On September 16, 2011, at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia, President Obama signed the American Invents Act. This bill amends federal patent law to define the "effective filing date" of a claimed invention as the actual filing date of the patent or the application for patent containing a claim to the invention, replacing the current "first to invent" system with a "first inventor to file" system.
From the Executive Chamber of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, September 20 in honor of two Fort Drum soldiers who died on September 8.
Army Specialist Koran P. Contreras and Private 1st Class Douglas J. Jeffries, Jr. died of wounds suffered when their unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, stationed at Fort Drum. Specialist Contreras was from Lawndale, California, and Private 1st Class Jeffries, Jr. was from Springville, California.
"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and fellow soldiers of Specialist Contreras and Private First Class Jeffries," Governor Cuomo said.
"We will mourn these Fort Drum soldiers and we will honor their sacrifice.”
From The G-Man would like to honor Army Specialist Koran P. Contreras and Private 1st Class Douglas J. Jeffries, Jr., theirlove of country, and their service with the following video tribute. May they rest in peace.
This week, the President took his American Jobs Act to Richmond, Virginia, Columbus, Ohio, and Raleigh, North Carolina, traveled to all three memorial sites on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, and presented the Medal of Honor to former active duty Marine, Dakota Meyer, for his extraordinary actions in Afghanistan.
President Obama awards Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer, United States Marine Corps, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, while serving with Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009.
Director of the Office of Public Engagement, Jon Carson and Brian Deese, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director, National Economic Council take your questions on the President's American Jobs Act.
ORBIT 3 Kinetic Scuplture by Carl Pisaturo at Maker Faire 2008
The Museum of Interesting Things Will Highlight Festival Celebrating Inventions and Inventors
Maker Faire, a premier event celebrating grassroots American innovation, will be held at the New York Hall of Science on September 17, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, and September 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The popular festival, which was first held back in April of 2006 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds, will feature inventions and inventors from all over the country. Michigan, New York, North Carolina and Texas have all served as host states for the festival.
In 2009, Maker Faire gained an international following after one of the festivals was conducted in Newcastle upon Tyne, a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. A partnership between Maker Faire and the Newcastle ScienceFest helped launch the event in the United Kingdom.
One of highlights of this weekend's event will be The Museum of Interesting Things (TMIT), www.Museumthings.org.
Denny Daniel, the museum's curator and founder, was quite candid when providing an explanation for his creation, which has been praised by historians and antique experts.
"The modern world is a fast-paced, technologically-driven society that sets its sights toward the future. Many children have MP3 players, video game systems and cell phones, but they have no idea of the origins of what they consider everyday, ordinary devices," said Daniel.
"Learning the history of an idea or invention from a book or a web page is only one step in exploring the past. The Museum of Interesting Things is a traveling, staffed museum that provides adults and children the opportunity to see and touch real antique items in operation." Maker Faire produced the following video on Daniel and TMIT in order to give the public a sense of what they can expect at this weekend's Queens-based festival.
Maker Faire's website, http://makerfaire.com/, states, "As the world's largest do-it-yourself festival, this two-day, family-friendly spectacular has something for everyone - a showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness and a celebration of the 'maker' mindset."
Treasury Department Approves Application to Access Funds in Order to Leverage Half a Billion of Private Investment for Job Creation
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has approved New York's State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) application. This will allow the state to access $55.4 million in federal money to fund three new small business lending programs. These programs will enable small businesses to leverage new capital and credit to help them create private sector jobs.
The SSBCI program, which supports state-level, small-business credit programs, is an important component of the Small Business Jobs Act President Obama signed into law. Under the Small Business Jobs Act, New York's access to $55.4 million in SSBCI funds is expected to generate a minimum of at least $10 in new private lending for every $1 in federal funding, yielding more than $554 million in new private capital for small businesses to create jobs.
"Winning this federal funding is another key step in having state government partner with the private sector to create jobs for New Yorkers across the state. For too long, state government stood in the way of private investment and growth. With this new funding, we can spur new investment in small businesses, which is essential to creating the jobs that will get New York's economy working again," said Governor Cuomo.
"These funds will help break down barriers to loans for creditworthy New York small businesses looking to invest and hire in their local communities," Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios stated.
"This program will help ensure that more Main Street entrepreneurs have access to the credit they need to expand their businesses and create new jobs."
