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Questions continue about Cuomo's councils, Adams confirmed for economic post

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Empire State Development
Legislators had plenty of questions about the governor's proposed economic development councils during Ken Adams' confirmation hearings yesterday.

At Gannett, Joseph Spector keeps up the drumbeat of questions about Governor Cuomo's proposed regional economic development councils.  There's plenty left to learn about the plan:

But some lawmakers and economic development leaders are questioning the makeup of the councils and how they would interact with the many agencies and business groups already in place. Members of the councils have yet to be named and there have been few specifics since Cuomo took office. "We still don't have a definite plan for how they are structured, who will be sitting on them, etc., etc. Nevertheless, I want them to succeed," said Sen. James Alesi, R-Perinton, who heads the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business.

Ken Adams, formerly of the Business Council of New York State, has been confirmed by the Senate to be the new head of Empire State Development (ESD) - the agency that doles out incentives to create jobs.  Spector (this time at Politics on the Hudson) has a rundown of Adams' remarks at various committee hearings, including video.

Gillibrand on small business

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released a five point agenda to boost small business and entrepreneurship, particularly in the tech sector yesterday.  Eric Anderson at the Times Union's Buzz blog has some details, and the Innovation Trail's Zack Seward will have more later today.


Kodak has dispensed with two assets, according to the Rochester Business Journal.  Mike Dickinson reports that the firm has sold off some of its microfilm business to Eastman Park Micrographics, along with 850 patents related to image sensors to OmniVision Technologies.

Maple business

Cornell researchers say the maple industry in New York is leaving money on the table - more than $60 million - by tapping only 1 percent of its trees.  The Business Review Reports:

New York could be a contender to Quebec, which controls 80 percent of the global maple syrup market, if it took advantage of the 280 million potential taps. Quebec has about 110 million taps. But Quebec taps more than a third of its trees, 40 million, compared with New York, which taps 1.8 million trees. “It makes sense to invest in an industry that is sustainable, has high returns and that has a growing demand currently being supplied by another country,” [Cornell maple researcher Michael] Farrell said.

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