No. 377: Loosing fateful lightning, reshaping SBU’s innovation ecosystem and (sadly) remembering the Islanders fisherman

All wet: No, Islander fans said. Just no.


That happened fast: Welcome to Friday, dear reader, and welcome to February – one month down already!

It’s Feb. 1 out there, which means a) Tom Brady is gearing up somewhere for another ill-gained Super Bowl, and b) It’s National Freedom Day in the United States, honoring Abraham Lincoln’s signing of a resolution that later became the slavery-busting 13th Amendment.

Not coincidentally: It’s also the start of U.S. Black History Month, so designated by every U.S. president since 1976.

Huddle up: Sick of the annual Brady Bowl? Check out a more innovative contest the day before Super Bowl LIII, when Arrow Electronics and the Georgia Institute of Technology present the fourth-annual NFL 1st and Future competition, designed to advance both player safety and performance.

All rise: With Chief Justice John Jay swinging the gavel, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time on Feb. 1, 1790, in New York City.

Smooth operator: A patent for silk manufacturing was granted on this date in 1793 to New York inventor Ralph Hodgson.

Other inventions patented on Feb. 1 include a screw propeller (in 1838, by inventor John Ericsson) and an underwater-hardening cement (in 1820, by inventor and Eerie Canal engineer Canvass White).

Marching on: Not specifically meant to praise God or Christianity, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” – a poem by Julia Ward Howe – was published on Feb. 1, 1862, in the Atlantic Monthly.

Howe, who thought up the enduring lyric while touring Union Army camps along the Potomac River, was paid $5 for what has become one of history’s most-quoted spiritual anthems.

From the home office: One-hundred-twenty years later, on this date in 1982, “Late Night With David Letterman” premiered on the NBC Network with Bill Murray as Dave’s first guest.

Get the picture: Posthumously famous American street photographer Vivian Meier (1926-2009) – a career nanny whose 150,000-plus lifetime photographs went undiscovered until after her death – was born on Feb. 1.

So were legendary film director John Ford (1895-1973), legendary film star Clark Gable (1901-1960) and legendary playwright Langston Hughes (1902-1967).

Danger! And take a bow, Billy Mumy – little Will Robinson from the original “Lost in Space” turns 65 today.

Wish them all well at, and drop off a story tip or calendar suggestion when you do, please and thank you.


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.



Logo-a-go-go: It’s not the half-baked logic of removing the word “Donuts” from your international donut franchise or the global disgrace of New Coke, but in the mid-1990s, the New York Islanders undertook a misguided rebranding effort that, in these parts, still elicits snarky references to the Gorton’s fisherman.

Heading into the 1995-96 season, the team replaced its classic logo (the letters “NY” and a Long Island map) with a grizzled cartoon fisherman sporting a hockey stick and an oddly familiar rain slicker. It wasn’t long until opposing fans – and soon, disgruntled denizens of the Nassau Coliseum – were chanting “we want fish sticks!”

Hence the title of the third book by Nick Hirshon, former New York Daily News reporter and author of “We Want Fish Sticks: The Bizarre and Infamous Rebranding of the New York Islanders.” Hirshon is slated to visit Farmingdale State College Feb. 12 for a free public lecture about the fishy marketing scheme, including an on-stage interview with FSC Vice President Patrick Calabria, who heads Farmingdale State’s institutional advancement and enrollment programs – and was the Islanders VP of communications when the fisherman logo surfaced.

Clean slate: A successful public-forum series focused on Long Island’s racial divide has sparked a series of progressive follow-ups.

The Syosset-based grassroots group ERASE Racism formed in 2001 to lead public-policy advocacy and related initiatives promoting racial equity in housing, education and other critical areas. Over the last month of 2018, the organization hosted public forums in Hempstead, Melville, Hauppauge, Stony Brook and Riverhead intended to spotlight Long Island’s fairly blatant demographic segregation and encourage a more inclusive and economically competitive 21st century regional community.

The response “was far greater than anticipated,” according to ERASE Racism, and “the public discussion is ongoing and evolving” – including a full slate of future volunteer activities, such as advocacy for new civil-rights legislation, books discussions, parent groups and more. Registration for a host of community-strengthening activities right here.



New developments: Scientific-research and economic-development forces are uniting at Stony Brook University – and an old friend is bidding farewell (kinda).

The art of gifting: Partners at a top Long Island law firm continue to support their favorite alma mater, including a hefty new donation for SBU’s Staller Center for the Arts.

Looking up: New York Community Bank and Voxx International both accentuated the positives in their latest quarterly earnings reports.



Master of Innovation Mitch Maiman looks back, Northwell Health’s hospital-admissions experts look to the future and the Brookhaven IDA likes the looks of The Engel Burman Group, once again.



Innovate LI’s inbox overrunneth with inspirational ideas from all North American corners. This week’s brightest out-of-town innovations:

From Missouri: The University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine pursues a bone-cancer treatment for dogs with promising human potential.

From California: San Diego-based Companion Medical updates its InPen App, bringing a smart insulin pen and “integrated diabetes management” to Android users.

From Arizona: Scottsdale-based genomic-testing ace Advanced Genomic Solutions launches its AGS SkinHealth Genetic Test, promising anti-aging benefits.



+ Business-networking organization Advancement for Commerce, Industry & Technology has announced its slate of 2019-2020 officers. Serving two-year terms are ACIT President Michael Kinane, vice president for communications for SUNY Old Westbury; President-Elect Philip Panarelli, senior vice president of HSBC Bank in Melville; First Vice President Keith Brown, partner at Brown & Altman LLP in Melville; Treasurer Robert Posner, CPA, partner at Albrecht, Viggiano, Zureck & Co. in Hauppauge; and Corporate Secretary Allen Brewer, executive vice president and chief information officer at Flushing Bank.

+ Herman Katz Cangemi & Clyne Partner Kevin Clyne will serve as chairman of the board of business-networking organization Advancement for Commerce, Industry & Technology. He recently completed a two-year term as ACIT president.

+ South Nassau Communities Hospital has named Stacey Conklin chief nursing officer and senior vice president of patient-care services. She served previously as vice president of patient-care services and CNO at the Mount Sinai Health System’s New York Eye & Ear Infirmary.

+ Orlin & Cohen Orthopedic Group has announced the appointment of Raymond Nelson as director of sports medicine development. He previously served as the sports medicine development coordinator for St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson.

+ Casey Cassidy has joined the Orlin & Cohen Orthopedic Group as director of durable medical equipment. She previously served as the DME coordinator for St. Charles Orthopedics/Orthopedic Associates of Long Island.

+ United Way of Long Island has announced the election of new board directors Gregory Clark, vice president and corporate controller at MSC Industrial Supply Co.; Douglas McCrosson, president and CEO at CPI Aerostructures; Matthew Aracich, president of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties; Alexander Bateman, partner at Ruskin Moscou Faltischek; Henry Hong, regional vice president at Enterprise Holdings; Steven Santino, senior vice president/growth manager at People’s United Bank; and Deirdre O’Connell, CEO of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty.



Chilling: As the latest polar vortex winds down, our friends at AccuWeather forecast a $5 billion dent in the U.S. economy.

Warmer: brews up winter’s nine best heated drinks.

Hot tip: A new survey from creative-boutique aggregator Visual Object tracks social media’s differing generational influences – marketing gold for online advertisers.

Just right: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including SUNY Old Westbury – one of only four New York colleges offering a master’s degree in forensic accounting, among other toasty innovations.