No. 330: Fine wines, twice the coding, a $10M score for Central Islip and littering on Venus

Good as gold: A Double Gold, in fact, a distinct honor for Paumanok Vineyard's 2013 Blanc de Blancs and one of 125 total awards earned by Long Island wineries in the 2018 New York Wine Classic.

Spend your bread, lose your head: You’ve done the five-day drag once more, dear readers, and if you’ve had Friday on your mind, congratulations – you’ve made it.

It’s Aug. 10 out there, also known as International Biodiesel Day, marking the date in 1893 when German mechanical engineer Rudolph Diesel used nothing but peanut oil to power a simple engine.

Mean time: Construction began on Aug. 10, 1675, on the Royal Observatory in Greenwich – a major player in the history of astronomy and navigation and the home base of Greenwich Mean Time.

This was before texting: Word of the United States Declaration of Independence reached London on this date in 1776. In your face, George III.

Show-offs: Happy anniversary, Missouri – the “Show Me State” was admitted as the 24th U.S. state on Aug. 10, 1821.

The gift that keeps on giving: It was Aug. 10, 1846, when the U.S. Congress – leveraging a $500,000 donation from British scientist James Smithson – chartered the Smithsonian Institution.

Now featuring 19 total museums (ranging from the National Postal Museum to the National Air and Space Museum), “the nation’s attic” ranks as the largest museum complex in the world, attracting more than 30 million visitors annually.

Hot stuff: And it was Aug. 10, 1990, when NASA’s Magellan spacecraft – named for terrestrial explorer Ferdinand Magellan – entered orbit of Venus.

Over the next four-plus years (and more than 1,800 orbits), the first probe launched from a space shuttle would map more than 83 percent of Venus’ surface, among other successful experiments. And while it mostly vaporized during a “controlled termination” in October 1994, scientists believe a few sturdy chunks likely made it to the planet’s surface.

That was Quik: Henri Nestlé (1814-1890), the German-Swiss industrialist who founded Nestlé (now the world’s biggest food company), was born on Aug. 10.

So were 31st U.S. President Herbert Hoover (1874-1964), Monopoly “inventor” Charles Darrow (1889-1967, though he pilfered the idea from The Landlord’s Game inventor Elizabeth Magie) and Jimmy Dean (1928-2010), the American actor, country singer and businessman best known for creating his namesake sausage brand.

Desperately seeking Rosanna: And take a bow, Rosanna Arquette – the American actress, producer and director turns 59 today.

Wish the most famous of the Arquettes a happy birthday at Go ahead and make a case for Patricia, if you want – just make sure you drop off a story tip, too.


A few words from our sponsor: Carter DeLuca Farrell & Schmidt is Long Island’s premier patent and IP law firm, with rich experience in biotechnology, chemistry, electrical, computer software, mechanical, optical, physics and more.



Spreading its solar wings: Noting “about 15 percent” of its customers are in New York City, Island Park-based solar installer EmPower Solar has opened its first satellite office in Queens.

The circa-2003 installer, which recently completed its 2,000th project, specializes in “community solar installations” (think apartment buildings) and subscriber-management services, allowing building owners to receive payments for hosting power systems and renters to access the benefits of solar energy. It also services commercial customers, as it did when it installed a 51-kilowatt solar array at Aquebogue’s Paumanok Vineyards in 2017.

With state incentives juicing up the solar industry, the new Queens office was opened in direct response to “increased demand for solar in New York City” and will add as many as 20 new employees over the next year, according to a company statement.

Vintage performances: Speaking of Paumanok Vineyards, the 127-acre Aquebogue estate was one of several Long Island vineyards praised by judges in the 2018 New York Wine Classic, the 33rd annual competition raising a glass to the Empire State’s world-class selection of wines and hard ciders.

Paumanok Vineyards, which recently completed its acquisition of neighboring Palmer Vineyards, earned a total of seven awards in the annual sip-off, including a Double Gold for its 2013 Blanc de Blancs. The coveted Governor’s Cup, the most prestigious honor bestowed in the New York Wine Classic, went to Keuka Spring Vineyards in Yates County’s Village of Penn Yan.

