No. 298: Jefferson lives, Foodcubate nibbles, Instacart heads east and the Long Island Index closes its books

Boo: Don't worry, Friday the 13th fretters -- it will be 13 weeks until you have to worry about it again.

You’ve done it again: It’s Friday, friends, and not just Friday but the 276th anniversary of composer George Frideric Handel’s masterwork “Messiah,” which debuted April 13, 1742, at Dublin’s New Music Hall (though we’d have cued this up just for the Friday part).

Don’t be scared: It’s also Friday the 13th, of course, and if you suffer from triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) or friggatriskaidekaphobia (fear of the day itself), you’re probably a little nervous.

This won’t help: Today’s Friday the 13th falls precisely 26 weeks (2×13, for those keeping score at home) from the last Friday the 13th (in October 2017) – and exactly 13 weeks before the next (on July 13).

Theres one for you, 19 for me: ’Cause he’s The Taxman, yeah, and he’s coming two days late this year, thanks to an obscure holiday in the nation’s capital. Tax Day, the last day to file state and federal tax returns, falls on April 17 this year because of DC Emancipation Day, a Washington holiday commemorating President Lincoln’s 1862 signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act, which ended slavery in the District of Columbia.

So, Tax Day would have been Monday, since April 15 (which became the filing deadline in a 1955 tax code revision) was a Sunday. Except April 16 is DC Emancipation Day, so you got one more day to schedule your H&R Block appointment. Capiche?

Stop right there: Entrepreneurial engineer George Westinghouse patented the steam-powered brake on this date in 1869.

The day they Met: Now the largest U.S. art museum – and 2016’s second-most-visited global art museum, according to various sources – New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art incorporated on April 13, 1870.

A Penney earned: His namesake department store chain is struggling to keep doors open 116 years later, but entrepreneur James Cash Penney opened his very first store in Kemmerer, Wyo., on this date in 1902.

Now batting: The Milwaukee Braves (1953), the Baltimore Orioles (1954) and Hammerin’ Hank Aaron (also in 1954, for those same Milwaukee Braves) all debuted on April 13.

Oh, and: Pete Rose got his first Major League hit, a triple, on this date in 1963. A record 4,255 would follow.

We say Charlie Hustle belongs in MLB’s Hall of Fame – what say you? Share at, and make our weekend complete with a story tip or calendar item.

Had to get this in: Today is also the 39th anniversary of the longest ping pong match in recorded human history – a ridiculous 101-hour doubles marathon in Sacramento, Calif., that finally ended on April 13, 1979.

Happy birthday: American desperado Robert LeRoy Parker (a.k.a. Butch Cassidy, 1866-1908), Scottish physicist Robert Watson-Watt (radar pioneer, 1892-1973) and Irish novelist/playwright Samuel Beckett (Nobel Prize winner, 1906-1989).

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), founding father and the third U.S. president, would be 275 today.

And many more Ricky Schroder, who made you cry in “The Champ” and will make you cry even harder by turning 48 today.

Let’s go to the video tape: Before we wrap up the week in socioeconomic innovation, welcome aboard to our good friends at Quick-Cast, the mobile-media production team that’s partnering with Innovate LI to provide livestream coverage of the 2018 Innovator of the Year Awards, coming April 24 to the Crest Hollow Country Club.

Quick-Cast President John Richardson and his crew will also create the official video record of our annual shindig, which this year honors Master of Innovation Michael Faltischek and dozens of the Island’s best inventors, mentors and entrepreneurs. Awardee and event information awaits here, while registration and sponsorship information for the 2018 Innovator of the Year Awards is also a click away.


About our sponsor: SUNY Old Westbury is a selective public liberal arts college serving more than 4,300 students from Long Island, New York City and around the world. With graduate programs in business, education, mental health counseling and more, Old Westbury offers cutting-edge instruction and convenient scheduling, all at the affordable rate of SUNY tuition. Own your future.



Shuffling the Index: After 15 years, the Rauch Foundation is preparing the final edition of The Long Island Index – and getting ready to hand off the region’s primary data-gathering responsibilities to the Newsday Media Group.

The Garden City-based foundation and Melville-based Newsday announced Thursday the launch of nextLI, a “digital community and toolbox” and successor to the Index, which was created 15 years ago by the Rauch Foundation in cahoots with Long Island commercial, civic and government leaders.

Newsday’s new entity will provide “free of charge, high-quality, independent research and analysis to help Long Island’s leaders and residents address the region’s many challenges.” The project’s website, including a digital forum for sharing ideas and other communications, will be managed by Newsday’s opinion department and “will benefit from the input of an advisory board made up by members of the Long Island community,” according to the joint statement.

