Opinion

As climates change, a strong case for new land laws

By MICHAEL H. SAHN // We need a new, long-range vision for land-use regulation. The land we are regulating is changing rapidly, and this presents challenges and consequences we are only beginning to understand. Land-use regulations, codified in zoning laws, govern the way land is used and developed. The goal of zoning laws is to carry out a community’s long-range land-use objectives, in accordance with a comprehensive plan – in other words, to make sure…


Coronavirus and you: How to survive the bugocalypse

By ANTHONY SANTELLA // The deadly coronavirus that originated 7,500 miles away in China may have found its way to Long Island, where health officials announced last week that a person who passed through Nassau County was being tested for the virus. That individual has since tested negative – but results are still pending for more than 100 other cases across the United States While the majority of the more than 2,700 global cases, including…


Sound investments, on an Island filled with Wonder

 By TOM MARINER // A “blast from the past” from your most recent newsletter: A few years after Ray Kurzweil introduced the first Reading Machine, he cranked out his first “music synthesizer” with Stevie Wonder – a product of Kurzweil’s fertile brain and (in theory) a bet between the two that electronic stuff could not sound like a concert grand piano. The technical challenge was that large memory chips that digitally hold millions of pieces…


A simple code for collegians: programming for all

By MATTHEW WRIGHT // Has higher education gone soft on coding? Isolated in our computer science departments, it’s not reaching the wider student audience I believe it should. At Adelphi University, where I chair the Physics Department, teaching coding to all students – STEM majors, humanities majors and health-profession majors – is an experiment I have tried and have personally seen succeed. Computer programming is in high demand in the workplace, and it’s a 21st…


With red flags, Green Light Law not as easy as 1, 2, 3

By MARGARET GRAY and OLIVIA HEFFERNAN // Do you know about the Green Light Law? If you drive anywhere in New York, you probably should. As of Dec. 16, New York residents are eligible to obtain driver’s license regardless of their immigration status. New Yorkers should see public health and economic benefits as a result of Green Light, which passed the New York State Legislature in June. Efforts to derail the legislation, however, have left…


Focusing on people power, in a cyberworld gone bad

By ANGELA COLON-MAHONEY // The most important firewall a corporation can put up to protect its network starts with an employees’ job interview, and is measured by levels of employee engagement over time. We tend to forget the human element when it comes to technology and the safety of employee and company information. We know that one click is all it takes to expose a company’s deepest secrets, and it’s usually caused by a disengaged…


Hard hats and soft spots: Remembering Ken Morrelly

By RAY DONNELLY // Ten years ago Oct. 1, the region lost a strong, powerful voice in economic development, when C. Kenneth Morrelly passed away suddenly. He died on the cusp of realizing a project he’d been devoted to for many years, the Homeland Security Research Center. The project was a centerpiece of his time as CEO and president of LIFT, the Long Island Forum for Technology. October 1, 2009, was a red-letter day for the region’s…


A regular riot: Recalling RALPH, from LI to the moon

By PETER CRESCENTI // A recent Innovate LI newsletter headline – “Chefs of the future” – caught my attention: It had to be a reference to “The Honeymooners,” the classic episode in which Ralph and Norton do a live TV commercial for a crazy kitchen gadget. I had to know for sure. So, I emailed Editor Gregory Zeller, and sure enough, I was right. And we bonded like members of the Bensonhurst Chapter of the…


Oklahoma opioid ruling offers hope to front-lines LI

By KEVIN DAHILL // The $572 million that an Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay to the State of Oklahoma for the company’s role in the opioid crisis is the first such court ruling – among hundreds of pending cases throughout the country. Such sizable awards, earmarked for prevention and treatment, will help health providers and public health officials arrest this soaring epidemic. But even as state and county officials battle in court, including…


The economic case for the ‘wretched refuse’

By ERNIE FAZIO // “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” These are the closing lines of “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, cast on a bronze plaque inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Recently, a Trump administration spokesman suggested a rewrite – a new…


Region unites against LI’s nitrogen nightmare

By JOHN CAMERON JR. // Each summer, annual reminders of our region’s water-quality crisis – including fish kills, toxic algal blooms and others – reappear. While there are a number of causes for the poor quality of many of our coastal and inland waterways, “nitrogen loading” has been a main culprit. Nitrogen from fertilizer and human waste enters our waterways and causes the excessive growth of algae. which uses up dissolved oxygen and blocks sunlight….


For freedom, justice and innovation, united we stand

By ERNIE FAZIO // We are about to celebrate the founding of this country, a good time to think about what we elected to call ourselves. The United States. Really? Are we still united, or have we allowed ourselves to drift apart? Maybe we are now like an old marriage that has grown tired and unexciting. But let me caution those among us who think the end is near: It isn’t! The strength of our fabric…


‘Ignored’ nonprofits rich with internship opportunities

By BERNADINE WALLER and THOMAS WARD JR. // A fine arts major creates a wall-sized mural for a seriously ill child through nonprofit organization Splashes of Hope. A political science major works at a New York City nonprofit helping low-wage restaurant workers understand their legal rights. A nursing major disseminates information for the medical community through the nonprofit National Organization for Rare Disorders. These are just three of the nearly 70 internships that our students…


To spark innovation, the master becomes the servant

By MITCH MAIMAN // “Servant management” leadership techniques are not new. This leadership concept, founded in 1970 by Robert Greenleaf, is broadly based on a philosophy that says the manager’s role is to serve the staff. The manager becomes an enabler for the staff, maximizing their operational performance and developing higher skills and capabilities. Skip Prichard, president and CEO of the global Online Computer Library Center, does a wonderful job succinctly defining the qualities of…


High school grads: What can you do for your planet?

By ERIC GERNATH // As high school graduates embrace their first summer without the prospect of a September homeroom, now would be a good time to ask: Who believes so strongly in the future of the planet that they will dedicate their careers to environmental protection? That career decision comes at a tipping point. Over the next 10 years, it’s projected that 37 percent of those employed in this crucial sector are expected to retire,…