No. 266: Luminati back at the dance, LIREDC on top and the LIRR on track three

Do you know the answers to the 17 most famous trivia questions?

Glad tidings: Happy Friday, readers old and new, and a special hello to Innovate Long Island’s newest sponsor, Uniondale law firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek. Welcome to the show!

Yellow peg: One of the great board games in history was “first conceived” on this date, according to ThoughtCo.’s unofficial History of Trivial Pursuit, which pegs Dec. 15 as the day Canadian newspapermen Chris Haney and Scott Abbott – over a game of Scrabble, natch – invented the future cultural phenomenon. (See what we did there, with the yellow peg?)

We love a good trivia challenge, along with story tips, calendar items and other correspondences of a socioeconomic nature. Stump as at

Speaking of Dec. 15: Actually a fairly big day all-around, with the Bill of Rights ratified (1791), the Port Authority officially opening for the first time (1950) and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” finally opening today (with a $200 million debut all but assured).

While Wookies and Skywalkers are always money in the bank, SW:TLJ has a hill to climb to catch “Gone With the Wind,” still the inflation-adjusted highest-grossing film of all time – and, coincidentally another Dec. 15 debut, way back in 1939.

If you give a Mouse total control of an entire global information and commerce system: However “Star Wars” performs this year, it should be a nice Christmas for Disney.


Airport 2017: The drama continues at Enterprise Park at Calverton, where Luminati Aerospace has changed dance partners in its quest to purchase Town of Riverhead-owned land and resuscitate Long Island’s aerospace heart.

Luminati signed a letter of intent in March noting plans to acquire the town’s long-dormant, tax-roll-sucking EPCAL site for $40 million – the latest in a long line of would-be developers with plans as far flung as indoor ski mountains and racetracks.

Luminati CEO Daniel Preston’s plan was a little more grounded: a mixed-use development with a revived aerodrome at its core, anchored by his startup – which focuses on solar-powered and other advanced aircraft – and other aerospace manufacturers, as well as related businesses to support them and a modest development of workforce housing.

Now, with financial partner United Refining Energy Co. – owned by NYC billionaire John Catsimatidis – apparently out of the picture, Luminati is buddying up to an LLC venture company owned by the Ghermezian brothers, a Canadian family with Iranian-Jewish roots that’s developed several of the world’s largest shopping malls.

Local ledger of record Riverhead News Review lays it out.

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REDC rebound: With an $84.3 million take in Albany’s 2017 economic-development awards, the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council regained its “top” form.

All aboard: With the MTA greenlighting a $2 billion design-and-build deal, the LIRR’s long-debated, long-awaited “third track” is coming soon to save your commute.

Clear message: The tax-abatement incentives package offered this week to Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions is really a regional pro-jobs investment, according to the Suffolk IDA.

Podcasting 101: They’re popular and gaining influence, so Stony Brook Southampton and WSHU Public Radio are teaming up to train students how to please in the pod.


Call-blocker Nomorobo is being naughty, Suffolk Legis. William Lindsay III is being proactive and Hofstra/Northwell medical students are being recorded. And those are no dummies at LIU Post (though actually, they are).


All about the customer service: Artificial intelligence is so hot it’s nearly a cliché – but every CEO needs an AI plan and every leader needs to understand digital disruption, regulation and cybersecurity. Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger tells Fortune how AI can “listen” to customer-service conversations – and offer help to human representatives in real time.

Targeted growth: Trying to pace Amazon and Walmart, Target shelled out $550 million to acquire startup Shipt, which helps companies provide rapid delivery on e-commerce orders. “We believe we will be able to leap several years ahead,” notes Target operations chief John Mulligan.

Quantum leap: IBM has signed big-name partners including JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and Samsung to participate in its experimental quantum-computing project, which also involves universities and other companies in the quest to create practical uses for quantum computing.

Me, my robot and I: So, how are all those robots doing when it comes to interfacing with humans?


+ Nan Ferrar, executive vice president of operations and continuous improvement at Voya Financial, has joined the dean’s advisory board for the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University. Ferrara joined Voya in 2012 and is a member of the organization’s Executive Committee, and also serves on the Board of Directors of Voya Foundation, the company’s charitable arm.

+ Magdalena Overton of Elmont is the new director of database/prospect research, office of development and alumni engagement, at Farmingdale State College. She previously directed advancement services at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn.

+ Corie Shapiro has joined Laffey Real Estate in Brookville as a licensed salesperson. She is a physical therapist who has worked with Northwell Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead for 18 years.

+ Rashaad Peters has been named a marketing associate at American Investment Properties in Garden City. He formerly was a marketing analyst at Sharestates, a real estate investment company in Great Neck.

+ Gurpeet (Sonny) Singh is the new director of ACC Space, a new Garden City brokerage firm that is part of ACC Real Estate Services. He joined Industry One Realty as an associate broker in 2015.

+ Jonathan Schechter serves ACC Space as an assistant director. The licensed real estate salesperson is a graduate of Hofstra University.

+ Susan Kosser now serves as the interim director of pupil personnel for the East Rockaway School District. She was a school psychologist in the William Floyd School District and director of special education for the Half Hollow Hills School District.

+ The Child Care Council of Suffolk in Commack has made several additions and promotions:

Christina Flythe now serves as director of the Child and Adult Care Food Program. She was previously director of the agency’s Parent Leadership Initiative.

Denise Ham is now the Parent Leadership Initiative director. She has been affiliated with CCCS since 2012, serving previously as a PLI facilitator.

Crystal Jackson is a new senior program development specialist. She previously spearheaded and organized community outreach events at Family Service League in Brentwood.

Freja Del Guercio joined the resource and referral department as a bilingual parent counselor. She most recently was a translator/interpreter for DEK Marine in Stony Brook.

Liana Inzerillo serves as a Child and Adult Care Food Program field representative. She graduated cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College.E


North and south, too: Ronkonkoma’s East/West Industries has earned new FAA repair station certification.

Waste not: Scientists at the Center of Applied Geosciences at Germany’s University of Tübingen are converting waste water from dairy farms into renewable animal feed. Oh, and jet fuel.

Have you seen Hamilton? Forget Bitcoin, here’s the really hot currency.

Gassed: The World Bank will cease financing oil and gas exploration and extraction programs by 2019.

Something to look forward to: Nine big design trends that will shape 2018.

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