The Long Island Index’s trend-tracking swan-song is due out later this month – the final chapter of a data-crunching effort that “has proven beyond doubt the importance of a regional index,” Rauch Foundation President Nancy Rauch Douzinas said Thursday.

Provost with the most: The New York Institute of Technology has a new chief administrative officer. On Thursday, NYIT President Henry Foley announced the appointment of Junius Gonzales as the university’s next provost and vice president for academic affairs, effective June 4.

The announcement follows a lengthy national search for a permanent successor to Rahmat Shoureshi, the former NYIT provost who became president of Portland State University last year. Gonzales will officially take the baton from NYIT Associate Provost Lou Reinisch, who has served as interim provost since August 2017.

Gonzales’ background includes high-level leadership roles across academia, government and the private sector. The new provost – who previously held senior academic and administrative posts at the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of South Florida and Georgetown University – has been senior vice president for academic affairs for the University of North Carolina System since January 2015.



One of the all-time Gates: Renowned theoretical physicist (and National Science Medal winner) Sylvester James Gates Jr. will set the tone at SUNY-Old Westbury’s 2018 Student Research Day.

Food for thought: Some startups aren’t out to break the bank – and for the formerly frazzled founder of Roslyn-based food-biz consultancy Foodcubate, success is measured in smaller portions.

Sold (but also sold on Long Island): A precision machinist with deep Ronkonkoma roots has been acquired by an Ohio-based conglomerate, which is happy to keep H&H Technologies right where it is.

Pod people: “Base Pairs,” a podcast produced by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, is a finalist for not one but two Internet-excellence-denoting Webby Awards (public voting ends April 19, so vote now).



“Adaptive reuse” is coming to Long Island (possibly), an ambitious urban farmer is sprouting in Huntington (literally) and a world-class superconductivity specialist is mastering entrepreneurism at Brookhaven National Laboratory (slowly, but steadily).

Like what you’re seeing? You know a good thing when you see it – so share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues and encourage your crew to sign up here.



You’re gonna love it in an Instacart: Digital retail service Instacart, which promises one-hour delivery of products from top-tier retailers like CVS and Costco, is moving onto the East End.

Ground up: The federal Environmental Protection Agency has finalized a cleanup plan for Garden City’s Old Roosevelt Field Contaminated Groundwater Area Superfund Site.

Swiss precision: A team of unmanned aerial system engineers from Switzerland took the top prize in Round 2 of GENIUS NY, a drone-focused Central New York business competition.

Watch where you’re going: Even the most talented and creative professionals can easily miss the five most overlooked paths to innovation, as recounted by Forbes.



+ Mark Lukasiewicz has been appointed dean of Hofstra University’s Herbert School of Communication. Lukasiewicz, whose appointment is effective July 1, previously spent 17 years at NBC News, serving as executive-in- charge of the NBC News Group Transformation Project. He also was senior vice president of NBC News Specials and the news division’s first vice president of digital media.

+ Heather Amster has joined The North Shore Land Alliance in Oyster Bay as director of conservation. She was most recently with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

+ Michelle Stack has joined the North Shore Land Alliance as events manager. She was formerly a creative director for Estee Lauder and Guerlain Paris.

+ Jacqueline Selva was promoted to assistant vice president for practice operations at Rockville Centre-based Catholic Health Services. Previously, Selva was the health system’s director for practice management.

+ Christine Malafi, a partner at Ronkonkoma-based Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, has been elected to the board of directors of the American Red Cross on Long Island.

+ Leslie Berkoff, a partner at Garden City-based Moritt Hock & Hamroff, has been selected by the American Arbitrators Association to serve on its National Roster of Arbitrators and Mediators in Manhattan.

+ Gregg Marano, formerly first vice president at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in West Islip, has been promoted to senior vice president.

+ Howard Rowland, president of EW Howell Construction Group in Plainview, has been appointed chairman of the Associated General Contractors of New York State.

+ The Advantage Group in Melville has promoted four executives: Colleen Cappelli rises to senior vice president and controller; Denette Pollock moves to senior vice president, sales; Greg Rohman is promoted to senior vice president, sales and marketing; and Jennifer Tomei becomes senior vice president, sales.



Charged up: With an eye on renewables, Albany is zapping the Empire State electric grid with a $15 million renovation fund.

Step on it: The Cleantech Open business accelerator, which has assisted more than 1,200 early-stage clean-technology enterprises since 2005, is accepting applications for its competitive 2018 cohort through May 1.

March of the scientific soldiers: A primer on Saturday’s March for Science in NYC.

Vegetative state: Why nobody’s in a rush to solve Missouri’s Mystery of the Highway Pickle Jar.

That’s a wrap: Have a great weekend, friends, and please remember that “free news” ain’t free – so please support the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including SUNY Old Westbury (one of only four New York colleges offering a master’s degree in forensic accounting, among other innovations).