No. 262: Mission is a go, Topspin buys some spin … and climate change in New Jersey?

It's National Pie Day! Take away ice cream as a dessert choice and most people are either cake people or pie people.

TGI December: Let’s not mince words – this week was a slog, after the stuffed-belly, four-day respite of the Thanksgiving holiday. But Friday is upon us again, as is December, which in addition to the holidays you know boasts National Pie Day (today), World Human Rights Day (Dec. 10) and, believe it or not, Monkey Day (Dec. 14), which as of 2000 is actually a thing.

Please use this information responsibly. And tell us about your favorite December event – and any startups, new tech, story corrections or calendar additions we should know about – at

Different ends of the same birthday: New York Times contributor/greater Long Island PR guru Warren Strugatch and often-criticized/often-praised New York filmmaker Woody Allen, both born Dec. 1.


Soft touch: Yes, that was Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul in Melville on Thursday morning, helping the Empire State Development Corp. announce the opening of LBi Software’s new 25,235-square-foot office.

LBi Software, which counts Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association among its clients, promises to create 16 good-paying jobs – in addition to retaining 47 existing New York State jobs – and invest $6 million in its new Walt Whitman Road facility, in exchange for $300,000 in performance-based tax credits issued through ESD’s Excelsior Jobs Program.

The software firm’s decision to expand on Long Island is “further proof that Gov. Cuomo’s approach to job creation is the right one,” Hochul said at Thursday’s ribbon-cutting, while ESD President and CEO Howard Zemsky called the opening “a hallmark of LBi’s success.”

Master plan: Speaking of Greater New York corporate expansions fueled by Excelsior Jobs Program incentives, Mastercard announced Thursday it would enlarge its Manhattan footprint, investing millions in a new Fifth Avenue technology facility that will not only retain 250 existing NYC jobs, but add 473 new tech-related positions by 2024.

With Empire State Development greasing the skids to the tune of $13.3 million in performance-based tax credits, Mastercard is planning a 212,000-square-foot tech mecca to bolster its Manhattan Technology Hub, one of five such hubs the international giant operates around the globe (in India, Australia, Ireland and Missouri).

It’s a giant forward leap for “21st century jobs in 21st century industries,” according to Gov. Cuomo, who called Mastercard’s expansion plan “proof-positive that the Empire State has the tools, resources and pro-business climate for business to thrive.”

Commercial break: Partners Adam Koblenz, Andrew Roth, and Joseph Bjarnson of Uniondale law firm Sahn Ward Coschignano PLLC have obtained an important ruling from the Nassau County Supreme Court, establishing new protections for commercial property owners.

The ruling, in the case of Forest Glen Realty LLC v. T11 Funding, protects Nassau County commercial property owners in real-property tax enforcement proceedings by requiring purchasers of Nassau County Tax Deeds to commence judicial proceedings to “quiet title” – essentially, bring a lawsuit challenging a party’s ownership – before they can assert rights under their Tax Deeds.

The legalese is surely thick. But the ruling “is a victory for commercial property owners in Nassau County and a blow to those who attempt to use Tax Deeds to confiscate commercial properties from unwary owners who failed to pay their real property taxes for one reason or another,” according to Koblenz.

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Mission update: With its first national campaign underway, Westbury digital-marketing startup Mission Disrupt is growing up so fast.

Pharm to table: Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences always said it would dine out on the textile trades – but Big Biopharma may be its most promising vertical.

Mixed message: With e-commerce exploding, experts say retail property owners had better start planning for mixed uses – including retail/residential combinations.

Bright light, big city: Topspin Partners, the Westchester-based investment firm with an affinity for Long Island tech startups, has acquired a hot digital health platform.


Total Wine Westbury has been uncorked, your life could be on the line at Comtech Communications and Falconstor Software may be delisted, but it won’t be denied.


Strong showing: Complementing Albany’s “Southern Tier Strong” initiative, Corning Inc. announced this week that it will manufacture its revolutionary Valor Glass pharmaceutical packaging line at facilities in upstate Steuben and Chermung counties – a $95.5 million investment promising 185 new jobs by 2020.

Not pretty but it might work: National parks are usually selected for their beauty. But what if the Meadowlands became a Climate Change National Park, a place to showcase the dangers of – and solutions to – climate change?

Fourth plan’s a charm: After years of research, a new regional plan lays out a radical new proposal for shaping the New York region in the coming decades.

Dear reader: The Aspen Institute has unveiled the nominees for its first-ever fiction prize, a potpourri of 20 works plucked from across the world. Curl up with a good book.


Scholarly support: A panel of Stony Brook University faculty members has chosen electrical engineering major Kmely Wang and computer science major Wendy Wu as the winners of the 2017-2018 IPS Scholarship. Each student will receive a $2,500 stipend from Hauppauge-based product-design specialist Intelligent Product Solutions.

The Ultron ultimatum: Artificial intelligence is getting really smart … so, is it time to regulate it?

Green thumb turns to black? What kind of plant to get if you just can’t keep the house and office greenery alive and why they’re so good for your health.

Sailing away: The coolest new cruise ships in the world.

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