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Cameron Compression Systems in Cheektowaga came to our attention recently when it, along with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, were named winners of the "Champions at Work" award, presented by Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations. The award is given to local companies that demonstrate a good track record …

A new "Border Brief" from two institutions focuses on a popular topic of conversation in this area: how to effectively manage traffic at U.S.-Canada border crossings. UB's Regional Institute and the Border Policy Research Institute of Western Washington University collaborated on the brief, comparing the peformance of crossings here and in Blaine, Wash., in the P…

Corporate lobbyists often masquerade as consumer advocacy think tanks. Similar front groups surface during election season, so that negative campaign attacks can be launched by hastily thrown together "advocates" with misleading names, such as the Black Republican Freedom Fund and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Think you'll be able to spot a group's true …

K-Mart, one of the last big box retailers to offer layaway, has been touting the service heavily in recent holiday shopping season commercials. Layaway came about during the Great Depression so consumers could put purchases aside until they were able to pay for them in full. Store credit cards and financing have largely replaced layaway at great cost to consumers, some…

Shopping online is convenient, but can also leave you vulnerable to identity theft. More than 9 million Americans fell victim to identity theft last year to the tune of $1.2 billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Here are some tips to help keep your identity safe online: 1. Download security updates when prompted by Microsoft, Apple and Adobe, but be sur…

Up to 58 percent of consumers avoid recalled products for at least nine months after the recall has been announced, according to a survey by consulting firm Deloitte. It was found to be especially true in the instances of food and drink recalls. Do you find yourself turned off by certain brands or items after a publicized recall? Does the company lose your business for…

My father and I used to get so excited when department stores would begin putting out their post-Thanksgiving Christmas displays. We're the kind of family that listens to Christmas carols year round, looking forward to having the whole family together for our Polish Christmas Eve Wygilia celebration. Then the displays started sprouting up earlier and earlier. Christmas tr…

The Buffalo area has its first E85 fuel pump available to the public, at a Wilson Farms in North Tonawanda. The convenience store chain and Reid Petroleum will officially mark its debut on Thursday. E85 has its fans and critics, and it is still hard to come by even if you want to fill up with it. With gas prices still higher here than in the rest of the state, would you u…

At long last, the votes are in and we know who our next president will be. How will the election results affect your spending habits? Do you feel relief or anxiety about your financial prospects under the promise of our new president?

Sophia Petrillo was notoriously and hilariously cheap. The brilliant matriarch of the classic 1980's sit-com "The Golden Girls," played by the late Estelle Getty, would come home, unsnap her famous wicker purse, and unpack a glorious bounty of filched booty. She brought home pork chops from all-you-can-eat buffets, dinner rolls from restaurants, fancy linen nap…

"A chicken in every pot." That was once the promise of Herbert Hoover in his 1928 presidential campaign slogan. But should that bird be part of a frozen chicken dinner? Not in my house because my wife believes in serving fresh veggies on our dinner table. But some busy folks need the convenience of a quick meal. Check out Comparison Shopper this week for a survey…

Scrooge McDuck gives a lesson in economics in this classic Disney cartoon. The folks at libertarian Web site CampaignForLiberty.Org edited it to create their own message for the Federal Reserve.

Fresh meat, fruits, veggies, poultry, peanuts and seafood are now federally required to bear Country of Origin Labels (COOL), noting where the product came from. Processed, imported or mixed foods are exempt from labeling, as are fresh foods displayed in smaller markets. A Consumer Reports survey indicated 92 percent of Americans wanted labels displaying their food's…

Tops Friendly Markets announced Tuesday it will proof every customer purchasing alcohol and tobacco products, regardless of age. Wegmans has had the same policy in place for more than four years. The new policy, dubbed “We Proof Everyone,” is an attempt to prevent sales of the forbidden merchandise to minors. Before, it was up to the cashiers to decide whether the pur…

Consumer Reports said a majority of women are willing to give up brand name over-the-counter medications, eggs, milk and cleaning products in favor of less-expensive generics. On the other hand, they were least willing to part with brand-name pet food (29 percent), cosmetics (30 percent), personal care items (48 percent) and toilet paper (49 percent). How about you? On wh…