The state will use these funds to support three small business development programs: The Innovate NY Fund, a new seed-stage equity fund to support innovation, job creation, and high growth entrepreneurship throughout the state; SSBCI provides approximately $26 million for this program. The Capital Access Program, a newly expanded program that will provide matching funds to loan loss reserve pools at financial institutions as an incentive to increase small business lending; SSBCI provides approximately $19 million for this program. The Bonding Guarantee Assistance Program, a newly activated program that provides credit support to help small and minority- and women-owned businesses secure bonding; SSBCI provides approximately $10 million for this program.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, "Vibrant small businesses are the backbone of a strong and growing economy. With this funding, we will better support our small business economy by making critically needed 'seed-stage' capital available to spur job creation and rebuild our economy from the ground up."
Under the State Small Business Credit Initiative, all states are offered the opportunity to apply for federal funds for state-run programs that partner with private lenders to increase the amount of credit available to small businesses.
States must demonstrate a reasonable expectation that a minimum of $10 in new private lending will result from every $1 in federal funding. Accordingly, the overall $1.5 billion federal funding commitment for this program is expected to result in at least $15 billion in additional private lending nationwide.
HELP Loans Will Provide Expedited Assistance to Municipalities Coping with Damaged Water and Waste-Water Treatment Systems
The Cuomo Administration has launched a new emergency loan program for local governments to help finance immediate repairs to drinking water and waste-water treatment facilities in communities damaged by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
The Hurricane Emergency Loan Program (HELP) would provide up to $1 million in no-interest loans for critical assessment and repair to damaged drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities. Repairs to pump stations, electrical equipment, treatment facilities and other critical equipment are eligible along with temporary emergency services such as vacuum truck hauling, bypass pumping and disinfection, and related engineering and other professional services.
To create this $25 million emergency fund, the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) is utilizing funds within the state Drinking Water and Clean Water Revolving Funds (SRFs). The SRFs traditionally provide short- and long-term financing of major improvements to water and sewer systems in New York.
"HELP loans will provide expedited assistance to municipalities that are coping with serious damage to their drinking water and wastewater treatment systems. These loans will be a lifeline to communities who are working so hard to recover from these devastating storms," Cuomo stated.
EFC's Board of Directors approved the emergency loan program at a meeting this week. The proposal has been forwarded to the Public Authorities Control Board for final approval. The PACB is scheduled to meet Wednesday, Sept. 21.
"DEC organized engineers from DEC, EFC, the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies to perform site inspections that will qualify a municipality for both a HELP loan and FEMA assistance," said EFC President and CEO Matthew J. Driscoll. Driscoll is co-chairman of the Governor's Upstate Storm and Flooding Recovery Task Force.
"These emergency loans will allow for expedited repairs to the affected wastewater treatment facilities," noted Joe Martens, DEC Commissioner and Chair of EFC's Board of Directors.
"The sooner repairs can be made the sooner drinking water can be fully protected and harm to the environment can be minimized."
EFC created the HELP loans in cooperation with the State Department of Health (DOH), the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the State Emergency Management Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EFC and DOH jointly administer the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, while DEC and EFC administers the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
DEC engineers have contacted all affected facilities and are available for further assistance. EFC financial analysts are available to water and wastewater plant administrators and other municipal officials for questions and consultation. For further information, local governments in FEMA-designated counties are invited to call James Levine, EFC Senior Vice President and General Counsel, for assistance with a HELP loan at 1-800-882-9721 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
$4.5 Million in Private Investment Will Retain 350 Jobs and Create 155 New Jobs
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that OrthoNet Holdings, Inc. will invest up to $4.5 million to expand its national headquarters in White Plains, retaining 350 jobs and creating a projected 155 new jobs to boost the Hudson Valley economy. OrthoNet Holdings is a national leader in orthopedic specialty benefit management.
“The expansion of OrthoNet demonstrates our commitment to attracting private sector investment and stimulating job growth in New York,” said Cuomo.
“Iam proud to have worked with OrthoNet and our local partners to ensure New York jobs remain in the hands of New Yorkers.”
Supported by an incentive package including up to $3 million in Excelsior Tax Credits from Empire State Development and $31,000 in sales tax exemptions from the County of Westchester IDA, OrthoNet will be able to significantly expand its presence as a key economic and employment resource for the local community, while meeting its mission of providing services that promote high-quality, cost effective health care.
“We are excited about keeping and expanding our business in Westchester,” stated OrthoNet’s President and CEO Dr. Roger Shedlin.
“This means our excellent local workforce will not face relocation or disruption. The support from ESD and WIDA will help enable our continued growth, and job creation, here in New York.”
