Paterson says budget cuts will involve "a big knife," state economy in recession, recycling urged in effort to save money, proposed Saratoga horse park would be pricey

At a town hall-style meeting yesterday Syracuse, David Paterson said of making cuts to the state budget: "We'll be using a big knife but trying to operate it like a scalpel." The Gov will unveil his plans for cutting $2 billion from the current state budget this morning. Reportedly among the proposals: across-the-board cuts for health programs, big cuts to public universities, a repeal of the gasoline tax cap and increase in fees for health plans. [NYT] [TU]

The leadership situation in the state Senate is still unsettled. One of the three Democrats who have not pledged their support to Malcolm Smith says he'd prefer to see a Latino Democrat be majority leader. [NYT]

An analysis from a University at Buffalo center has concluded that New York State has been in a recession since the second quarter of this year. [Biz Review]

Local retail stores are hiring extra help for the holidays shopping season -- and this year they have their pick of employees. [AP/TU]

One place scraping to find extra holiday help: the local Salvation Army. It says "dramatic increases in requests for assistance" mean a need for lots of bell ringers. [Daily Gazette]

Applications for home heating assistance were up 40 percent over a year ago in Albany County during the first week people could apply for the state aid. [AP/TU]

A state trooper from Cropseyville who's currently serving in Afghanistan was awarded a Bronze Star. First Sgt. James Meltz, a member of the NY Army National Guard, received the honor for his actions during an ambush on the road between Kabul and Kandahar. [TU] [Troy Record]

A Schenectady City Councilwoman says the city could lower its trash collection fee if residents did a better job of separating recyclables and yard waste from the regular garbage. She says one extra pound of recycled paper or yard waste per household per week could save the city $30,000. [Daily Gazette]

Union College has installed security cameras in the neighborhood surrounding the campus. The school says it's trying to calm student fears about crime in the area. [Daily Gazette]

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district says recovery from the water main break in the district's office building will cost millions of dollars and involve asbestos cleanup. There was so much water flooding the building that a passing police officer saw water gushing out the building's front doors. [Daily Gazette]

A consultant says the horse park proposed for Saratoga County would probably cost about $76 million to build -- and it probably wouldn't break even each year. The consultant says the facility could generate enough outside revenue to justify the expense, though. [Daily Gazette]

Among the requests from city residents during last night's public meeting about the redevelopment of the Congress-Ferry Street corridor in Troy: brick building no taller than seven stories, a hotel, a movie theater, green space, a cafe, an Uncle Sam memorial, a parking garage -- and no big box stores. [Troy Record]

There's a sand dune that dates back to the last ice age along Geyser Road in Saratoga. And it looks like someone's been riding an ATV on the protected mound. [Saratogian]

Price Chopper is donating 750 pounds of turkey for this year's Equinox Thanksgiving dinner. [CapNews9]

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