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The Loop

The Loop

Snow business

We figured it was a good time to give a report on the Golden Snowball Award competition, the annual snowball fight among upstate cities for the most snow each year.

As of Tuesday, perennial champion Syracuse has less than a half-foot lead over Binghamton. Rochester is solidly entrenched in third with Buffalo in fourth and traditional last-place finisher Albany bringing up the rear. Only Binghamton is above the normal snow tally, year-to-date, but all five cities are well ahead of last year’s snowfall pace.

The numbers:

 Syracuse has 78.7 inches of snow, up from 41.7 inches at this time last year. The normal average to date is 82.5 inches.

 Binghamton has 72.5 inches, more than five times its amount a year ago of 13.5 inches. The city typically piles up 50.5 inches by this time of year and is well on its way to hitting its normal season’s average of 83.4 inches.

 Our fair burg of Rochester is at a solid 60.5 inches, up from 24.7 inches a year ago and just behind the year-to-date average of 62.2 inches.

 Buffalo has 43.2 inches, well behind its normal year-to-date of 65.6 inches, but still far ahead of the 27.6 inches it tallied a year ago at this time.

 Albany, that bastion of hot air, has 20.3 inches of snow, up from a mere flurry of 5.5 inches a year ago, but well behind its normal average at this point of 37.6 inches.

Nationally, Syracuse leads for the Golden Snow Globe contest (among cities of at least 100,000 population in the 2010 U.S. census).

Erie, Pa., plowed into second place this week, however, at 61.9 inches, shoveling Rochester off into third.

Grand Rapids, Mich., landed at fourth, swapping spots with No. 5 Anchorage, Alaska. Buffalo was No. 8.

The top five nationally all are having a below-average snowfall, so far.

Many thanks to Patrick DeCoursey, founder of, who tallies all this each year.

Beetles invasion

You can’t criticize the public affairs folks at the Department of Homeland Security for lacking creativity.

Last week they reported “The Beetle Invasion Tour” was stopped prematurely by skilled and alert U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

On Jan. 19, the specialists inspecting a shipment of personal effects from Saudi Arabia, discovered two cardboard boxes with clothing, spices, coffee and other household items. While inspecting rice in the boxes, they discovered a suspected Trogoderma specimen and related skins. It was sent to the local USDA, which confirmed the identity of the dastardly stowaway.

Trogoderma granarium Everts (khapra beetle) is one of the world’s most destructive pests of grain products and seeds, officials say.

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2/10/2017 (c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email [email protected].