No. 342: Bill Murray ages, IDAs erupt, China conquers the world and cider rules (and cider donuts, mmmm…)

The Murricane: Dedicated sports fan, award-winning actor and never one to get lost in translation, American treasure Bill Murray turns 68 today.

The end is nigh: And so’s the beginning, as another workweek sets and a well-earned weekend dawns. Congratulations, friends, you made it.

It’s Friday, Sept. 21, and a busy one at that – the International Day of Peace (established in 1981 by a unanimous U.N. resolution), Independence Day in Armenia, Belize and Malta and the last full day of Summer 2018, with the sun crossing the Earth’s equator into the Southern Hemisphere at 9:54 p.m. EDT Saturday, marking the autumnal equinox.

Speaking of September, and Earth: Earth, Wind & Fire, that is, which mentions “the 21st night of September” in their funk-a-riffic 1978 hit “September.” Do you remember?

Holy typographical errors! Before we wrap up the week in socioeconomic innovation, our sincerest apologies to the late, great Adam West, who was gypped of 20 years when we wished him a happy birthday in Wednesday’s newsletter (the beloved actor passed on to the great Batcave in the Sky in 2017).

And props to extra-special guest writer Kathryn Giaimo, the corporate relations manager at Kingsborough Community College, for being the first reader to point out the mistake (and, in fine International Talk Like a Pirate Day form, dubbing us “ye scurvy dogs” for flubbing the Bat-date. Well played, old chum).

Flame out: The fire extinguisher has many origin stories, but the earliest on record says Dutch brothers John and Nicolaas van der Heyden patented the first anti-fire device on Sept. 21, 1677.

Real news: America’s first daily newspaper, the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, was first published on this date in 1784.

In other historical newspaper news, the New York Sun published its famous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” editorial on Sept. 21, 1897, and The New York Times debuted its lightning-rod op-ed page on Sept. 21, 1970.

Start your engines: American inventor Frank Duryea road-tested the first American-made gasoline-propelled vehicle in Massachusetts on this date in 1893.

A Hobbit’s holiday: London publishing house George Allen and Unwin released J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” on Sept. 21, 1937.

The wettest we’ve ever seen, from the standpoint of water: President Trump’s spot-on assessment of Hurricane Florence might also have applied 80 years ago today, when the Great Hurricane of 1938 made landfall on Long Island.

What’s up, doc? Charles “Chuck” Jones (1912-2002) – the master animator behind Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Marvin the Martian and other classic Warner Bros. characters – was born on Sept. 21.

It’s also a big birthdate for writers: H.G. Wells (1866-1946), Penguin Books founder Allen Lane (1902-1970), Stephen King (born 1947) and 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner Samantha Power (also a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations) all share the date.

An incredible Cinderella story: And take a bow, Billy Murray – the treasured actor and comedian turns 68 today.

So, “Caddyshack” or “Groundhog Day”? Nick the Lounge Singer or Dr. Venkman? Share your favorite Murray memory at – and add a story tip or calendar item, why don’tcha. Thanks.


A few words from our sponsor: EisnerAmper is a leading international accounting, tax and advisory firm serving more than 500 technology and life-science clients. Our dedicated team of more than 125 professionals supports startup companies, emerging growth, IPO-track and publicly traded clients.



Pharma hand: The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency has issued preliminary approval of a tax-abatement package that will help Contract Pharmacal Corp. complete what the IDA termed a “significant facility acquisition and expansion project.”

Contract Pharmacal – a pharmaceuticals manufacturer that operates multiple facilities in Hauppauge, including several acquired or renovated with IDA assistance – is planning a $40 million project that includes the acquisition of a 17,500-square-foot manufacturing building and the construction of a 140,000-square-foot extension connecting the new digs to an existing company plant. The project would ultimately create about 130 new jobs, the IDA noted.

That sounds about right to Executive Director Tony Catapano, who said his agency is happy to help “add a significant number of jobs to the local economy” with the undisclosed economic-incentives package. “The IDA is pleased to once again partner with a company that is a staple in Long Island’s growing pharmaceutical industry,” the exec said Thursday.

HEED these words: Two Long Island universities have earned a coveted diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, higher education’s oldest and largest inclusion-focused publication.

Stony Brook University and SUNY Old Westbury both earned 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Awards. Open to all colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, the HEED awards are the only North American honor recognizing colleges and universities for demonstrating a commitment to diversity via recruitment, student initiatives and hiring practices. Lenore Pearlstein, co-publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity, noted “a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees,” among other critical metrics.

Since its founding, SUNY Old Westbury has “[sought] to serve a diverse and dynamic student body that reflects the world we live in,” noted College President Calvin Butts III, while SBU President Samuel Stanley Jr. said his university has been “working diligently to improve the diversity of the Stony Brook community through enhanced recruitment and retention, new grants, expanding educational research, healthcare and other strategic initiatives.”



Progress times three: The Town of Hempstead’s economic-development experts weren’t screwing around this week.

Win some, lose some: Sales rose nicely for both, but Ronkonkoma’s Lakeland Industries and Farmingdale’s Misonix revealed mixed bottom lines in their latest quarterly reports.

Help us help you: If you enjoy reading this newsletter as much as we enjoy writing it, help us keep the good times going by encouraging your fellow innovators to subscribe for free, so you can stop pestering them about it already.



Applied DNA spins, Super Lawyers soar and Janam Technologies takes its best shot.



Straight from the top: From StartupNation, the four biggest challenges faced by top CEOs – and how early-stage entrepreneurs can overcome them.

Top-shelf “middle kingdom”: From Forbes, watch out, world – China is building the world’s largest innovation economy.

On the up and up: From Newsday, Long Island employment is steadily rising, with construction leading the way.



+ Two senior attorneys of the State Court of Appeals in Albany have joined Uniondale-based Rivkin Radler: J’Naia Boyd was hired as an associate in the firm’s Appeals and Commercial Litigation practice groups and Gregory Klubok was hired as an associate in the firm’s Insurance practice group.

+ Jeff Schwartzberg has been elected chairman of the board of Westbury-based Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. He is a principal at Plainview-based Premier Commercial Real Estate.

+ Derek Peterson has been named to the board of the Plainview-based Long Island Software and Technology Network. He is the CEO of Hauppauge-based Soter Technologies.

+ Port Washington-based Sandata Technologies has announced four new hires: Michael Alcide has been hired as a security director; he was formerly a senior associate in business risk services at Grant Thornton in Manhattan. Gerard Goutevenier has been hired as a senior data engineer; he was formerly a senior database architect at Ronkonkoma-based Aperio CI. Robert Schipf has been hired as director of technical project management; he was formerly a director/principal product owner at CA Technologies in Islandia. Fai Sung has been hired as a senior data engineer; she was formerly a senior data warehouse engineer at Ronkonkoma-based Aperio CI.



Pot roast: South Nassau Communities Hospital’s latest Truth in Medicine Poll shows widespread public support for legalized marijuana – though safety is a concern.

A bushel and a peck: News 12 shares the best places for apple picking on Long Island.

So, what do I do with all these apples? Food & Wine has 35 sweet and savory suggestions.

Apple of our eye: Please remember to support the great firms that support Innovate LI, including EisnerAmper (why, yes … that is Steve Kreit’s firm!). And have a great weekend, people.