No. 505: In which National Grid gifts, interns rise and SBU psychologists dig deep

Thanks for the memory: Born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, England, on May 29, 1903, legendary entertainer Bob Hope -- always ready to stand up for the troops -- would be 117 years old today.


That’s a wrap: Welcome to Friday, dear readers, as our abbreviated WFH workweek comes to an end and a muggy, late-spring weekend begins, with Long Island now enjoying its Phase 1 reopening.

No, the pub isn’t open. Yes, you should still wear a mask.

Freeze frame: Status quo at SCCC.

One Morgo: Before we dive in, a cap-tip for old friend Jim Morgo, the former Suffolk County economic-development guru who reached out following Tuesday’s newsletter, which noted that Molloy College and St. Joseph’s College have both announced tuition freezes for the coming 2020-21 academic year.

So has Suffolk County Community College, Morgo noted, “making it the most affordable college tuition on LI.” That’s debatable, but the info is spot on: SCCC announced its freeze May 13. Thanks, Jim!

Didn’t know they had veterans: Back here on May 29, it’s Veterans Day in Sweden, which is kind of a head-scratcher, since Sweden hasn’t fought a war in more than 200 years, but there you have it.

Show some guts: It’s also the World Gastroenterology Association’s 17th annual World Digestive Health Day, which goes all-in this year on gut microbiome. Fun!

But not as much fun as National Composting Day, held this and every May 29.

State your intentions: Microbiomes and composting can only add to the Statehood Day delirium in Rhode Island (which joined the Union on this date in 1790) and Wisconsin (which joined in 1848).

Told you so: Eclipsing Newton.

A bad day for Newtonian physics: But a big one for Albert Einstein, who enjoyed overnight celebrity after his general theory of relativity was proven correct during the famed solar eclipse of May 29, 1909.

Tom terrific: Another scientist you know also enjoyed the date – U.S. patents issued to the Wizard of Menlo Park on May 29 include eight in 1883 (electric dynamos, regulators, incandescent lamps), six in 1906 (battery storage, metallic flakes) and one in 1923 (a revolutionary phonograph stylus).

Non-Edison patents issued on this date include one in 1945 for African American inventor Frederick Jones, who conceived a two-cycle gas engine that doubled up on piston rods.

Social climbers: Hillary and Norgay, en route to history.

High and mighty: Also achieving new heights, literally, were explorers Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal, who reached the fabled summit of Mount Everest – 29,035 feet above sea level, the highest point on Earth – on May 29, 1953.

The Bradley effect: And still the only African American mayor in the sprawling city’s 170-year history, Thomas Bradley was elected mayor of Los Angeles on this date in 1973.

Bradley, a former police officer and city councilman, would fill the office for five terms and 20 full years.

Makes you shutter: American photographer Doris Ulmann (1882-1934) – whose iconic work put a face to Appalachian regions across the South and helped transition American photographic portraiture to a more documentary style – would be 138 years old today.

For the ages: The youngest elected U.S. president would be 103 today.

Also born on May 29 were American psychologist L.L. Thurstone (1887-1955), who tuned up psychometrics, the science of measuring mental functions; British-American comedian, actor, vaudevillian, singer, dancer, athlete and author Sir Bob Hope (1903-2003); 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963); British theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (born 1929), namesake of the Higgs boson, the sweet juicy center of particle physics; and movie-music maestro Danny Elfman (born 1953).

Driver’s seat: And take a bow, Al Unser – the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and vital cog of the Unser racing dynasty turns 81 today.

Hit the gas on those birthday wishes, story tips and calendar events, all welcome at


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Loan rangers: The U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department have earmarked $10 billion in Paycheck Protection Program Round 2 funding to be lent exclusively to Community Development Financial Institutions.

Part of Washington’s historic $2 trillion stimulation package, Round 1 of the PPP disbursed roughly $350 billion – in just two weeks – to small businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, including roughly $3.8 billion for registered CDFIs. Round 2 will focus a bit more on the community-development groups, which work to expand economic opportunity in low-income areas by providing local businesses access to critical financial products and services.

Long Island boasts two state-registered CDFIs – the Hauppauge-based Long Island Housing Partnership and the Rockville Centre-based Disability Opportunity Fund. “PPP is dedicated to providing emergency capital to sustain our nation’s small businesses,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said in a statement. “CDFIs provide critically important capital and technical assistance to small businesses from rural, minority and other underserved communities.”

Grid and bear it: With Suffolk County Community College calculating that the pandemic has essentially put its entire student body out of work, major league utility National Grid – Long Island’s natural gas supplier – has gifted $10,000 to SCCC’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which provides financial assistance to suddenly strapped students.

According to the Selden-based college, 95 percent of its students are now unemployed and many are facing challenges ranging from lost health insurance to food insecurity. Enter National Grid, which funneled the five-figure donation straight into the Emergency Fund, which has so far helped about 550 students – including direct tuition support and basic-needs assistance – and can now help more, according to SCCC Interim President Louis Petrizzo.

“National Grid came to the aid of our students when it was most needed,” Petrizzo said Thursday. “On behalf of our students and all of us at Suffolk, we extend our sincere and heartfelt thanks.”



Intern turn: Long Island’s top universities are doing a pandemic pivot to keep student interns on the job this summer.  

Deep depression: But high hopes, as Stony Brook psychologists land a $3.5 million federal grant for a cutting-edge brain-scan plan.

Primer timer: SBU rocks the pandemic, News 12 rocks the house and Gov. Cuomo rocks the unmasked – it’s Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus, Island-style.



Staying home with Discover Long Island, getting personal with David Chauvin.



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

From Texas: Austin-based supply chain technologist Apptricity combines barcode, Bluetooth and RFID in unique asset-management app.

From Colorado: Colorado Springs-based property marketer LandSearch brokers acreage, not infrastructure, on unique real estate platform.

From California: Irvine-based worker-safety specialist deploys high-tech Sentri360 to safeguard employees returning from quarantine.



Joel Shafferman

+ Joel Shafferman has joined Uniondale-based Sahn Ward Coschignano as counsel, concentrating his practice in the areas of bankruptcy law, insolvency and creditors rights. He will continue to serve as principal of Manhattan-based Shafferman & Feldman.

+ Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has announced the addition of 11 new salespeople: Amanda Havdoglous, formerly of Coach Realtors; Ashley Johansen, formerly of Cornerstone Properties; Elizabeth Record, formerly of Realty Connect USA; Feng (Joann) Huang, formerly of Keller Williams Gold Coast; Christopher D’Auria, formerly of Signature Premier Properties; Louis Diez, formerly of C21 American Homes; Justine Nerzig, formerly of Signature Premier Properties; Ellyn Cestaro and Janine Cestaro, both formerly of Keller Williams Legendary; Paul Rosano, formerly of Signature Premier Properties; and Alan Freire, formerly of RE/Max Alliance.

+ James Cashin, Cindy Pirolo and Addy Sandler have joined Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage as newly licensed salespeople.



New and improved: Not your grandfather’s coronavirus.

Different: Team-building in the Age of Coronavirus.

Very different: Personal productivity in the Age of Coronavirus.

Very, very different: The coronavirus in the Age of Coronavirus.

Steady hand: It’s full ahead at Nixon Peabody one of the amazing firms that support Innovate LI, where the Coronavirus Response Team tracks the latest developments from the corporate manager’s perspective. Check them out.