Three four-year programs at SUNY Canton get accredited

Jordan Edwards, Brooklyn, completes a circuit board for a radio in SUNY Canton’s electrical technology labs. Greg Kie

SUNY Canton announced Thursday that its youngest bachelor degree programs received accreditation by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. The programs, which received a full site review by accreditors last year, send graduates into fields where they can expect someday to earn around $80,000.

The college received the accreditation for programs in civil and environmental, electrical, and mechanical technology. All three — which began in 2010 — boast a 100 percent placement rate, according to a college news release. The accreditation is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2012.

“The four-year educational tracks were developed to build upon SUNY Canton’s strong, ABET-accredited associate degree programs,” said Michael J. Newtown, interim dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology. “Students have advanced career mobility through our four-year programs.”

Students in civil and environmental technology at the college are afforded this mobility through the addition of advanced courses in structural design, practical industry skills and technology. According to Adrienne C. Rygel, program director and associate professor, the four-year program builds on the two-year civil engineering technology program.

“Students build upon their classes in the natural sciences to tackle real-life problems,” she said. [Read more...]

Riverside Iron in Gouverneur preparing for production

Eric S. Tessmer, who recently purchased Riverside Iron in Gouverneur, stands in front of his Gouverneur business, which he plans to rekindle. Jason Hunter / NNY Business

Eric S. Tessmer, who recently purchased Riverside Iron in Gouverneur, stands in front of his Gouverneur business, which he plans to rekindle. Jason Hunter / NNY Business

Riverside Iron is poised to reopen to manufacture miscellaneous and ornamental steel, bringing the potential of more than a dozen jobs.

Eric S. Tessmer closed on the purchase of the business Friday from Duane Winters, who is providing $350,000 in financing.

A native of Gouverneur, Mr. Tessmer has watched the zinc and talc industries fade, along with General Motors in Massena.

“It’s sad to see those jobs go,” he said.

But he is glad to bring back what he can. [Read more...]

Green concrete, resilient buildings in works at CU

Sulapha Peethamparan, Clarkson University assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is working to develop a more environmentally friendly form of cement-free concrete that doesn’t leach chemicals into water. Courtesy Clarkson University

Sulapha Peethamparan, Clarkson University assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is working to develop a more environmentally friendly form of cement-free concrete that doesn’t leach chemicals into water. Courtesy Clarkson University

Forget sustainable — try resilient.

In the world of energy-efficient buildings, a new trend is emerging. According to Andrea R. Ferro, an associate professor in Clarkson University’s department of civil and environmental engineering, work is now being done to create buildings that can be temporarily self-sustaining and, yes, resilient.

“The idea is that the building would be able to provide services to the occupants, like clean air and water and comfort with temperature and lighting, independently,” she said. “It’s not that the building would be off the grid or stand alone, but that the building could manage interruptions in network services. There could also be clusters of buildings where a resource that’s produced in one building could be used in a different building.”

Ideally, the resilient structures would be capable of producing and reusing their own water, power and other resources for short amounts of time —a necessity, Dr. Ferro says, in an increasingly disruptive climate. Along with other researchers at Syracuse University and the City College of New York, she is submitting a pre-proposal to the National Science Foundation to establish the Engineering Research Center for Healthy and Resilient Urban Buildings. [Read more...]

Taking a green path: From Watertown to Massena, businesses design to LEED

The new performing arts center at SUNY Potsdam, slated for completion in December, is one of many buildings in the north country that was designed to LEED specifications. The firm Pfeiffer Partners Architects used a special insulation technique to achieve maximal energy efficiency. Melanie Kimbler-Lago/ NNY Business

The new performing arts center at SUNY Potsdam, slated for completion in December, is one of many buildings in the north country that was designed to LEED specifications. The firm Pfeiffer Partners Architects used a special insulation technique to achieve maximal energy efficiency. Melanie Kimbler-Lago/ NNY Business

In recent years, a crop of green buildings has been sprouting up in the north country. From Watertown to Massena, environmentally friendly buildings are incorporating the latest in sustainable technology and achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in the process.

