No. 296: Welcoming Whiteley, smartening schools, terminating data thieves and seeing the ‘forest bathing’ for the trees

Take it outside: Reverse the effects of being stuck too long indoors with the healing practice of "forest bathing."

And down the stretch they come: Welcome to Friday, dear readers, with the finish line and another well-deserved weekend in sight.

Happy Chakri Day, commemorating the establishment of the Chakri dynasty, to our readers in Thailand. In Indonesia, have a very happy National Fisherman’s Day.

Congress is now in session: Happy anniversary to the U.S. Congress, which held its first-ever regular session on April 6, 1789, in New York City’s Federal Hall.

Film at 11: On this date in 1869, American inventor John Wesley Hyatt patented a method of applying a film-like substance called collodion to billiard balls – a big forward step for celluloid, staple of the future photography and motion-picture trades.

Twenty years later to the day, George Eastman began selling his Kodak brand of flexible rolled film. (For you kids out there, “film” is what we used to stick in our phones to take pictures.)

Starts of somethings: Depending on whom you believe, other April 6 debuts include the first U.S. credit union (in New Hampshire in 1909), the Twinkie (invented by bakery exec James Dewar in 1930), the original TV Dinner (sold by Swanson & Sons in 1954), the designated hitter (N.Y. Yankee Ron Bloomberg, who drew a walk in 1973) and the Post It note (sticking around since 1980).

Dear Watson: There’s no doubt that Nobel Prize-winning DNA co-discoverer James Watson – the one-time director and longtime supporter of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory – got his start on April 6, 1928.

Happy birthday also to Lando Calrissian himself, actor Billy Dee Williams (born 1937), and to country music legend Merle Haggard (1937-2016), “Cheers” alum John Ratzenberger (born 1947) and “Taxi” alum Marilu Henner (born 1952).

And many more: Before there was Cher, Bono, Madonna and Adele – even before there was Voltaire – there was Raphael, the no-surname-necessary (it was Sanzio) Italian painter and master builder born on April 6, 1483 (he died in 1520, and alas, did not make Mental Floss’ list of history’s top 26 mononymous celebrities).

No offense: Before we review the week in socioeconomic news, a word of thanks to reader Glenn, who didn’t like a headline in Wednesday’s newsletter (“Speaking of the fall of towering icons”) referencing the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

“What a poor choice of headlines,” Glenn wrote. “Sometimes being edgy gets carried away.”

Thanks for the note, Glenn, and apologies to you and anyone else who found our reference to King in poor taste. They can’t all be gold, folks, so please be like Glenn and keep us in line at

Gentle reminder: There’s still time to get your tickets (and explore sponsorship opportunities) for our really big show, the 2018 Innovator of the Year Awards, coming April 24 to the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

Dedicated to the memory of founder and publisher John Kominicki – who launched Innovate LI to both support and commemorate Long Island’s innovators, inventors, researchers and entrepreneurs – our show of shows will honor 2018 Master of Innovation Michael Faltischek and some 30 other top Long Island thinkers. Awardee and event information awaits here, while registration and sponsorship information is also a click away. See you there!


A few words from our sponsor: The Long Island Business Development Council has helped build the regional economy for more than 45 years by bringing together government economic-development officials, developers, financial experts and others for education, debate and networking.



Reading all about it: Congratulations to two Long Island companies – Hauppauge-based innovator Intelligent Product Solutions and Holbrook-based reading/writing advocate Schoolwide – preparing to announce a new partnership that will build out a web-based curriculum solution for kindergarten-through-eighth-grade educators.

Software developers at IPS have already created a customized Content Management System for Schoolwide’s Fundamentals Unlimited platform, which boasts a web-based user interface, a searchable online database, student access via iPads and other mobile devices and a bevy of classroom-ready lessons, eBooks, digital texts and other reading and writing resources.

Danny Aponte, IPS’s senior director of software engineering and IT, noted “our team worked seamlessly with Schoolwide, at an incredible pace, to develop this solution,” while Ladi Davies, Schoolwide’s vice president of Educational Solutions, called IPS “a fantastic software-development partner because of its expertise in a full range of software product design and its speed,” adding “the entire solution was developed in five months.”

