Gov. Andrew Cuomo

After decades of debate, $2B LIRR ‘third track’ is a go

By GREGORY ZELLER // All aboard – the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has approved a roughly $2 billion deal to design and build the Long Island Rail Road’s long-debated “third track.” The contract approved Wednesday by the MTA Board of Directors with Lawrence-based 3rd Track Constructors – a joint venture uniting New York City-based Dragados USA Inc., Lawrence-based John P. Picone Inc., Nanuet-based Halmar International LLC and Brooklyn-based CCA Civil Inc. – officially weighed in at…


Long Island REDC rebounds with ‘Top’ $84.3M haul

By GREGORY ZELLER // The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council is back on top, once again ranked as a “Top Performer” in Albany’s annual REDC sweepstakes with a hefty $84.3 million haul. That’s terrific news for the “priority” and “regionally significant” projects on the LIREDC’s 2017 wish list, which included funding for a waterfront revitalization effort in Greenport, a new technology-focused Digital Ballpark business incubator in the Wyandanch Village development and 31 other projects…


No. 264: Tribute to a friend

The outpouring of affection and well-wishes that followed the passing of Innovate LI founder and Publisher John Kominicki is deeply appreciated. We loved him, too. We’ll remember the humor, the wit, the generosity of spirit, the innovative vision. And we’ll especially remember the work ethic, which reminds us that time – and newsletters – stop for no man. So keep those story suggestions, calendar items and other new-economy tips coming at editor@innovateli.com. Anyone who knew…


No. 262: Mission is a go, Topspin buys some spin … and climate change in New Jersey?

TGI December: Let’s not mince words – this week was a slog, after the stuffed-belly, four-day respite of the Thanksgiving holiday. But Friday is upon us again, as is December, which in addition to the holidays you know boasts National Pie Day (today), World Human Rights Day (Dec. 10) and, believe it or not, Monkey Day (Dec. 14), which as of 2000 is actually a thing. Please use this information responsibly. And tell us about…


Island gets the lead out, with Albany’s help

By GREGORY ZELLER // Four Long Island projects are included in a $20 million state funding package for municipal projects replacing residential water-service lines made from lead. Twenty-six individual projects – including jobs in Glen Cove, Hempstead, North Hempstead and Southold – are included in the statewide package, announced Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. The pipe-replacement effort, part of the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017, targets service pipes containing lead, which…


Driver-friendly app keeps on trucking, all the Thruway

By GREGORY ZELLER // When you hit the road on Thanksgiving – and according to AAA, 51 million of you Innovate LI readers/U.S. residents will do that – your trip through New York State can be virtually enhanced. The New York State Thruway mobile app, now available for free download on Android and iPhone devices, provides motorists with real-time traffic and navigation assistance along 570 miles of the state’s very own superhighway – which is…


Historical NY innovators get National Register nods

By GREGORY ZELLER // The founders of Long Island’s circa-1800s “Squiretown” and a boathouse belonging to one of America’s first movie stars may soon enjoy new places in history – literally. Twenty-one statewide properties, including four on the Island, have been nominated for inclusion on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places by the NYS Board for Historic Preservations. Included in the board’s recommendations are an off-Broadway New York City theater that…


Albany stamps out e-cigarette use in public places

By GREGORY ZELLER // You’d better put that out, or turn it off, or otherwise knock it off: In New York, e-cigs are now illegal in the workplace and everywhere else smoking is prohibited. Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation adding electronic cigarettes to the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act, a circa-2003 law regulating smoking in restaurants, offices and other work and public places. Although “marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes,” the governor said,…


A toast, to craft beverages: Albany eases labeling laws

By GREGORY ZELLER // Good news for Long Island’s bubbling craft-beverage industries: New state laws make it easier to register brand labels for your innovative alcoholic brews. Governor Andrew Cuomo this week signed legislation cutting some of the regulatory red tape slowing down vintners, mead makers and other industrious craft brewers – specifically, eliminating rules that required brand-label registration requests to be filed with the New York State Liquor Authority by certified, registered or overnight…


11 Island instructors join New York’s ‘master’ ranks

By GREGORY ZELLER // The New York State Master Teacher Program has opened its books to welcome a host of new instructors, including 11 representing Long Island school districts. With a heavy focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the statewide professional network – which seeks to identify and reward the state’s best K-12 instructors – has added 214 additional “masters,” including 26 with STEM-content certifications and 14 others certified in “technology education,” covering a…


States weigh legal response as Trump guts Obamacare

By GREGORY ZELLER // It’s not quite “Cuomo to Trump: See You in Court.” But in a scathing rebuke Friday of the Trump administration’s attempts to shatter Obamacare by executive decree, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo swung the door to a litigious civil war wide open. One day after signing an executive order allowing the sale of some health insurance plans that are exempt from certain Affordable Care Act regulations – including rules ensuring coverage…


In REDC love fest, CSHL kicks off $75M makeover

By GREGORY ZELLER // There was another major advance for biochemistry Thursday at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, but this one didn’t involve gas chromatographs or infrared spectrometers or a single test tube. Just a shovel. With Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a host of regional and state representatives on hand, the world-class scientific research facility officially broke ground on the renovation of its Demerec Laboratory, one of four CSHL laboratories being remade with a big assist…


Albany touts advances of MWBEs, new support

Good news to help you celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month: The percentage of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises among the private businesses holding New York State contracts is on the rise. The utilization rate for MWBEs participating in state contracts increased to 27.2 percent during the 2016-17 fiscal year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced this week, with companies owned by minorities and women winning more than $2.2 billion in state-sanctioned work. New York’s MWBE…


Noting $21B in damage, Cuomo (kinda) blasts Trump

By GREGORY ZELLER // Is Andrew Cuomo running for president? The governor has been customarily coy about a potential 2020 White House bid, and with an increasingly sticky 2018 re-election campaign to navigate first, there’s certainly no rush on an official declaration. But Cuomo hasn’t been shy about taking the current administration to task over what he sees as flaws in President Donald Trump’s decision-making, logic, even motives. And when a big-name politician in a…


Leibowitz: Congratulations, RGGI, now hit the gas

By HEATHER LEIBOWITZ // Officials and stakeholders from nine northeastern states gathered this week in Baltimore to discuss a new plan to cut pollution from power plants by another 30 percent by 2030 – an improvement of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, building on the RGGI’s success by further limiting pollution and investing more in energy efficiency and renewables. The nine states – New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont,…