This designation, established in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council, recognizes sustainability and efficient use of resources by building designers and owners. And according to area architects, it’s becoming increasingly common in Northern New York.

“We are definitely seeing more people interested in it,” said Brian A. Jones, LEED-certified architect and partner at Aubertine and Currier in Watertown. “I believe it’s going to be a wave of the future and eventually a requirement for all buildings. Energy’s not going to get cheaper, and it’s going to be more vital to conserve our resources. People are realizing they’re going to have to live and build differently to afford living here.”

Aubertine and Currier’s most recent LEED-certified project was the 7,800-square-foot Land Port of Entry facility at Cannon Corners for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs, and Border Protection. This $7.5 million building, located in Mooers Forks, achieved silver certification after it was completed in January 2012. It includes a rain catchment system that collects rainwater for reuse in toilets and washing machines, solar panels that provide energy for hot water heating and a variety of green materials in its construction. [Read more...]

Watertown area now hub for 4G mobile devices from Verizon, AT&T


Geese fly south as workers with HPC Wireless Service, Marcy, upgrade the AT&T antennas and system attached to the Sackets Harbor water tower for 4G network capability. Both AT&T and Verizon Wireless have completed 4G upgrades in the region. Norm Johnston/ Watertown Daily Times

Owners of smartphones and tablets in the greater Watertown area are now savoring faster wireless Internet speeds, thanks to upgraded 4G LTE networks launched by Verizon and AT&T.

Last week, Verizon completed its 4G network in the Watertown area by upgrading 10 cell sites downtown that previously offered 3G service. Verizon will continue making upgrades across the north country over the next several months, installing 4G technology at about 40 remaining cell sites.

The news means that all 4G mobile devices compatible with Verizon and AT&T have access to the 4G LTE networks in the Watertown area. AT&T completed its 4G LTE network here in late March, about six months earlier than Verizon; its network in the region now encompasses Watertown, Evans Mills, Fort Drum, Black River, Calcium, Philadelphia, Gouverneur, Potsdam, Massena and Lisbon.

The north country is the last region in the state to receive access to 4G wireless technology from Verizon, spokesman John F. O’Malley said. The technology giant started upgrading its network in the Syracuse area last year, gradually moving north to upgrade its network in Jefferson County. The latest generation of technology eventually made its way to New York state after Verizon unveiled it in 2010 with networks at metropolitan areas.

Verizon has been upgrading cell sites throughout Jefferson County since May, Mr. O’Malley said. The majority of the county now has 4G coverage, he said, and the network has been partially upgraded in St. Lawrence County and the Adirondacks region.

“Work continued throughout the summer, but we had a few key sites that we wanted to get online to consider the Watertown market launched,” Mr. O’Malley said. “That’s what we accomplished last week by upgrading sites in downtown Watertown.”

Those who use 4G technology for the first time will notice an improvement immediately, Mr. O’Malley said. Surfing the Web on mobile devices is similar to using a desktop computer on the network.

Downloads are up to 10 times faster than on the 3G network, and large documents can be emailed without long waits.

“If you’re downloading a video in a 3G area, you might see some buffering as it loads,” he said. “But if you’re in a 4G area, you’ll see a much faster download with no buffering — just like watching a video on your TV and computer. If you have a broadband connection on your computer at home, it’s like you’re taking that experience mobilely on your smartphone or tablet.”

Historically, AT&T has been a step ahead of Verizon rolling out new wireless technology in the north country. Before upgrading its wireless network to 4G LTE, it previously installed a 4G HSPA+ network in early 2012 that offers only slightly slower speeds, spokeswoman Ellen Webner said. That network is about three times faster than Verizon’s 3G service.

“We built up our higher speed 4G network before Verizon,” Ms. Webner said. “We already have our 4G network in a greater area, and we are now integrating the 4G LTE technology throughout the north country as quickly as possible.”

T-Mobile and Sprint do not offer 4G LTE network service in upstate New York.

-Ted Booker, Watertown Daily Times

FDRHPO receives $287,592 grant to help improve area’s medical technology workforce

The Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization on Wednesday received a $287,592 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help expand the area’s health information technology workforce.

