Opinion

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,…


In Houston’s JLABS, a blueprint for Long Island

By GREG MONTALBANO // I’ve been developing clients’ med-tech devices, in all possible applications, for 28 years, and my company has been doing it for 47. No, I didn’t invent a time machine (yet). As the second-generation owner of MIDI Medical Product Development, I’m helping to carry on Long Island’s long tradition of medical-product development. Our clients and their corresponding R&D mindsets have certainly shifted over the years, with more focus on supporting independent, entrepreneurial,…


Co-creator: U.S. must get back on the Maglev track

By JAMES POWELL // Our 20th century highways are failing us in the 21st century. The American Society of Civil Engineers grades U.S. highways as D-minus, with a cost of $2 trillion just to repair our crumbling bridges and roads, not including money to meet the ever-increasing truck and car traffic, which causes more congestion and delays. Our obsolete highway system doesn’t meet modern transport needs, and is killing us. Forty-thousand persons die annually in…


In innovative ‘opera,’ a new weapon in the opioid war

By GINA CZARK // How bad is our opioid epidemic? Consider these stats: In 1993, America’s peak year of gun violence, we lost approximately 40,000 people to firearms. The AIDS crisis claimed about 45,000 lives in 1995, the grimmest year on record, while 1972 was the worst year ever for car crash fatalities, claiming the lives of about 50,000 Americans. Some 70,237 people died in 2017 from drug overdoses in America, making this current crisis…


A prescription for success, in small (and all) business

By MITCH MAIMAN // What could working in an old-school neighborhood pharmacy teach you about running a cutting-edge tech firm? On the surface, these two wildly different businesses have nothing in common. But over the years, I’ve come to realize that I learned many of the rules for growing a successful business working in that drugstore as a kid. My family owned a neighborhood pharmacy in Brooklyn. Maiman’s Pharmacy was off Eastern Parkway in Crown…


Digital glory there for the taking on talent-rich LI

By DEAN DeCARLO // As a 25-year-old millennial, I can distinctly remember a world without omnipresent electronic devices. Then my father brought home a white Compaq PC, preloaded with Windows 95. I was awed by its capabilities – and little did I know a dramatic digital revolution had begun. By intermediate school, most of my Commack classrooms had smartboards. My fourth-grade website “The Weekly Video” used a “drag and drop” builder. It’s safe to say…


Politics 2019: Are millennials ready to govern?

By JEFF GUILLOT // Congratulations are due to my millennial-aged comrades. In 2018, you outshined every previous dismal midterm voter turnout and showed up in record numbers. It was clear that people wanted change, and young voters – who ideologically lean to the left – helped elect a Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives that is the most diverse in history, and a record-shattering Democratic majority in the New York State Senate that…


50 years after Apollo, Cradle of Aviation still inspired

By ANDREW PARTON // It’s a challenging question: Can we be truly inspired by an event that occurred 50 years ago? The answer lies in the event’s impact – not just on us as individuals, but on a variety of aspects of society. In July 2019, we’ll celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the landing of the first men on the surface of the moon. That event impacted not just the United States,…