OrthoNet is the nation’s largest provider of musculoskeletal benefit management services. For over sixteen years the Company has called Westchester home, successfully growing a business that works with most major health plans, providing a wide array of programs related to orthopedics, rehabilitation and related clinical services throughout the United States and its Territories. These initiatives create efficiencies that keep treatments affordable, while promoting improved clinical outcomes and greater patient access to the most appropriate care.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “As OrthoNet grows so will employment opportunities for Hudson Valley residents. Over the next five years, their aggressive agenda for corporate expansion has the potential for significant job creation and economic activity to support the local community. I want to thank our local partners, including Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and his strong team for their outstanding efforts in helping keep these jobs in the Hudson Valley.”
“From day one I have made economic growth a cornerstone of my administration. Attracting and retaining business in Westchester is how to put people to work and strengthen the economy. Partnering with OrthoNet not only maintained jobs but created new ones. I would also like to thank Empire State Development (ESD) for collaborating with my IDA team to make this possible,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
Michael Pyle, Special Assistant to the President for Financial and International Markets and and Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy take your questions on how the American Jobs Act will impact young Americans.
President Obama travelled to North Carolina State University where he delivered remarks on the American Jobs Act, emphasizing the need for Congress to pass it now and put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of working Americans, while not adding a dime to the deficit.
At the White House, Vice President Biden convened a Cabinet meeting to discuss waste reduction at federal agencies as part of the Administration's Campaign to Cut Waste. The Vice President announced a new initiative to fight waste in Medicaid that is estimated to save taxpayers over $2 billion, unveiled new efforts to track state progress in reducing improper Unemployment Insurance payments, and directed each Cabinet secretary to undertake a waste and efficiency review that will target unnecessary, wasteful, and inefficient federal spending.
From the Executive Chamber of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Friday, September 16 in honor of an East Concord sailor who died in Bahrain on September 7.
Commander James K. Crawford died in a non-combat related incident in Manama, Bahrain. He was assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command at the Combined Maritime Forces Coalition Coordination Center at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain.
"I wish to extend the condolences of all New Yorkers to the family, friends, and fellow sailors of Commander James Crawford," Governor Cuomo said. "We will honor and remember the service and sacrifice of this New York sailor."
From The G-Man would like to honor Commander James K. Crawford, his love of country, and his service with the following video tribute. May he rest in peace.
Cuomo Announces $8 Million Program Targeted to Assist Those Impacted by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee
An $8 million appliance grant program has been launched for those who sustained property damage as a result of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The program will help New Yorkers cover the costs of replacing vital household appliances, such as refrigerators, boilers washing machines and furnaces, damaged by the recent flooding.
Grants will be a fixed amount for different appliances and could cover up to 100 percent of the costs of a purchase. If the cost of the appliance exceeds the cap, the program will pay a portion of the total costs up to the cap.
"Our top priority is making sure those affected by these storms have the help they need to recover," Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
"This program will cover the costs for critical household appliances and help New Yorkers who suffered property damage to save money as they rebuild after the storms."
The program will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Grants will be available for the most critical energy efficient equipment and appliances.
Residents statewide in affected areas will be eligible and must affirm that they have been impacted by Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee and that these products are not covered by insurance or FEMA assistance. For residents affected by Hurricane Irene, grants on purchases of approved appliances and equipment will be retroactive to Aug. 29, 2011, and for residents affected by Tropical Storm Lee, grants will be retroactive to Sept. 9, 2011.
Hot Water Heater Tanks (electric- higher efficiency; gas- ENERGY STAR)
Purchases of appliances and equipment, with the exception of dehumidifiers, must be for replacement purposes only and purchases covered by insurance or FEMA are not eligible. Audits to verify insurance claims and/or FEMA assistance may be conducted.
All grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis for completed applications, which will be available beginning Monday, September 19 at www.NYSApplianceRebates.com or by calling 1-877-NY-SMART (877-697-6278). The grant program will continue until funding runs out.
Senator Tom Libous said, "We need to help the flood victims in our community get back on their feet. Part of that is helping replace equipment that's essential to their home and businesses. This program is another step toward easing the burden of this disaster and rebuilding our community."
"As we move from the cleanup efforts to the rebuilding phase after the recent storm destruction, this rebate program will allow households to afford the costs of replacing damaged appliances. Governor Cuomo has repeatedly said that the state will do all it can to help those affected by Irene recover, and I commend him for establishing this program that will help families return to normal living after this storm," stated Senator Betty Little.