According to a press release from the office of Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, the department listed the Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis county region as a health professional shortage area, and said the area had a high rate of preventable chronic diseases.

The kind of projects funded with the grants have included expansions in the use of electronic medical records, telehealth programs, technology-based home monitoring networks and mobile health technology.

The release said that expanding the workforce would help reduce the level of certain preventable chronic ailments.

“Better technology means better preventative care, which reduces hospital admissions, readmissions and emergency room visits. That means lower health care costs and insurance premiums for all of us,” Mr. Owens said in a statement.

The FDRHPO’s executive director, Denise K. Young, said in a statement that the grant would help create a workforce prepared for future technology improvements.

“With the implementation of electronic medical records to improve patient care for the people of the North Country, it is critical that we have a workforce prepared to effectively deploy and utilize the technology,” her statement read.

It further said that the FDRHPO would pair with Jefferson Community College to train future medical workers.

“This type of training is integral to the mission of the college, and we are pleased to be a partner with FDRHPO in providing it to the community,” said Jill M. Pippin, the college’s dean of continuing education, in a statement. “The education that students will receive will provide them with skills training, career development, and the application of practical knowledge that will assist them in their daily or future careers.”

WSB goes mobile

Scott M. Pooler, chief information officer and vice president of Watertown Savings Bank, displays the bank’s new smartphone app, which allows customers to deposit checks by phone, as well as view account balances and complete other banking transactions. Justin Sorensen/ NNY Business

Smartphone app enables check deposits by phone [Read more...]

CCE to hold ACA workshops in 6 north country locations in Sept.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations of Northern New York will hold free workshops at six north country sites in September to help farmers, small business owners and individuals navigate the changes created by the federal healthcare overhaul. The workshops will address questions on a wide range of topics, including exchanges for both small business owners and individuals, which are slated to open Oct. 1 in New York state.

CCE is one of 34 organizations working in partnership with New York City-based nonprofit Community Service Society to help disseminate information about the Affordable Care Act.

Pre-registration for the workshops is requested by Sept. 20. The dates of the workshops are as follows:


Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1 to 3 p.m., CCE Office, 6064 state Route 22. More information: Peter Hager, (518) 561-7450.


Tuesday, Sept. 24, 7 to 9 p.m., CCE Office, 3 Cisco St. More information: Anita Deming, (518) 962-4810.


Wednesday, Sept. 25, 1 to 3 p.m., 911 Building. More information: Harry Fefee, (518) 483-7403.


Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7 to  9 p.m., CCE office, 2043B State Highway 68. More information: Anita Figueras, 379-9192.


Thursday, Sept. 26, 1 to 3 p.m., CCE office, 203 North Hamilton St. More information: Peggy Murray, 376-5270.


Thursday, Sept.26, 7 to 9 p.m., CCE office, 5274 Outer Stowe St. More information: Peggy Murray, 376-5270.

Overhaul cuts wait times

Samaritan Medical Center Emergency Department Drs. Maja L. Lundborg-Gray, left, and Dr. Sarah A. Delaney-Rowland in the hospital. For the past 18 months, the par has worked with staff and a consultant to streamline the department and cut patient waiting times. Norm Johnston/ NNY Business

 Samaritan Medical Center docs retool emergency dept., boost patient care [Read more...]

Understanding reform: Plenty of resources to navigate federal care act

Eric Sharlow, left, and Steve Foy are among several insurance firms that are helping small businesses and individuals navigate changes created by sweeping federal health care reform. Justin Sorensen/ NNY Business

Although the employer mandate portion of sweeping federal health care reform, the Affordable Care Act, was earlier this summer pushed until 2015 for businesses with 50 or more full-time employees, small businesses and individuals in the region can begin shopping for policies in their respective health care exchanges beginning Oct. 1 for plans that take effect Jan. 1.

Individual premiums are expected to be about 50 percent lower in New York state before tax credits that could make the cost even less for many individuals, per a July announcement of the exchange by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Rates for the small business exchange — the Small Business Health Options Program or SHOP — have yet to be announced but are also expected to be more affordable. [Read more...]