With the two companies planning to officially announce their partnership April 10, Schoolwide’s new Fundamentals Unlimited curriculum resource solution is already being used by teachers in more than 15 states, including New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Flowing funds: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced the availability of new low-interest loans that could leverage more than $11 billion in nationwide water-infrastructure projects.

The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program received $63 million through the Consolidated Appropriations Act signed into law March 23 by President Trump. Leveraging private capital and other funding sources, loans made from that CAA stipend “could support $11 billion in water infrastructure investment and create more than 170,000 jobs,” the EPA said in a statement.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt praised “the president’s leadership” and said in a statement that the WIFIA funding “will spark new investments to repair our nation’s crumbling water infrastructure.” Prospective borrowers seeking WIFIA credit assistance must submit a letter of interest by July 6.



They’ve been warned: Port Jefferson-based Nomorobo, the autodialer assassin and bane of telemarketers, has added some new muscle for a fight against would-be data thieves.

The Tech Transfer Shuffle: With Teri Willey heading to Indiana University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has found its next commercialization guru in seasoned veteran Andrew Whiteley.

Money maker: Stony Brook supply-chain molecular authenticator Applied DNA loves to explore new vertical markets, but it loves something else even more – a paycheck.

To Silicon Valley (and back): Stanford University President Emeritus (and Stony Brook University graduate) John Hennessy has been inducted into the SBU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Hall of Fame.



San Diego offers Long Island a socioeconomic blueprint, Canon USA is Long Island’s 2018 Energy Star posterchild and the 10 finalists competing in this year’s Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge are all fairly amazing.

Like what you’re reading? Share a good thing with your friends and colleagues – forward this newsletter and encourage your people to sign up here.



Co-location fever: From Forbes, the six hottest “innovation hubs” around the world (Long Island didn’t make the list, but Brooklyn did – three times).

Sick feeling: Why U.S. healthcare providers are afraid of Walmart – and why they should be.

Speak up, students: Academic innovation has always lacked a student voice, and “that has to change,” says this digital-learning expert.



+ Yuichi Ishizuka has been named CEO and president of Canon’s Europe, Middle East and Africa division and will be based in London. Ishizuka had been president and chief operating officer of Canon USA in Melville.

+ Michael Sciara has joined Melville multidisciplinary firm Nelson & Pope as a partner in charge of its Architecture Division.

+ Filippo Impennato has joined Total Technology Solutions as an IT consultant. He was previously a business-development manager at Blue Fountain Media in Manhattan.

+ Theresa Going has been promoted to vice president and commercial real estate private banker for Bridgehampton National Bank in Hauppauge. She formerly served as a branch manager for BNB Bank in Melville.

+ Arthur Fougner is the president-elect of the Medical Society of the State of New York. Fougner is chief of gynecological ultrasound for LIJ and North Shore University Hospital at the Gottlieb Women’s Comprehensive Health Center in Manhasset and assistant ob-gyn professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine and Hofstra/Northwell.

+ Frank Dowling has been elected as secretary of the Medical Society of the State of New York. Dowling, who practices in Garden City and Islandia, is a medical adviser to the Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance and an associate professor of psychiatry at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

+ Theresa Vespoli has been promoted to assistant vice president for branch operations at Teachers Federal Credit Union. She was financial services manager at TFCU in Hauppauge.

+ Stephannia Kabanakis has been promoted to mortgage loan officer at Jet Direct Mortgage in Bay Shore. She formerly served as a financial analyst for Jet Direct.

+ Nancy Aurora has been promoted to branch manager for Suffolk Federal Credit Union in Islandia. Aurora was formerly director of credit cards at SFCU in Medford.

+ Jill-Ann Painter has been hired as director of national accounts for Garden City-based Sabre Real Estate Group. She was previouly regional vice president of real estate at Chopt Creative Salad Co. in Atlanta.

+ Maggie LaCasse has been promoted to director of communications for Discover Long Island in Hauppauge. LaCasse served previously as senior manager of communications.



Fly me to the moon: A new book explores Planet Earth’s burgeoning spaceports.

Take a hike: With the EPA reporting that Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, it’s about time for some forest bathing.

Ladies first: The Smithsonian lists 10 female innovators doing amazing things in 2018.

The search continues: Thought we saw “free news” hiding over there, but it was just Bigfoot. We’ll keep looking. Meanwhile, please continue supporting the great organizations that support Innovate LI, like the LIDBC, helping Long Island businesses create new businesses since 1969.