No. 130: Meh job growth, more breaks for brewers and a ringtone concerto

TG it’s F: A great Friday everybody, and welcome new sponsor SUNY Old Westbury. It’s National Endangered Species Day. Let’s celebrate by not killing anything. Also, Hubble sent back its first shots from space on this day in 1990. Cher is 70. We’ll miss you, Morley Safer.

Working on it: Long Island will get $2.8 million in federal money to help unemployed residents get back to work. As a start, the Labor Department will hire 29 full-time counselors to work with the 11,000 Islanders receiving unemployment benefits. Part of a $20 million statewide effort.

Good thing, because: Employment in the region grew only modestly and local business leaders were less optimistic than in April. In a separate report, Long Island’s private sector added 11,500 jobs last month when compared to April 2015, the slowest rate since December. Government, back to its old ways, added another 3,200.

Although CPI rising: Consumer prices in the 31-county region that includes Long Island rose 1 percent last month compared with April 2015, the largest year-over-year gain in almost 18 months.

We’ll drink to that: The state continues to ease regulation on craft brewers and distillers.

But they feel sick about it: New York health insurers are asking for double-digit rate increases for 2017. CareConnect, the insurance arm of Northwell Health, is seeking an almost 30 percent bump on individuals, whileUnitedHealthcare wants more than 45 percent.

Better news from Northwell: The health system has inked a partnership with DaVita to operate local dialysis centers and offer other kidney care. The first center is set for Floral Park. Existing DaVita locations in Port Washington, Huntington Station and Syosset will join.

Flying high: The Port Authority’s private partners easily raised $2.3 billion for the LaGuardia Airport facelift this week, attracting more than $20 billion of orders in what one trader called “a complete blowout.” This despite a Baa3 rating from Moody’s, which worries whether the overhaul can be accomplished on time with the airport open during construction.

Outbound: Ronkonkoma’s Industrial Metals International was one of 123 companies receiving a cherished export award from President Obama.

Heard a good book lately? Stony Brook-based Charmtech Labs, the maker of text-to-speech software Capti Narrator, is donating 50,000 e-books to the Project Gutenberg program.

Come hither: The Suffolk IDA has a new marketing campaign aimed at off-Island companies and not the usual bread-and-butter retention deals. Cool video with familiar faces here.


Right product, right place, right time: When Mitchell and Gregg Rechler took their family’s industrial portfolio private back in 2003, pharma firms were a single-digit piece of the empire. Make that 25 percent today, and without any special effort by the partners.

Talk to me: ObviPop, an app being rolled out by cofounders Brett Hayden Cohen and Christopher Migliorini, seeks to put actual human conversation into social media. Some interesting business applications coming.

We’d tell you more, but: NYIT has been designated a national center for academic excellence in cyber defense education. Among other things, it puts the school in line to work on classified fed projects.

Cancer breakthrough: SBU-based biotech startup Targagenix is nearing market with a drug that kills off cancer stem cells, which can regenerate tumors following successful frontline treatment.

Craft Beer Week: Is still chugging along.

Don’t forget: The Incubator Showcase featuring SBU’s 40+ startups, Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology, June 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., info here.

Be here: LaunchPad Huntington teams with the Workforce Development Institute for a causerie on manufacturing, including release of a study on maker-related technology employment and a spirited Kominicki-led panel. May 24, 1 p.m. onward, free, sponsors and exhibitors welcome, post-panel beverages and music.

Stuff we’re sponsoring: The Eastern Long Island Mini Maker Faire, June 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Maritime Explorium in Port Jefferson, innovation, invention and fun for all ages.

The rest of the summer-sizing Innovate calendar, including LISTnet’s May 25 ribbon cutting, is here.

About our sponsor: SUNY Old Westbury is a selective public liberal arts college serving more than 4,300 students from Long Island, New York City and around the world. With graduate programs in business, education, mental health counseling and more, Old Westbury offers cutting edge instruction and convenient scheduling, all at the affordable rate of SUNY tuition. Own your future.


Change your password: A guy named Peace says he has 117 millionLinkedIn passwords and user names from a 2012 hack. He’ll take $2,200 in Bitcoin.

Speaking of which: We will be the last generation to use user names and passwords, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf announced to the crowd at a San Fran economic conference this week. The bank plans to roll out cardless ATMs later this year, following a similar move by Bank of America.

And: TD Bank said it won’t be bringing back its coin-counting Penny Arcade machines, sidelined since it was discovered they were shortchanging customers up to 15 percent, not counting the 8 percent charged non-bank coin-cashers.

Sure, risk the reporter: Uber gave a Pittsburgh Tribune staff writer a ride in its autonomous Ford Fusion.

Apple seed: Tim Cook is opening an incubator in India, which he called “one of the most vibrant iOS development communities in the world.” It will be in Bengaluru, the country’s Silicon Valley.

Plus: Apple is also hiring 4,000 Indians to work on Apple Maps.

Missed a newsletter? A full year’s worth of snark is archived here.

Whey too much: America’s mega stash of cheese, now 1.2 billion pounds and counting as producers wait for prices to rebound, could be bad for the environment.

Here’s what Brown can do for you: United Parcel Service will expand 3D printing services at its UPS Stores to create an on-demand manufacturingnetwork starting this summer.

Muscling in: Stanford researchers have developed a super-stretchy material called elastomer that can repair itself, suggesting it can be used as artificial muscle.

Below the fold: What if the world’s cellphone ringtones and jingles were strung together in a classical-sounding piano concerto? That’d be cool.

A reminder: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great institutions like SUNY Old Westbury.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.