No. 187: Big digs, Tom Brady and you won’t believe what the Navy is doing with hagfish slime

A boon to out of print titles.

TG it’s F: A great end to the week, everybody. It’s Jan. 27, on which Edison received the patent, his 30th, for the electric lamp.

Mozart would be 261 today. He composed more than 600 works during the 35 years he lived.

Alan Cumming, who has also done pretty well, is 52.

But first, this: The government is out looking for “shovel-ready” projects for the giant national infrastructure program the Trump administration says will make the nation second to none, put millions of Americans to work, double growth and create the strongest economy in the world.

And that’s not even counting the border wall.

The problem with shovel-ready projects, as we learned from the Recovery Act of 2009, is that many local development proposals are planned out that far, then shelved because they are too expensive, not really necessary or, upon further reflection, just plain dumb.

That is, until the federal spigot gets turned on, at which point we end up with a lot of can’t-live-without sidewalk widenings.

The White House, luckily, already has its own tentative infrastructure Top 50 list, representing $137 billion of public-private spending that would yield an estimated 241,700 job years, which is Washington speak for the equivalent of one job lasting one year.

(Humbling thought: My entire career is a meager 46 job years so far.)

The Trump list includes a handful of projects important to New York, including the Gateway Program – a $12 billion effort to rebuild the rail system connecting NYC and Newark – plus $14.2 billion for the next two phases of the Second Avenue subway. There’s also a $700 million rehab of the Peace Bridge connecting Western NY and Ontario.

(And, no, that’s not to help young people from Buffalo flee to Canada.)

Included are national projects from which the Empire State would benefit, such as a $2 billion national research lab for infrastructure – planned for Ohio – and $10 billion for the FAA’s next-gen air traffic control system. There is also plenty of additional spending on rail, highways, airports, dams, locks, water purity, even a wind energy project and a desalination plant.

The total investment could reach $1 billion.

The Top 50 list, it’s important to remember, was prepared by the Trump team and could have a decidedly different flavor by the time congressional sausage-makers get done with it. Either way, compared to what other big national endeavors have cost us – $2 trillion and counting for the Iraq war, e.g. – rebuilding our own country appears to be a bargain.


Fasciano VC fund “recklessly misused” fed funds, audit says

Garvies Point Craft Brewery is hoping to perfect the ancient art of sour beer. (Sweeeet!)

LIPA wades into offshore wind farming.

Flagging Labor Department indicators suggest a possible economic retreat. (So let’s get with the infrastructure already.)

Former NYPD Commish Kelly joins Applied DNA.

Chembio HIV-Syphilis test OKed for Europe, Caribbean.

Vivian Jarrett has the mojo. And the sofrito.

And she’s just one of this year’s fab Innovator of the Year award winners.

Oh and BTW: Bob Catell is our inaugural Master Innovator of the Year, an honor that is so richly deserved we can’t imagine you even thinking about not coming. Reach out to

The rest: Of the Innovate LI calendar is here.


Check’s in the mail: Three Long Island downtowns – Riverhead, Port Jefferson and Hempstead – will split $1.45 million as part of the state’s Restore New York Communities initiative.

Feeling lonely? A solopreneur meetup is forming in Commack.

Crib notes: Infant sleep is a $325 million industry, according to Kaiser Health. (But so worth it.)

Must click: The Navy has developed a synthetic hagfish slime that can stop bullets, thwart shark attacks and douse fires.

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Infographic: How Tom Brady still kicks butt at 39.

Making waves: The state has released its final ocean action plan.

Missed the boat on sponsoring? Climb aboard. We need your support to keep this baby going.

Tough to swallow: Big Pharma is rolling out a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to defend the value its medications provide, however expensive they may be.

Mugging it up: How coffee affects you, on the molecular level.

Cultcha? You betcha: The state doled out $41 million to support arts and cultural institutions. The rough math: $24 million to NYC, $1 million to Long Island, of which $310,000 went to the Huntington Arts Council. All 1,200 awards, alphabetically, here.

The Kellyanne effect: Sales of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” have all jumped since the inauguration. (But they’re relative slackers. Sales of Orwell’s “1984” are up 9,500 percent.)

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

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading this far.