No. 253: Joe Ficalora’s brighter bottom lines, nerds and nurses, Mark Twain and the man in the moon

A capricious entrepreneur, the tantalizing prospect of great wealth bedeviled Mark Twain for much of his life.

You did it: Welcome to Friday, readers old and new, and great work making it this far. It’s been another busy week for Long Island innovation, but before we get to all that, a quick reminder: Our weekend is never complete without your comments, concerns and hot story tips. So, tell us all about it at

Back in black: This Oct. 27 marks the 20th anniversary of Wall Street’s 1997 Black Monday “mini-crash,” wherein the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 554 points and regulators closed U.S. stock markets for the first time since Reagan “forgot to duck” in 1981.

Analyze this: California-based workforce wunderkind CareerCast reports this week that IT jobs rule the roost regarding salary growth potential. Comparing U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on median salaries in 2013 and 2017, the career site determined that “technology jobs dominated the professions with the highest potential for wage growth,” with operations research analyst (up 67.5 percent, to $79,200) and information security analyst (up 59 percent, to $92,600) leading the way, followed by computer systems analyst and software developer. Process the whole report here.

Recognizing excellence: Hofstra University’s Center for Entrepreneurship has been recognized with its first prestigious international honor. The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, an international collaboration of more than 225 university-centered entrepreneurship programs, has named the Hempstead-based university’s two-year-old center one of its two 2017 Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Centers.

Still the Island’s own: Congratulations to Northwell Health on its latest Big Apple expansion. The New Hyde Park-headquartered health system has announced the opening of the third phase of its Lenox Health Greenwich Village project, along with the addition of five new physician practices in Chelsea, Union Square, Chinatown and Gramercy.

Bottle rockets: Albany is lighting a fuse under New York’s craft-beverage industries by lowering the state’s labeling-law costs and easing regulations – good news for Island brewers and vintners.

Molto bene: About 30 new jobs are on the menu at Italian-food specialist Seviroli, which will keep on cooking in Garden City thanks to an Empire State Development incentives package.

Mehta data: Feinstein Institute researcher Ashesh Mehta was thrice blessed this week by the National Institutes of Health, which is backing three Mehta-led explorations of the brain’s neurophysiological functions.

It’s in the bank: It was a rough third quarter for Westbury-based New York Community Bancorp, but CEO Joseph Ficalora predicts brighter bottom lines ahead.

ICYMI: Lingerie maker Impish Lee is thinking positive about the plus-sized market, the Jericho School District digs Canon’s write stuff and biotech Applied DNA is extending its world tour.

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Nerds and nurses are taking over the U.S. economy: The fastest-growing jobs belong to what one might call the Three Cs: care, computers and clean energy. So says a blockbuster report from government economists that forecasts the workforce of 2026—a world of robot cashiers, well-paid math nerds and so (so, so, so) many healthcare workers. Read the full report here.

Google is building a city from the internet up: As a synthesis of existing know-how deployed at scale and packaged for easy sale, Sidewalk Labs’ Quayside development in Toronto is more like a modern-day Levittown.

Leaving the Don Draper moments behind: The future of Ad agencies might not be advertising at all. In an industry that’s quickly and constantly changing thanks to technological innovation and consumer behavior, self-disruption may be a key business operating principle

A capricious entrepreneur, counting the zeroes on an imaginary balance sheet: A new book by Alan Pell Crawford, “How Not to Get Rich: The Financial Misadventures of Mark Twain,” makes an object lesson of Twain’s pecuniary gullibility. It places Twain amid the mania of the later nineteenth century, when surging industry existed alongside literal flashes in the pan, life-altering inventions alongside mere novelties. As Crawford writes, “The tantalizing prospect of great wealth bedeviled Mark Twain for much of his life.”


The Man in the Moon: Eugene Shoemaker enjoyed a celebrated career in geology and astronomy, during which he helped discover a comet and create the field of planetary science. His accomplishments continued after his death, when he became the only person to be buried on the moon.

Tapping into success: Innovative Tap Solutions is a startup putting automatic beer dispensers into bars so that bartenders don’t have to personally wait on customers. Instead, customers help themselves from a digitized draft system, PourMyBeer, paying as a computer tracks their pours.

It’s like the 1928 version of a computer: In Brooklyn, Long Island University’s 1928 Wurlitzer, built for what used to be the Paramount Theatre, is getting ready for its last performance for a while. The building is set to undergo renovations over the next two years, and its next life will be much closer to its past as the Paramount, which played host to such legendary acts as Ella Fitzgerald, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jackie Wilson.

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