No. 274: Out-of-the-Voxx thinking, a literal lightbulb moment, an Amazonian longshot and making waves in Hauppauge

Words with friends: In 2006, in the basement of a Unitarian church in Lexington, Mass., a carpenter named Michael Cresta scored 830 points in a single game. His opponent, Wayne Yorra, totaled 490 points. The two men set three records for sanctioned Scrabble in North America: the most points in a game by one player (830), the most total points in a game (1,320) and the most points on a single turn (365, for Cresta's play of QUIXOTRY).

The end of the tunnel (and lights): Welcome to the blessed end of another work week. Today is Jan. 19 and the 135th anniversary of the first-ever electric lighting system employing overhead wires – Thomas Edison’s novel system started juicing Roselle, NJ, on this date in 1883.

Speaking of bright ideas: The neon tube light was patented on this date, by inventor George Claude (1915), and the granddaddy of wordy board games, Scrabble, made its commercial debut (1955).

Happy birthday: Dolly Parton (who turns 71) and Janis Joplin (who would have been 75). Now there’s a “Happy Birthday” duet we’d like to hear.

What celebrity rendition of the birthday song is your favorite? (Ever hear Jennifer Hudson belt it out?) Tell us at, and be sure to share story tips, calendar events and story comments, too.



Grant theft vino: Investigators have cracked the case of the crooked assistant, with a personal secretary charged with stealing $1.2 million worth of rare wine from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Co-President David Solomon.

According to the indictment unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, personal assistant Nicolas De-Meyer stole hundreds of bottles from his boss’ top-shelf collection, including seven bottles from the French estate Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, widely considered among the finest wines in the world.

According to the indictment, De-Meyer sold the loot from his three-year vine spree to a rare wine dealer in North Carolina, including several bottles destined for the wine cellar beneath Solomon’s East Hampton residence.

More turbulence in Riverhead: With residents and rival commercial suitors imploring board members to reject a proposed $40 million land deal and consider different options for Enterprise Park at Calverton, the Riverhead Town Board voted 5-0 Wednesday night to postpone a public hearing on EPCAL’s fate.

Calverton Aviation and Technologies LLC, a venture group formed by Calverton-based Luminati Aerospace, wants to purchase the land – once a design and manufacturing hotbed under the Grumman flag – and revive Long Island’s once-mighty aerospace industries with Luminati at the core.

But the cutting-edge aerospace firm has changed financial partners more than once in pursuit of the EPCAL property, giving some in Riverhead pause – and opening the door to rival courtships by developers proposing solar farms and drag-racing tracks, among other uses.


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As good as his word: Just days after CEO Pat Lavelle promised a slew of new innovations, Voxx International’s Advanced Solutions Group introduced a host of new public-safety technologies.

Keep hope afloat: With one corporate partner willing to pump $600,000 into the project, Hauppauge-based Brimes Energy is closer than ever to making wave-energy history off the Philippine coast.

Fantasy Island: Amazon didn’t directly endorse a Long Island site for its “HQ2” short list, but the Island is (improbably) still in the running to host the e-commerce giant’s second North American headquarters.

Hi ho, hi ho: More Long Islanders went to work in December 2017 than did in December 2016, according to the New York State Department of Labor.



Homeland Security has Westbury nonprofit We Connect the Dots in its sights, a Melville data-governance specialist has a new Italian division in the fold and Melville neighbor Digital Donations has a potentially lucrative new vertical in the making.



No parking in Oyster Bay (hike, that is): A proposed 900 percent increase in commuter parking lot-permit fees (and the $3.6 million in annual revenues it would help produce) will not advance in Oyster Bay – in fact, Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino “opposes any fee increase,” the supervisor’s spokesman tells Newsday.

Monkey do: Nineteen-year-old pollster SurveyMonkey is slated to go public this year in what promises to be one of 2018’s most closely watched IPOs.

Bold Vision: A digital tool that lets nonprogrammers create customer-focused machine-learning models without knowing how to code – behold, Google’s AutoML Vision.

Waste not: A new algorithm is helping food-delivery service DoorDash deliver extra food from restaurants to local food banks.



+ Elaine Colavito has been named a partner at Uniondale-based law firm Sahn Ward Coschignano, where she concentrates her practice on matrimonial and family law, civil litigation and commercial transactions. Colavito is also president-elect of the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association.

+ Hal Skopicki has been appointed chief of cardiology in the Department of Medicine and deputy director of operations at the Stony Brook University Heart Institute.

+ Jean Goldstein has been named vice president of finance and PEO operations at Worklio, a human-capital management solution for the PEO industry with an office in Melville.

+ Richard Koral is the new leader of the Garden City-based Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island. Koral, who worked as an attorney in private practice for 30 years, also leads the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

+ Frank Tiscione has been named partner at Uniondale law firm Rivkin Radler, where he’s a member of the Commercial Litigation and Insurance Fraud practice groups.

+ Dennis Wiley has been named partner at Uniondale law firm Rivkin Radler, where he’s a member of the Trusts and Estates Practice Group.

+ Uniondale-based law firm Forchelli Deegan Terrana has announced several partner promotions, including Stephanie Alberts, a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton and the St. John’s University School of Law who’s a member of the firm’s Tax, Trusts and Estates Practice Group; Danielle Gatto, a graduate of Tulane University and the Hofstra University School of Law who concentrates on commercial litigation, real property actions, zoning matters, and employment litigation; and Parshhueram Misir, a graduate of Syracuse University and Brooklyn Law School who concentrates on construction litigation, commercial litigation and judgment enforcement.



No-prah: Oprah for president? Thanks, no thanks, say unenthused respondents to a new poll by Long Island University’s Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling and Analysis.

Polite this: So, these genius eggheads crunched some numbers and figured out New York is a nasty place, ranking it No. 42 on their Most-Polite States list. Jerks.

Secret sandwiches from outer space: How clandestine corned beef almost ended the career of NASA’s longest-serving astronaut.

Robots to the rescue: A large drone has rescued two teenage swimmers from certain doom in rough waters off the Australian coast.

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