Kodak to cut benefits to 56,000 U.S. retirees, Cuomo suspends some normal voting rules

Nov 6, 2012

Welcome to election morning. Innovation Trail reporters will be spread out across New York state today and their coverage will be fed into local coverage and reflected here.

Meantime, here's some items from the Innovation Trail Mix.


New Jersey residents have been given a dispensation to vote online today, (arstechnica) but MIT's Technology Review explains why it's not an option for the rest of the country.  


Capital Bureau Correspondent, Karen DeWitt reports:


Governor Cuomo says he’ll suspend some normal voting rules Election Day  to allow New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote in a different polling place .

Governor Cuomo has signed an executive order allowing New Yorkers displaced by Super storm Sandy to vote by affidavit ballot at any other polling place in the state that they can get to on Election Day.

“We want everyone to vote,” Cuomo said. “Just because you’re displaced doesn’t mean you should be  disenfranchised.”

The move was praised by government reform groups, who had sought the executive order. Sue Lerner, with Common Cause, says her group has been getting calls and emails from New Yorkers forced out of their homes by storm damage, who were anxious to still vote.

“This is the basic American right,” Lerner said.

Displaced voters who choose the option will be able to vote for a Presidential candidate, and in the race for US Senate, where Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand faces a challenge from Republican Wendy Long.  But the governor admits there is a “downside”; they will not be able to vote in state races for Assembly and  Senate, if they go to a polling place that is outside their local districts.  That’s because there will be different Assembly and Senate candidates on the ballot at other polling places.

It’s unknown what effect the changes could have on state legislative races.

Lerner, with Common Cause, agrees that it’s the best possible compromise under the circumstances. She says after all, the election can’t be postponed.

“The rest of the country is not going to post pone its Presidential election,” Lerner said. “So our election has to go forward.”

Cuomo admits that some displaced voters may be hard pressed to even find alternative poling places, but he says  compared to what the region has been through with the storm and its aftermath , coordinating affidavit voting  will be “like a walk in the park”.


How giant inflatables could have (possibly) stopped some of the flooding of the New York subways. (Time)

AtlanticWire asks what it would take to hurricane-proof New York?

Got a gripe about price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Sandy? The State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would love to hear from you, reports Jon Campbell.

NYSERDA has extended the first-round funding deadline for large-scale solar projects by a month.


Kodak won a ruling in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court yesterday, and the result means that 56,000 U.S. retirees and dependents will lose retirement benefits, reports the diligent Matt Daneman for the Democrat and Chronicle. The ruling is expected to save Kodak $10 million a month.

Launch NY, an initiative that aims to provide mentoring and initial finance for high-growth startups, has a new CEO who plans to serve businesses in 27 counties from offices in Buffalo and Ithaca. (Buffalonews.com)

Richard Schiffman from the Huffpost turns the spotlight back on the presidential candidate's energy policy.

RF Communications in Rochester has been contracted to deliver a communications system to an unidentified part of the Middle East. (RBJ)