No. 328: They’re feeling a little high at SmartCoparent and Luminati … and that’s before Albany legalizes pot

When I paint my masterpiece: His painting skills are not quite as well-known as his golden voice, but Anthony "Tony Bennett" Benedetto -- who turns 92 today -- is also a renowned artist.

End run: The finish line is in sight, dear readers – the conclusion of another busy workweek and the beginning of another well-earned weekend.

Enjoy the ride: Before we wrap up this sultry week in socioeconomic innovation, a warm welcome to new newsletter subscribers Disha, Murat, Isaac, Carolina, Joel, Chad, Brendan, Scottie J, Steve, David, Chris and Jon. Please keep your hands inside the car at all times.

And a special hello this Aug. 3 to our readers in Venezuela, where two national holidays are setting a festive tone: The República Bolivariana de Venezuela celebrates both its National Guard Day and its Flag Day today. ¡Que te diviertas!

The rest is history: Three ships under the command of explorer Christopher Columbus – the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa María – set sail on Aug. 3, 1492, from Palos de la Frontera, Spain, bound for the “Indies.”

And speaking of historical boat-related things, the American Canoe Association – the nation’s oldest and largest paddle-sports organization – was founded on this date in 1880.

Light speed: Thomas Edison famously patented the principles of his incandescent lamp in 1880, paving the way for the electric light. But six years earlier, on Aug. 3, 1874, a Canadian patent for the lumière électrique was issued to Ontario inventors Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans, who placed carbons in lamps filled with rarified gas to create a state of incandescence.

The rubber hits the road: Big-time industrialist Harvey Firestone founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. on Aug. 3, 1900.

The Tandy Dandy: The TRS-80 Micro Computer System, one of the earliest mass-produced and mass-marketed personal computers, was released by the Tandy Corp. on this date in 1977.

Strike down: And it was Aug. 3, 1981, when nearly 13,000 U.S. air traffic controllers walked off the job, citing difficult working conditions.

President Ronald Reagan was not amused. Dutch gave the striking controllers two days to get back to work or be fired – and on Aug. 5, the president made good on his threat, canning more than 11,300 controllers who didn’t heed his warning.

Mind over matter: Neal Elgar Miller (1909-2002), an American neuroscientist and “biofeedback” pioneer (the science of controlling biological functions, like heartrate and digestion, with the mind) marks a birthday today.

So do inventor Elisha Otis (1811-1861), inventor of the automatic safety brake for elevators; fashion designer Anne Klein (born Hannah Golofsky, 1923-1974); TV personality, business magnate and convicted felon Martha Stewart (born 1941); and Gisele Bündchen’s husband, Tom Brady (born 1977).

American classic: And take a bow, Tony Bennett – the legendary crooner, noted painter (under his birthname, Anthony Benedetto) and founder of Astoria’s Frank Sinatra School of the Arts turns 92 today.

Bennett might have left his heart in San Francisco, but he opened his performing-arts high school in his hometown of Queens – exactly the kind of New York-flavored innovation we love to hear about at


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Joint commission: Four years after New York State legalized the distribution and use of “medical marijuana,” Albany will now consider decriminalizing recreational marijuana across the Empire State.

Referencing the findings of a state Department of Health workgroup that began exploring the legalized-pot issue in January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday directed state officials to draft legislation that would allow recreational marijuana use in New York. More specifically, the potential new law would allow the open sale of marijuana to adult customers – and could go into effect as soon as January.

Cheech and Chong fans shouldn’t light up just yet: Cuomo noted a host of possible side effects, including deleterious effects on public health. But chunky new state revenues, relief for New York’s overburdened criminal justice system and other potential benefits of state-regulated marijuana sales can’t be ignored, according to the governor. “The next steps must be taken thoughtfully and deliberately,” Cuomo added.

Opioid opinions: Opioids, meanwhile, remain firmly on Albany’s no-fly list, and are still a particular scourge on Long Island – one of several topics on the agenda today, when representatives of the Island’s vast healthcare community come together for “Changing Perceptions About Pain Management and Opioid Use Across the Continuum of Care.”

Billed as an “ethical decision-making” symposium, the all-day event at Stony Brook University Hospital will gather regional medical professionals for a long, hard look at opioid addiction, the over-prescribing of medications and other topics related to opioid abuse, including the responsibilities prescribers share in the evolving crisis.

The symposium is particularly relevant on Long Island, where an estimated 600 opioid-related deaths occurred in 2017 alone, according to SBUH. More details on today’s event available here.



Legal eagle: SmartCoparent, the flagship app for separated parents by Hauppauge-based Aeonic Ventures, has opened a portal to an unparalleled selection of lawyers and legal services.

High hopes: Years of political battles with Riverhead Town Hall haven’t dampened the enthusiasm at Calverton’s Luminati Aerospace, where solar-powered “perpetual flight” may change everything.

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Northwell Health is mailing it in on employee prescriptions, an SBU scientists is drawing up plans for houses on Mars and the Town of Hempstead IDA is circling back around on some promising tax-incentives packages.



Values added: From Fortune, a CEO workshop examines corporate America’s efforts to attract talent by innovating how culture is expressed in the workplace.

Teeing up: From Newsday, why new-home construction might be the key to saving Long Island’s dwindling golf courses.

Good sports: From Forbes, five ways to promote innovation using lessons taught by major-league athletics.



+ Lee Peretz has joined Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz as business development manager. Peretz formerly worked at Manhattan-based Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP.

+ The Child Care Council of Suffolk has welcomed two new executives to its board of directors: Lorraine Frangas, an account manager for Hauppauge-based Ivionics, and Keith Lawlor, a senior vice president and regional vice president for TD Bank.

+ Douglas Atkins, a partner at Uniondale-based Forchelli Deegan Terrana, has been appointed chairman of the Nassau County Bar Association’s Tax Certiorari Committee.

+ Solo New York, a designer of backpacks, totes and other accessories and a division of Hauppauge-based U.S. Luggage, has announced two promotions: Hayley Lawson has been promoted to director of product design and Adam Courter has been bumped up to design project manager.

+ Debra Thompson, executive vice president and general counsel at Melville-based Advantage Title, has been elected president of the Women Economic Developers of Long Island.



The play’s the thing: A Wildwood State Park playground is part of the $2.5 million in new statewide child-friendly play facilities Albany announced Thursday.

Affordable genius: Random (and clever) tech toys you didn’t know you needed, all for under $25.

Listen up: Speaking of next-level gizmos, why that voice in your head may be the biggest technological breakthrough of the 21st century.

The search continues: But “free news” continues to elude us. Until we find it, please continue to support the amazing firms that support Innovate LI – including Nixon Peabody, where innovations like the quarterly Crystal Ball Newsletter provide deep insights into the trends directly affecting your business.