No. 463: A family-friendly finale for 2019, featuring George Bailey, sangria and the sole ‘Survivor’

Let there be lights: The eight-day, eight-night Festival of Lights kicks off Sunday evening. Hanukkah Sameach!


Tied with a bow: Welcome to Friday, dear readers, as we wrap up the last full workweek of the decade and unwrap a full slate of holiday celebrations.

(With that, a gentle reminder: Watch for your regular calendar newsletter on Monday, Dec. 23, then keep an eye on the homepage for updates through New Year’s Day. Thrice-weekly newsletters return Jan. 6!)

Macau: Kapow!

Holiday China: It’s Dec. 20 out there, and to our many readers in Macau, a pleasurable Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day.

Light it up: To family and friends in Macau and everywhere else, a most blessed Hanukkah – the Festival of Lights begins at sundown Sunday (25 Kislev, for those keeping it real).

Meanwhile, raise a glass to National Sangria Day, a bubbly salute to the fruity favorite celebrated this and every Dec. 20.

Give it a spin: America’s first cotton mill – based on designs by British inventor Sir Richard Arkwright, an Industrial Revolution mainstay – began operation in Rhode Island on Dec. 20, 1790.

Grimm reaper: Kinder- und Hausmärchen (“Children’s and Household Tales”), the first volume of what history would record as “Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” was published on this date in 1818.

They say the neon lights are bright: New York City’s most famous thoroughfare was first lit by electric lights on Dec. 20, 1880, giving Broadway its famous “Great White Way” moniker.

The shining moment, brightened not by neon but by inventor Charles Brush’s arc lamps, took place a year to the day after Thomas Edison first demonstrated his incandescent lightbulb.

The richest man in town: Still wonderful.

Zuzu’s petals! Frank Capra’s holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” premiered in a private charity showing at NYC’s Globe Theater on Dec. 20, 1946, one day before its official release.

Nuke ’em: And it was this date in 1951 when the first electricity generated by atomic power began flowing from the Experimental Breeder Reactor-1 turbine generator at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

Scientists brought the EBR-1 to “criticality” (a controlled, self-sustaining nuclear reaction) with a core about the size of a football.

The rubber meets the road: Industrialist Harvey Firestone (1868-1938) – a one-time buggy salesman who invented pneumatic tires, then teamed with Henry Ford (and the Model T) to make history – would be 151 years old today.

Also born on Dec. 20 were American sports executive Branch Rickey (1881-1965), who helped break Major League Baseball’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers; American physicist Robert Van de Graaff (1901-1967), inventor of the Van de Graaff high-voltage electrostatic generator, key to atomic research; American sociologist William Julius Wilson (born 1935), a leading scholar of urban poverty; and retired New York Mets captain David Wright (born 1982).

Silverware beware: Geller, up to his old tricks.

On a bender: And take a bow, Uri Geller – the mind-blowing, spoon-bending Israeli psychic and illusionist turns 73 today.

Wish the magician, Mr. Met and all the other Dec. 20 innovators well at – spoon-fed story tips and calendar items always appreciated.


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Liver longer: Carlos Rosales (center) is Long Island’s first-ever liver transplant recipient, to the delight of his family and Lewis Teperman, Northwell Health’s director of organ transplants.

They re-liver: Long Island’s first-ever liver transplant is in the books, with a 42-year-old Brentwood man – given just days to live – receiving a new lease on life.

After three months on a waiting list, married father of two Carlos Rosales was “in desperate need of a liver,” according to Lewis Teperman, Northwell Health’s director of organ transplantation. Just in time, a match was found in a deceased 19-year-old donor, allowing a surgical team at the Sandra Atlas Bass Center for Liver Diseases, part of Manhasset’s North Shore University Hospital, to perform the complex, 11-hour surgery on Dec. 4.

That marked the first liver-transplant operation at NSUH since June, when Northwell Health earned NYS Department of Health approvals to perform such procedures at the Manhasset hospital. Receiving a donated organ is always somber, Teperman noted, but this one arrived not a moment too soon: “I honestly believe Mr. Rosales would not have survived the week without this incredible gift. [Now], I fully expect 15-year-old Jalynn and 11-year-old Brandon to have their father around for many years to come.”

Higher faculties: The big brains at Stony Brook University are closing out 2019 in style, with seven faculty members named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and two others earning spots in the National Academy of Inventors.

The AAAS honorees – Professors Richard Gerrig, Erich Mackow, David Thanassi and Stella Tsirka, and Distinguished Professors Don Ihde, Peter Tonge and Minghua Zhang – will be among 443 freshly minted fellows welcomed into the AAAS ranks during the organization’s annual meeting, slated for February in Seattle. More on the SBU seven’s individual achievements in psychology, microbiology, marine sciences and other frontline disciplines right here.

Meanwhile, Israel Kleinberg, a distinguished professor emeritus in SBU’s School of Dental Medicine, and Stanislaus Wong, a distinguished professor of chemistry in Stony Brook’s School of Arts and Sciences, will officially become NAI fellows – honoring academic innovators who create impactful inventions – during an April 2020 induction ceremony. Details on Kleinberg, a dental school pioneer, and Wong, a nanotech genius, await here.



All in the family: Major pharmaceutical advances and big-tech breakthroughs are great, but sometimes, healthcare innovation requires a personal touch.

Developing story: With two preliminary incentives packages, the Nassau County IDA is hoping to bring a new hotel to Jericho Plaza (and possibly paint it).

Season’s greetings: Spread some Christmas cheer by sharing this fun and informative newsletter with your fellow innovators – and sign them up for free, a sort of gift card loaded with socioeconomic knowledge.



An Olympic silver medalist for SBU; red flags for the Green Light Law.



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

From California: San Mateo-based software sculptor MasterpieceVR releases virtual-reality “creation suite” to help novices craft first-class 3D assets.

From Massachusetts: The Boston-based International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association warms up away-from-home workouts with a partner-gym passport program.

From Canada, eh: Ontario-based biz-software producer LMN Inc. sprouts a VIP development program that turns great landscapers into great businesspeople.



Craig Gibson

+ Craig Gibson, former principal at Birtwhistle & Gibson, will be of counsel at Twomey Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo, following the acquisition of the firm.

+ Farrell Fritz has announced four promotions: Robert Harper, formerly counsel in Estate Litigation, will be a partner; Frank McRoberts, formerly counsel in Commercial Litigation, will be a partner; and Jennifer Gebbie and Jacklyn Zitelli, formerly associates in the Real Estate Department, will serve as counsel.

+ Steven Castleton has been hired as civilian aide to U.S. Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy. Castleton is the semi-retired president and CEO of West Islip-based Dionysus Consulting.

+ Kathleen Gill has been appointed director of assessment at Touro Law Center in Central Islip. She previously served as director of planning and assessment at Old Westbury-based New York Institute of Technology.

+ Joe Jankowski has been promoted to assistant vice president of government and public affairs for Old Bethpage-based Family Residences and Essential Enterprises. He previously served as senior director of government and public relations.


Survival of the fittest: Tommy Sheehan, in reality.


First things first: Eleven important questions to answer before the 2020s begin.

Middle management: Don’t get stuck halfway through the innovation process.

Last man standing: A fourth-grade teacher from Long Beach is the latest “Survivor.”

But not least: Happy holidays to you, dear readers, and to all the great firms that support Innovate LI, including Sahn Ward Coschignano, the first and last word in quality legal representation and counsel. Check them out … and to all, a good night.