No. 177: $1 billion for clean gen, $650 million for bio and a nickel for the LIE

As Max Ginsburg remembers it.

It’s Tuesday: The next-best day to publish a Monday newsletter. It’s also the National Day of the Horse, on which Congress asks us to reflect on the important contributions of equus caballos.

Two great celebratory movies to consider, depending on your taste in leading men, Mickey Rooney or Viggo Mortensen.

If you’re dining out French, it’s probably best to skip the steak à cheval.

But first, this: Washington and Albany are butting heads over the LIE’s new Long Island Welcome Center, at which the state has been, OMG, selling locally produced food and drink items over the counter.

That’s not legal, the feds charge, noting that sales at such rest stops are, by law, limited to vending machines.

Yes, but that shouldn’t apply to us, the state counters, pointing out that the welcome center is not a commercial operation and that anyway the statute in question is 50 years old and outdated and, well, please don’t take away our federal highway money but we intend to keep doing what we’re doing.

The feds: We will be happy to bring you into compliance. And thanks for the idea of withholding highway funds.

Before the National Guard gets called out, may we note that there is an obvious other answer, one deeply steeped in New York history, that might not only dissolve the impasse but bring visitors a bit of fun and nostalgia. We’re talking about the Automat, specifically the Horn & Hardart variety that once dispensed everything from baked beans and creamed spinach to mac and cheese, Salisbury steak and pie.

To say nothing of the chain’s Gilt Edge coffee, a warming, chicory-laced blend concocted by New Orleans-raised Hardart, which went for a nickel a cup. (At its peak, the chain sold New Yorkers 70 million cups a year.)

H&H opened more than 50 Automats in NYC between 1912 and 1960, advertising not only affordable lunches but wholesome, evening meals that were “Less Work for Mother.” The last closed in 1991, a victim of the fast-food era Horn & Hardart had itself foretold.

Point: There’s actual Horn & Hardart equipment still out there. It would look grand dispensing local products on the LIE. The feds would be happy, too.

A documentary on the Automat is due to drop in 2018. Until then, enjoy Doris Day, Cary Grant and Audrey Meadows in this scene from 1962’s “That Touch of Mink.”


The governor announced a $650 million all-in effort to boost the life sciences cluster in New York.

Stony Brook-based Mobileware has refaced its critically acclaimed (and really early on) personal finance app for the 2020s.

Westbury’s Savvy Hires recruiting platform is teaming with Adelphi University, Northwell Health and Enterprise Rent-A-Car on a summer intern program for students on the autistic spectrum.

SBU has gone low flow.

Oh and: The Innovate calendar, such as it is at this time of year, is here.

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40 Under 40: The 40 richest entrepreneurs under the age of 40, according to Forbes.

Speaking of rich: Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma and a bunch of other seriously wealthy folk are building a $1 billion clean energy investment fundthat will take stakes in everything from startups to ideas ready for commercialization.

Musk may not show: The big news about Donald Trump’s tech exec summit in New York on Wednesday may be more about who’s not coming than who is. (And the regrets sound an awful lot like what Dylan told Stockholm.)

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Because it’s the most wonderful time of the lists: The Chicago Review of Books votes for best fiction of 2016.

Plus Israel’s coolest startupsIncluding Brayola, a platform that allows men to successfully buy underwear for their significant other. (If it’s a woman, we should add.)

And: The Top 10 songs of the year’s 100 best, a few by people even we recognized.

Paying backward: Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, which devastated newspaper classified advertising and by extension is blamed for the demise of fact-checked journalism, has donated $1 million to publishing’s Poynter Institute for a program on … accuracy, accountability and ethics.

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

Star power: Seven “New York State-based” productions have landed nominations for the Golden Globes, the state announced. Two of them, including Oscar fave “Manchester by the Sea,” were actually filmed elsewhere but did post-production work here.

Related: This year’s Golden Globes snubs and surprises.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading this far.