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Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner


In this issue:
Ken Feinberg: "I overpromised" to victims of Gulf oil spill
Former Alabama First Lady Marsha Folsom to run Black Belt bamboo company
Disaster funds projects approved
Registration for the Second Annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference Now Open!


Ken Feinberg: "I overpromised" to victims of Gulf oil spill 

Published: Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 6:49 AM    

By George Talbot 


In his new book "Who Gets What," renowned lawyer Kenneth Feinberg confesses a cardinal sin in his handling of the claims process for the 2010 Gulf oil spill.


"I overpromised - something you should never do in administering a compensation program involving vulnerable, fragile people," Feinberg writes.


That's one of several revelations in a 240-page book that recounts Feinberg's work to compensate victims from some of the nation's biggest disasters. His resume includes administration of funds for victims of 9/11, the Virginia Tech shootings and the Agent Orange settlement of 1984, plus a stint as "pay czar" overseeing compensation for bank and auto executives at companies that accepted TARP bailout money.


Those jobs were tough, but it was the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico that would introduce perhaps biggest challenge of Feinberg's mercurial career. He devotes the book's longest and most detailed chapter to the oil spill, noting that the recovery is still ongoing and that history will be the ultimate judge of his performance.






Former Alabama First Lady Marsha Folsom to run Black Belt bamboo company 

Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 4:49 PM     

By Stan Diel -- The Birmingham News 


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Former Alabama first lady Marsha Folsom and several other investors plan to build a bamboo processing plant in the Black Belt and turn Alabama into "the Silicon Valley of bamboo," Folsom said Tuesday.


Folsom has joined forces with the founders of bamboo flooring company Teragren and two other partners to launch Resource Fiber LLC, which through an Alabama division Folsom will head plans to build a processing plant that will employ about 100 and open next year.


While it initially will import bamboo for processing, it eventually will grow its own through a combination of company-owned, leased and contracted farms, she said.


Bamboo is a $25 billion industry centered in China, Folsom said, and Alabama is uniquely situated to capture a piece of the market.




[The Birmingham News


Disaster fund projects approved

Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 3:30 a.m.

By Jason Morton, Tuscaloosa News


TUSCALOOSA | Eight infrastructure and housing projects throughout the tornado recovery zone can proceed now that the funding plan for them has been approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


This approval was required for the city of Tuscaloosa to use the $16.6 million allotment it received as part of HUD's Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief program, announced earlier this year.


On Tuesday, the City Council voted to formally approve and allow the mayor to sign the funding agreement in order to get the projects underway.


"I think we'll start seeing these projects designed immediately," said Robin Edgeworth, commander of the city's Incident Command team, who announced the HUD approval to the City Council.


In June, the City Coucnil approved Mayor Walt Maddox's plan to put $11.9 million toward street improvement and low-income housing ­projects, as well as projects that will help develop the proposed City Walk, a meandering recreational trail that will traverse the 5.9-mile path of the April 27, 2011, tornado.




[Tuscaloosa News


Registration for the Second Annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference Now Open!


Date: Oct 2 & 3, 2012

Time: 5:30p.m.-7:30p.m. Oct 2; 8:00a.m.-3:15p.m. Oct 3

Place: Wynfrey Hotel, Birmingham, Ala.

Website: www.innovatealabama.com


Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation, presents the second annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference, a "Launchpad" to bring together and engage the various groups seeking to grow Alabama's entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem.

Join us to examine activities already taking place inside the state and be a part of the next step forward for Alabama. 


We are pleased to announce Peter Goodman, executive business editor of The Huffington Post as a keynote speaker. More details to come!


Registration (limited, so register early, save, and guarantee your place): http://www.innovatealabama.com/registration.html


2011 Agenda: http://www.innovatealabama.com/agenda.html


Sponsorship (for levels, see pdf at bottom of page): http://www.innovatealabama.com/sponsors.html

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Enjoy the day, 

Sam Grimes
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