Long Island’s biggest winner was Mattituck’s Harbes Vineyard, which captured 18 individual awards, second only to the Silver Springs Winery (22 awards) in upstate Burdett. Other Island-based wineries earning the judges’ attention:

  • Southold’s One Woman Wines & Vineyard (10 awards)
  • Jamesport’s Jamesport Vineyards (nine)
  • Peconic’s Lenz Winery (nine)
  • Cutchogue’s Lieb Cellars Winery (nine)
  • Mattituck’s Macari Vineyards (nine)
  • Cutchogue’s McCall Wines (nine)
  • Southold’s Osprey’s Dominion Winery (nine)
  • Sagaponack’s Wölffer Estate Vineyard (nine)
  • Jamesport’s Clovis Point Vineyard and Winery (seven)
  • Greenport’s Kontokosta Winery (seven)
  • Cutchogue’s Pellegrini Vineyards (seven)
  • Peconic’s Raphael Winery (seven)
  • Southold’s Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery (seven)
  • Peconic’s Pindar Vineyards (five)
  • Peconic’s Sannino Vineyard (five)
  • Mattituck’s Suhru Wines (three)
  • Cutchogue’s Castelli di Borghese Vineyard and Winery (two)
  • Cutchogue’s Coffee Pot Cellars (two)

A total of 40 Double Gold, 49 Gold, 324 Silver and 334 Bronze medals were awarded in the competition, dubbed “the Oscars of New York wine competitions.” The total list of 2018 winners is available here.



Cracking open the code: Less than a year after opening a Syosset facility, ambitious TheCoderSchool franchisee Noreen Kazi is opening a second programming school in Roslyn.

Grand Central: Planners from the Hamlet of Central Islip were rewarded for their forward thinking this week, earning $10 million in the third round of Albany’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

First things first: Still awaiting official approval of their long-awaited professional affiliation, South Nassau Communities Hospital and the Mount Sinai Health System have teamed up on a new Internal Medicine Residency Program.

Tops of the second: Long Island stalwarts Henry Schein and CPI Aerostructures both posted stellar second-quarter performances, according to their latest earnings reports.



Adding something to additive manufacturing, building something at MTRC Robotics Camp and learning something from Farmingdale State’s new engineering-tech dean.



Ripe for change: From the Forbes Technology Council, nine current technologies that are absolutely begging for innovative disruptions.

Weather, or not: Updating its earlier warnings, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has downgraded its predictions for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Meals on wheels: Newsday scopes out a dozen of Long Island’s best food trucks.



+ Bohemia-based P.W. Grosser Consulting has announced several new hires:

  • Daniel Haug has been hired as a senior hydrogeologist. He was formerly a project manager at Bohemia-based Apex Companies.
  • Peter Hayes has been hired as a geographic information systems analyst. He was formerly a business-development analyst at Ecogy Energy in Manhattan.
  • Chandler Precht has been hired as a field hydrogeologist. He was formerly a teaching assistant at Columbia University.
  • Nicholas Iannucci and Sarah Rudnick have been hired as field hydrogeologists. Both were formerly interns at P.W. Grosser Consulting.
  • Elyssa Usefof has been hired as an office assistant. She was formerly office supervisor/medical administrative assistant at Endocrine Associates of Long Island.

+ Farmingdale-based elite | studio e has announced several new hires:

  • Zach Einhorn has been hired as a project manager.
  • Katrina Creeron has been hired as an interior designer. She was formerly an architectural designer for Port Washington-based Baltimore Design Group.
  • Christen Paglino has been hired as a project administrator. She was formerly an account representative for Port Washington-based St. Francis Hospital.
  • Michelle Gargano has been hired as a project estimator.

+ Marion Weiler has been named senior vice president of marketing and business development at Cold Spring Harbor-based Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. She most recently served on the faculty of the School of Business of Hochschule Mainz-University of Applied Sciences in Germany.



High-low, silver! Everything you need to know about paying off that college tuition, courtesy of U.S. News & World Report’s The Loan Ranger blog.

Also: Paying for college textbooks? There’s an app for that.

And: Mental Floss reviews 25 back-to-school products earning good grades.

Gentle reminder: There’s still no sign of “free news,” so please continue to support the amazing firms that support Innovate Long Island – like Carter DeLuca Farrell & Schmidt. (George Likourezos is someone you probably want to know.)