No. 282: Honest Abe’s Day Off, stepped-up Suffolk septic systems and a sunny future for cloudy beer

Waiter, there's a cloud in my beer: And there's supposed to be, when it's a New England India Pale Ale.

Congratulations, dear reader: You’ve successfully completed another workweek. Your reward: two glorious days without conference rooms or deadlines – or three, if yours is among the 34 percent of U.S. offices closing for Monday’s President’s Day holiday.

While students, teachers and virtually all government employees enjoy the day, President’s Day – which kind of floated into fashion in the 1970s, replacing the traditional observances of Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays – has actually fallen behind Martin Luther King Jr. Day in paid-holiday prestige.

According to Bloomberg, 39 percent of U.S. businesses close for MLK Day, meaning of the 12 recognized U.S. holidays, only Good Friday (27 percent), Veterans Day (19 percent) and Columbus Day (14 percent) see fewer office closures than President’s Day.

Are you off Monday? Do you think Arbor Day gets a fair shake? Please discuss at, and share a story idea or calendar item, too.

Ah-choo! With so many reported influenza cases swirling about, it’s worth noting that it was Feb. 16, 600 A.D., when Pope Gregory the Great decreed that “God bless you” was the proper response to a sneeze.

Top dollar: Also debuting this date were the silver dollar, which became legal U.S. tender in 1878, and “What’s My Line,” which premiered in 1950 on the CBS Network and stood for decades as the longest-running prime-time game show.

Speaking of debuts: Cher’s one-time better half (and U.S. Congressman) Sonny Bono (1935-1998), billionaire businessman Carl Icahn (1936), North Korean dictator and self-proclaimed Perfect Incarnation of the Appearance That a Leader Should Have (actual title) Kim Jong-il (1941-2011) and crybaby tennis great John McEnroe (1959) share birthdays today.

So do: “Roots” star LeVar Burton (1957) and Burton’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation” character Geordi LaForge (2335).

And Happy Birthday in advance: To Bigbuzz Marketing Group big shot Kevin Kelly, who celebrates Saturday.

Name that hospital: Before we recap the week in innovation, a shout-out to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital on its rebirth, of sorts, as the Long Island Medical Center. The 61-year-old Patchogue-based independent facility – among the last unaffiliated hospitals on Long Island, with Port Jefferson’s John T. Mather Memorial Hospital and Oceanside’s South Nassau Communities Hospital finally settling down with larger health systems – plans to transition in the new brand over the next year, according to hospital officials.

Congrats also: To Paige Bartholomew, associate at Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz, who’s been selected to receive the Hon. Judith S. Kaye Scholarship, which seeks to increase the number of women taking leadership roles in commercial cases litigated in New York’s state and federal courts.

Bartholomew, who earned her J.D. from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and her B.A. from Siena College, is a frequent contributor to Farrell Fritz’s New York Commercial Division Practice blog. The scholarship covers her registration at the 2019 Commercial Litigation Academy.

See you Sunday: Tribute to a Friend, our memorial gathering for Innovate LI Publisher John Kominicki, begins 4 p.m. Sunday with cocktails and conversation at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, followed by a service at 5 p.m. Hope to see you there.



Pipe dream: Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced the creation of the Septic System Replacement Fund, a multi-year, $75 million program to replace aging septic systems in communities throughout New York.

Albany will pour $15 million into remediation efforts over the program’s first year, prioritizing NYS Department of Health- and Department of Environmental Conservation-identified “hot spots” where septic upgrades will do the most good. That’s especially welcome news in places like Suffolk County, where upwards of 70 percent of residents rely on individual septic systems.

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, praised Albany for answering the “urgent need for restoration and protection of our valuable water resources,” while NYS Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), who chairs the Assembly’s Committee on Environmental Conservation and helped created the SSRF, said the funding will prove vital to regional health, “especially in places like Long Island, where communities are served by a sole-source aquifer.”

