No. 300: Anniversary edition, starring Shakespeare, Dutch Reagan and Academy Award-winner Jessica Lange (and introducing Vengo)

Rings twice: Happy birthday to Hollywood great Jessica Lange, who turns 69 today.

An imperfect 300: Welcome, friends, to your latest Innovate LI newsletter, and not just any Innovate LI newsletter, but the 300th since founder John Kominicki e-blasted the first more than three years ago.

That’s a lot of historical anecdotes, celebrity birthdays, regional shout-outs, hyperlinks, funding reports and Stuff We’re Reading. And we wanted to do something truly spectacular to recognize our tercentenary edition. So, we came up with…

Suggested serving: These foods/serving sizes all contain roughly 300 calories, according to the good folks at and other easily digested sources – one 337-gram banana, about 37 gummy bears, 309 grams of ketchup, a 12-ounce potato, roughly two slices of bacon and one 191-gram plain-egg omelet.

Actually, we’re quite proud of reaching our newsletter tricentennial (not including the Monday calendar newsletters, which aren’t numbered, don’t ask why, we don’t know, just go with it).

The unique e-briefing has taken several forms and followed various schedules, but always it has trumpeted innovation on Long Island and elsewhere, and we’re thrilled to carry on the legacy started when JLK hit “send” back in 2015.

Of course, we quite literally couldn’t do it without you, dear readers. So thank you, keep reading, and please tell your friends.

We’ll be right back: By the way, after our big 2018 Innovator of the Year Awards on Tuesday (more below), we’re putting our pen down and focusing on website maintenance and updates – so no newsletter on Wednesday. Tune in Friday, April 27, for Newsletter No. 301 (of course, your unnumbered calendar newsletter will be warming up your inbox Monday morning, on schedule).

TGIF: Welcome also to Friday, the 20th day of April and the 241st anniversary of the first New York State Constitution, adopted this date in 1777 in upstate Kingston.

In, damned spot: It was April 20, 1611, when the first-known performance of William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” graced the stage at London’s Globe Theatre.

Still mispronouncing “park,” 106 years later: It was April 20, 1912, when Boston’s Fenway Park hosted its first official game – a 7-6 Red Sox win over the Yanks in 11.

Woulda been cooler if it was the Twins: Detroit’s Old Tiger Stadium – 87-year home of MLB’s Detroit Tigers, 36-year home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, deconstructed in 2009 and somehow, improbably, still alive – opened the exact same day, as Navin Field.

We see Harrison Ford as Carter: It was April 20, 1979, when President Jimmy Carter singlehandedly fought off a giant swimming rabbit that attacked his rowboat in Plains, Ga. True story.

Speaking of pulling rabbits out of hats, today marks the 35th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s $165 billion bailout of Social Security – not Dutch’s finest moment, according to many historians.

Rings a Bell: Happy birthday George Stibitz (1904-1995), a Bell Laboratories researcher recognized as one of the fathers of the modern digital computer.

And many more former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Paul Stevens (born 1920), Swiss physicist and 1987 Nobel laureate Karl Alexander Müller (born 1927), final frontier actor and LGBT activist George “Mr. Sulu” Takei (born 1937), Yankees great Don Mattingly (born 1961, still working on the managing thing) and multitalented, in-demand superstar/character actor Andy Serkis (born 1964).

And a round of applause, please, for multiple Academy, Tony, Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award-winner Jessica Lange, who gracefully turns 69 today.

Wish them all a happy birthday, and tell us what you’d like to see in the next 300 newsletters, at


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.



Last call: Time for the long pants, people – this is seriously your last chance to get in on the 2018 Innovator of the Year Awards, coming April 24 to the Crest Hollow Country Club.

Yes, our brilliant friends at mobile production ace Quick-Cast will be livestreaming our really big show right here (we’ll run that link again with Monday’s calendar stuff), but with Master of Innovation Michael Faltischek and a who’s-who of Long Island inventors, investors, mentors, entrepreneurs and rainmakers in the house, this is A-list innovation networking at its finest.

