Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Albany bags plastics, as single-use sacks get the sack

By GREGORY ZELLER // It tolls for thee, plastic bags. Governor Andrew Cuomo rang the death knell Monday for single-use plastic bags in New York State – outlawed as of next March, even for holdouts content to spend a nickel per bag at the supermarket checkout. No more, as of March 2020, when the single-use sacks – which “do not degrade and often wind up as litter on lands and in waters,” according to the…


No. 398: The shadows of Mercy, the lessons of JLABS and an arthritis shocker (plus: garlic breath!)

  Holy cow, what a week: Good Friday morning, dear reader, and a good Good Friday morning to those of the Christian persuasion, and a peaceful Passover, too. Whatever your holiday of choice, the blessed end of another busy workweek is upon us. It’s April 19 out there, and on the subject of special observances, a safe and happy Landing of the 33 Patriots Day to our many readers in Uruguay. Double Dutch: Today is…


‘Quintessential’ leader McCall retires from SUNY board

By GREGORY ZELLER // With some 50 appointed university and college presidents and two appointed chancellors under his belt, H. Carl McCall is taking a victory lap. The chairman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees announced his retirement this week, after 12 years on the board and eight as its chair. The 83-year-old icon – a former New York state comptroller under Gov. Mario Cuomo, New York State Senator from Manhattan…


No 393: Cuomo’s big budget, Wei Yin’s smarter entrepreneurs and the prototypically helpful MTRC

  Welcome to the show: Hello and happy Wednesday to you, dear reader, as we speed toward the back nine of another busy workweek. Welcome especially new newsletter subscribers Ron, Mindy, Lauren, David, Nicholas, Christine, Dianne, Liz and Connie. Lace up, kids – you join us on National Walking Day, the American Heart Association’s first-Wednesday-of-April reminder to stretch those limbs once in a while. A.K.A. “Think Twice Day”: April 3 is also National Don’t Go…


Cuomo, Island allies ready to rumble over tax cap

By GREGORY ZELLER // With one of his biggest legislative accomplishments – and most significant Long Island-centric reforms – facing imminent extinction, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and political allies rallied Sunday in Nassau County. New York State’s 2 percent annual property tax cap, a temporary measure that took effect in 2012, expires in 2020. Earlier this month, Cuomo vowed to reject any new executive budget that didn’t make the tax cap permanent – and he renewed…


Island’s first large-scale digester to feed energy needs

By GREGORY ZELLER // If you’ve had a bellyful of landfill waste, hang on – Long Island’s first stand-alone large-scale anaerobic digester is finally on its way. The Long Island Power Authority’s Board of Trustees has approved an energy contract with a new food waste-recycling facility in Yaphank, claiming to be capable of reducing Island-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 85,000 metric tons annually – the equivalent of removing 18,000 cars from regional roads, according to…


NYSERDA sets parameters for battery energy storage

By GREGORY ZELLER // With next-generation battery energy-storage systems gaining mainstream steam and Gov. Andrew Cuomo hitting the gas on new sustainability options, NYSERDA is officially setting some ground rules. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has announced the release of the Battery Energy Storage System Guidebook, Albany’s first – if not quite definitive – say on how such systems will be permitted to work across the Empire State. The guidebook is…


Lawmakers, labor to Albany: Invest $53M in FSC plan

BY GREGORY ZELLER // The right stuff has put Farmingdale State College into a tight spot. A number of them, actually, as the school with Long Island’s second-largest undergraduate enrollment (trailing only Stony Brook University among four-year colleges and universities) begins to burst at the seams, victim of its own “remarkable affordability, unique program mix and exceptional employment outcomes,” according to Farmingdale State. The results of that winning formula speak for themselves. The college, founded…


In this ‘Green Mile,’ the Island has a healthy head start

By JEFF GUILLOT // It’s been roundly embraced by progressive presidential candidates and panned by conservatives as a pipe dream dripping with bongwater. But regardless of your position on the package of legislative initiatives collectively known as the Green New Deal, Long Island’s longstanding commitment to environmental protection could put us in a unique position to reap the benefits of this dialogue. Regardless of whether or not this idea ever finds its way to the…


Airlines rise to $13 billion heights in JFK terminal plan

By GREGORY ZELLER // Two global air-travel stalwarts are doubling down on John F. Kennedy International Airport. Texas-based American Airlines and London-based British Airways will invest a combined $344 million in expansion and customer-focused improvements at the international travel hub, which ranks as the world’s 22nd busiest, the nation’s sixth busiest and the metropolitan area’s single-busiest airport. Marking a big forward step for his comprehensive, $13 billion modernization strategy for the Queens airport, Gov. Andrew…


No. 374: On Sully, ‘MacGyver,’ Pluto and Nomorobo … and the Oscars go to New York!

  Over the hump we go: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, and the midpoint of another exciting week of innovative entrepreneurism. It’s Jan. 23 out there, and to our readers on Pitcairn Island, a safe and joyous Bounty Day to you (celebrated every Jan. 23 to commemorate the burning of the HMS Bounty by her infamous mutineers in 1790). Write up: To everyone else, please enjoy National Handwriting Day, an actual event that encourages us…


No. 372: Cuomo balances, DeCarlo dares and Island water districts clean up (plus: designing a smarter smartphone)

  Middle ground: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, and the midpoint of another exciting (and chilly) workweek. It’s Jan. 16 out there, and if you had General Siyaj K’ak’ conquering the pre-Columbian Mayan city of Tikal in the name of King Spearthrower Owl of Teotihuacán on this date 1,641 years ago, well, that’s pretty amazing. Two-hundred cacao beans for you. Easy pray: Marking the 1786 signing of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, this and…


LI water districts drink up anti-contamination funds

By GREGORY ZELLER // From the Role Reversal Department comes Stony Brook University, which is handing out the grants for a change. More specifically, the Center for Clean Water Technology at Stony Brook University is spreading the joy, awarding a total of $753,535 to Long Island water districts knee-deep in the fight against drinking-water contamination. The state-funded Center for Clean Water Technology was created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2015 to marshal public and private…


With $15 per hour in sight, minimum wages tick up

By GREGORY ZELLER // The New Year brings new minimum wages across New York State, including a $15-per-hour top tier that bests any state-sanctioned minimum wage in the country. Not every minimum-wage New Yorker will earn that premier paycheck, thanks to Albany’s sliding-scale approach to wage hikes, a wonder wheel of wages that, as of 2019, extends that $15 rate to employees of small firms (10 employees or fewer) in New York City. Big NYC…


No. 367: Cashing out the thruway, powering up Yaphank and putting the heart in your winter solstice

It’s a wonderful weekend: You’ve done it, dear reader – you’ve completed the week and, for all intents and purposes, the year. Welcome to the Friday of the last full work week of 2018, the start (for many) of a long and festive holiday weekend and the end of a blistering year of socioeconomic innovation. Yule thank us later: Also known as Yule, The Longest Night and Midwinter (which seems odd to us, considering it’s…