says he was fired because he's a Catholic who wanted Sundays off to go to church. He says Walmart told him he was being fired for misconduct. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Brunswick's proposed 2009 budget includes a tax increase of almost 3.9 percent. [TU]

The soon-to-be CEO of the soon-to-be AMD spin-off that will soon be building a chip fab plant at Luther Forest is an RPI grad who's previously worked at Albany NanoTech. By the way, AMD reported a $67 million loss last quarter -- that was actually better than expected and its shares were up 10 percent in after-hours trading. [TU] [Reuters]

The Schenectady branch of ACORN, the community org involved in alleged voter registration fraud in other parts of the country, says it's been too busy with other projects to focus on voter registration locally. [Daily Gazette]

The Albany College of Pharmacy has changed its name to "The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences." [Daily Gazette]

The Saratoga Polo Association says it will be back for a 2009 season and it will move forward on its plans to develop a banquet hall, conference center and upscale residences. [Saratogian]

TownePlace Suites, a 106 room Marriot hotel, opened this week on Holland Ave in Albany. The building was formerly a nursing home. [Biz Review]

Interested in buying a golf course? MacGregor Links Country Club in Wilton is for sale. It's been a golf course since 1920 when it was founded by Edgar Brackett. [Saratogian]


I can't believe I'm cheering for Wal-Mart in this one. Some companies may choose to schedule around an employee's free time activities (which religion includes, sorry Mr. Devout Catholic), but other companies won't. That's why some employers are good and others are not.

IANAL, but I believe equal opportunity employment means that employers can't discriminate on a person's religion. It does not mean they have to give time off for said employees to be observant. Besides, most Catholic churches have Saturday masses anyway. LAWSUIT FAIL.

Sounds like someone's bitter because he won't get to watch football this fall.

Actually, it does mean that they must give time off or schedule around religious holidays. Well technically Catholic churchs offer Saturday night vigil services, many Catholics still firmly believe that Sunday is a holy day of obligation, the sabbath and must be respected. That doesn't necessarily believe you need the entire day off, just the morning.

I say this as someone who was passed up for a promotion due to the fact that I could not work Sunday mornings (but could work after 10am so I could go to 8am services). When I called my company's HR department and told them that a lesser qualified individual was promoted over me and that the reason was because I couldn't work 8am to 10 am on Sunday morning, I was given the promotion instead. Mine was a cut and dry situation - the other person didn't even know how to do half the things she needed to do at her level - but companies cannot discrimate because someone needs off to go to church. Doesn't matter if you are Muslin, Jewish or Christian, at least in NYS.

All I hear is layoff news but I still see thousands of jobs posted on employment sites.

www.linkedin.com (networking)
www.indeed.com (aggregated listings)
www.realmatch.com (matches you to jobs)

good luck to those searching for jobs.

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