The festivities kick off at 8 a.m. Tuesday, with the Quick-Cast coverage kicking in shortly thereafter. Awardee info and event registration are still a click away – we look forward to seeing you Tuesday (and to you seeing us)!

Listening in: Bioelectronic medicine pioneer Kevin Tracey was slated to appear at Rockefeller University’s Caspary Hall Thursday night to continue one of the oldest and most prestigious traditions in medicine and science.

Tracey, president and CEO of Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, was slated to present a Harvey Lecture, part of a series that dates back to 1905, when it was formed by the New York City-based brainy Harvey Society. Tracey’s presentation, “Eavesdropping on Conversations Between the Brain and the Immune System,” was designed to expand the medical and scientific community’s understanding of bioelectronic medicine.

“My mission to produce knowledge to cure disease dovetails with the mission of the Harvey Lecture to provide a forum to share and grow scientific knowledge,” noted Tracey, whose vagus-nerve-stimulation research has been heralded as an epic breakthrough in inflammation-focused medical science. “I am honored and humbled to join those who presented Harvey Lectures, and I hope that sharing my life’s work to the audience will get us closer to finding solutions to cure disease.”



And Vengo was its name-o: Born in Long Island City, bred in Bethpage, one-time “Shark Tank” champion Vengo Labs is placing its high-tech vending machines in health clubs across the country (and buildings across the SBU campus)

Well-read: It’s the end of an era as the Rauch Foundation issues the final Long Island Index report before handing off the region’s socioeconomic data-gathering duties to the Newsday Media Group.

Chiller theater: A new “air-cooled,” roof-mounted, high-capacity environmental-control system is projected to save Huntington Hospital hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual energy expenses.



Digital Remedy has its first COO, Innovator of the Year Patient Innovations has no time to waste and new Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory tech-transfer guru Andrew Whiteley has big shoes to fill.



Mindful gifting: Rhode Island Ivy Leaguer Brown University has received a $100 million alumnus donation to research the brain, and cure what ails it.

One for all: The Market Mogul makes the case for a centralized cryptocurrency, so we can all just use bitcoin to buy our coffee already.

Big three: From Forbes, why one of the world’s most successful CEOs sees the best of modern business at the intersection of innovation, sustainability and regulation.

Taxed if you do, taxed if you don’t: Newsday checks out the Long Island Regional Planning Council’s ideas for lowering Nassau and Suffolk county property taxes – including raising Long Island sales taxes and imposing an Internet sales tax.



+ Suffolk Federal Credit Union has announced two promotions: Megan Diehl, assistant branch manager in Medford, has been promoted to branch manager; and Debra Castro, branch manager in Riverhead, has been promoted to senior branch manager of Riverhead and Eastport.

+ LISTnet has appointed four new members to its Board of Directors: Sagi Brody, chief technology officer of Webair Internet Development in Garden City; Lara Bass, vice president of client services at EGC Group in Melville; Luann Bridges, director of IT vendor management and IS strategy at Henry Schein in Melville; and Vincent Re, founder of Tech Tiles in St. James.

+ Julia Smith has been hired as director of finance and administration at Hope For Youth Inc. in Amityville. She was formerly controller at the Long Island Association for AIDS Care Inc. in Hauppauge.

+ Judy Olshin has been named director of dentistry at the Charles Evans Center in Bethpage, which delivers health services to special-needs communities and underserved populations. Previously, the DDS was dental director of Advantage Care Health Centers in Brookville.

+ Jonathan Karmily has been hired as a criminal defense associate at Ezdrin & Woods in Syosset. He previously was a per-diem attorney working for multiple firms.



Low-down on the high-five: Everything you didn’t know about the ubiquitous hand slap we all know and love, which now features unprecedented fundraising capabilities.

Because nothing says “Mother Earth” like a new cryptocurrency: “In recognition of the 48th anniversary of Earth Day” (like, that’s literally what they said), a Grand Bahama-based tech company has released its latest digital wallet.

We’re finished, too: At least for today. We’ll see you again next week, and of course, we’ll keep up the search for “free news.” Until we find it, please continue to support the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including SUNY Old Westbury.