No. 338: Uncle Sam lives, Burt Reynolds dies, another RipTide rises and no Panther goes hungry

Favorite uncle: The cartoon you know so well was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg. But it was upstate New York's Troy Post that invented "Uncle Sam," 205 years ago today.

That wasn’t so bad: The first post-Summer 2018 workweek is nearly done, dear readers, and the year’s first almost-autumn weekend is upon us.

Here’s proof: The New York Football Giants kick off their season Sunday at 1 p.m. against Jacksonville, and the Jets open up Monday night in Detroit. Soon it will be snowing.

It’s Greek (and Roman) to us: Today is Sept. 7, and if you had Heracles – the divine hero of Greek mythology – born on this date in 1251 BC, a big pile of drachma for you.

By the way, you may know him better as “Hercules.” The name change happened when the Romans pushed the Greeks aside.

A day for all tastes: Today is also National Salami Day and National Acorn Squash Day (both real), not to mention National Beer Lovers’ Day, which in some circles just goes by “Friday.”

Cool Beans: They’ll certainly be raising a few pints tonight in Boston, which was founded on Sept. 7, 1630.

Also “born” on this date: “Uncle Sam” (the term was first used to refer to the U.S. government in 1813 by the upstate Troy Post ) and Raggedy Ann (inventor Johnny Gruelle earned a U.S. patent for the kinda creepy doll on Sept. 7, 1915).

Sports’ center: The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, a.k.a. ESPN, debuted on this date in 1979.

A great hook: A new-and-improved fish hook, featuring tubular shanks and other innovations, was patented on Sept. 7, 1915, by American inventor Stephen Bonner.

Also patented on this date, in 1999: the “quick-release football helmet chin strap,” by American inventor James Bayes.

Her royal highness: Elizabeth I (1533-1603), the “Virgin Queen” of England and Ireland and daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was born on Sept. 7.

So were American painter Anna “Grandma” Moses (1860-1961), Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard (1912-1996), radiation belt discoverer James Van Allen (1914-2006), Welsh fashion designer and businesswoman Laura Ashley (1925-1985) and American rocker Buddy Holly (1936-1959).

She still survives: And take a bow, Gloria Gaynor – the New Jersey-born disco diva turns 69 today.

Wish all the Sept. 7 babies a happy birthday at, and be sure to remember a little gift for them (we happen to know they love story leads and calendar items).


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Growth spurt: Congratulations to Farmingdale State College, which earned an impressive No. 8 ranking on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s most recent Fastest-Growing Colleges report.

The report, based on undergraduate enrollment between 2006 and 2016, showed that Farmingdale State’s enrollment grew from 6,256 in the Fall 2006 semester to more than 9,200 students in Fall 2016 – a 46.7 percent spike good for eighth-best among all U.S. public baccalaureate colleges.

Farmingdale State was the only Long Island school (and only SUNY school) to crack the list, which runs 20 deep. And its impressive growth continues: The college counts more than 10,000 registered students in the current Fall 2018 semester, ranking it second in undergraduate enrollment among all Long Island schools. “Enrollment growth is a byproduct of student success,” noted Farmingdale President John Nader.

The tide is nigh: East End entrepreneurs and innovators are invited to throw a line in the water for the second installment of RipTide: Hamptons Sink or Swim.

With a $50,000 seed fund at stake, i-hamptons – the first “community and resource guide” dedicated to East End innovators – is now accepting nominations for its 2018 “Shark Tank”-like pitch-a-thon, particularly from startups focused on health and wellness; food, drink and hospitality; media and technology; and retail or consumer products. To qualify, companies must be less than two years old and based in Suffolk County, and they must claim less than $50,000 in annual gross revenues.

After submissions are filtered down, finalists will make their case before a panel of “successful entrepreneurs, local celebrities and leading academia,” according to i-hamptons, with a live finale scheduled for Nov. 10 in Southampton. Deadline for submissions is Sept. 21; more information available here.



Handy pantry: With a unique online-ordering option, Adelphi University’s innovative Panther Pantry addresses food insecurity while protecting privacy.

An inconvenient impediment: New York Renews dishes on the need and support for climate-change countermeasures – and the one LI state senator slowing them down.

Paying it forward: Speaking of renewable energy, Albany is backing SUNY and CUNY clean-gen workforce-development programs with $15 million in fresh grants.

Wind in their sales: A new quarterly sales record, and its 16th straight quarter with overall sales gains, has Amityville’s Napco Security Technologies flying high.



New York Institute of Technology is sharing its new micro-CT tech, while Stony Brook University grad John Hennessy is sharing his good fortune.



Safety first: From MIT Technology Review, why government must tap the brakes on Internet-connected innovation – before lives are lost.

One-hundred-twenty-five-million players can’t be wrong: From Entrepreneur, business lessons you won’t learn in school – but you will by playing Fortnite.

The Kaepernick connection: From Newsday, how two Long Island kids found their way into Nike’s lightning-rod Colin Kaepernick ad campaign.



+ Jerry Siegelman, partner at Uniondale-based Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, has been elected to the board of directors of the Gold Coast Arts Center in Great Neck.

+ Adnan Sarcevic has been appointed chairman of psychiatry at Huntington Hospital. He’s currently an assistant medical school professor at Hofstra/Northwell and previously was a staff psychiatrist at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks.

+ Steven Plofker has been promoted to COO at Lindenhurst-based AARCO Environmental Services Corp.

+ Douglas Atkins, a partner in the Tax Certiorari practice group at Uniondale-based Forchelli Deegan Terrana, was appointed to the executive board of the South Huntington Sports Club.

+ Rebecca Kennedy Lakhani has been named executive director of Freeport-based The Book Fairies. She previously held development positions with The Carter Burden Center for the Aging and Greenwich House, both in Manhattan.

+ First National Bank of Long Island has announced two new hires: Oscar Gonzalez has been hired as vice president and relationship manager for Suffolk; he was previously vice president of business banking at Melville-based Capital One. Joseph Imbro has been hired as vice president of municipal banking for Suffolk; he previously held the same position at Citibank in Uniondale.

+ Robert Hohmann has been hired as vice president, interiors division, at Plainview- based E.W. Howell Construction Group. He was a principal at Manhattan-based AJS Construction and Project Management.

+ Abraham Jeger has been hired as COO and associate dean for student affairs at Touro College of Pharmacy in Manhattan. Previously, he was assistant dean for academic outreach/site development at NYIT’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.



‘Cop and a Half’ was 79th: In honor of his passing on Thursday, we present’s list of the best-to-worst Burt Reynolds movies.

The can-can: We’ve all enjoyed a cardboard box of wine (it’s ok, you can admit it), but now there’s an easier way to tote your vino – the six-pack.

How much is that doggie in the window? A small fortune, if you’re talking about Sony’s born-again robotic dogs.

The search continues: Still no sign of this “free news” we’ve heard about. We’ll keep looking – you keep supporting the amazing firms that support Innovate LI, including Nixon Peabody, where the Food, Beverage and Agribusiness practice group is just one of several topflight teams.