And one for Altice: It’s been a big week for Altice USA, your friendly neighborhood cable- and Internet-service provider, which not only returned the Starz channels to its premium lineup – ending a six-week standoff, to the great relief of “Outlander” fans – but opened its first Long Island Optimum Experience Center.

Located at the Westfield South Shore Mall in Bay Shore, the 4,117-square-foot Experience Center is a “next-generation retail store” where consumers can check out Optimum-branded digital-cable, high-speed Internet, WiFi and voice services and “purchase third-party merchandise,” according to a company statement.

The Bay Shore ribbon-cutting marks the second Optimum Experience Center, following a recent opening inside the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in New Jersey.


A few words from our sponsor: Farmingdale State College is New York’s largest public college of applied science and technology, and a national pioneer in environmental sustainability. With over 9,600 students, Farmingdale has Long Island’s second-largest undergraduate enrollment among four-year institutions, and offers rigorous academic programs in business, engineering technology, health sciences and liberal arts and sciences. Farmingdale also offers a master’s degree in Technology Management. Learn more here.



An M&A clinic: STAT Health, Long Island’s leading provider of walk-in urgent medical care, has been acquired by its New York City counterpart.

Cloud computing: How the hazy New England India Pale Ale, an increasingly popular choice at several Long Island breweries, became the tastiest and most controversial beer in the land.

Major move: Northwell Health has recruited a renowned international surgeon (and 27-year veteran of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) to run its cancer programs.

Old Westbury, new master’s: With demand soaring, SUNY Old Westbury is preparing to introduce Long Island’s first-ever forensic accounting master degree program.

The bottom line: There were positive signs aplenty, but Oyster Bay’s Veeco Instruments and Stony Brook’s Applied DNA Sciences both scuffled through their most recent fiscal quarters.  



Master Faltischek speaks, the Long Island Capital Alliance gears up and a climate-change specialist soars toward SBU.



The Ionic man: At Ionic Materials, they’re working to combine the reliability and low cost of alkaline batteries with the power and recharging prowess of lithium-ion batteries (without all that annoying spontaneous-combustion stuff).

Branching out: How a 30-year-old entrepreneur stood up to his father and planted the seeds of a $120 million tree-growing empire.

Make the call: Pitching clocks? Robotic umpires? There are plenty of ideas for tinkering with America’s pastime, but who really decides what’s best for baseball?



+ Dan Bastian, co-owner of Progressive Orthotics and Prosthetics in Albertson, was appointed to the board of directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics.

+ Nicole Tilton joined Brightwaters-based Sheehan & Co. CPA as a tax supervisor. A CPA with seven years of public accounting experience, Tilton was previously with Grassi & Co. CPAs in Jericho.

+ Anthony Macagnone, Long Island team leader for the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, was appointed a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council-Long Island Chapter.

+ Desiree Gargano joined Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman in East Meadow as an associate in the Employment Law and Litigation practice group. Gargano was previously an associate in the Melville office of Jackson Lewis.

+ Stephen Ginsberg, who concentrates his practice in complex commercial litigation matters, was elevated to partner at Moritt Hock & Hamroff in Garden City.

+ Michelle Espey was promoted from associate to counsel at Moritt Hock & Hamroff in Garden City, where the attorney concentrates her practice on tax law.

+ Chris Hilton has been hired as executive vice president of commercial banking at First National Bank of Long Island in Glen Head. Hilton was previously executive VP and chief credit officer for People’s United Bank in Riverhead.



High alert: Patient-care alerts and other real-time physician notification services have nearly doubled in the past year, according to a new study.

Bright lights, big trucks: Ronkonkoma’s Island Tech Services will be among the presenters at the Fire, Rescue and EMS Mega Show, coming this weekend to the Suffolk County Community College Sports & Exhibition Complex in Brentwood.

And you don’t have to hold the onions: Valentine’s Day dinner for one at White Castle … yes, that’s a thing.

Don’t forget: There’s no such thing as “free” news – believe us, we checked. So please support the great institutions that support Innovate LI, including Farmingdale State College.