No. 507: Electricity, shockers and smooth jazz, with light at the end of our national tunnel

This time, it's personal: The classic Apple II, which helped usher in the age of home computing, debuted 43 years ago today.


We deserve a medal this time: Welcome to Friday, friends, as we limp to the finish line of this exhausting week of quasi-quarantines, social upheaval and, of course, relentless socioeconomic progress.

BRAIN power: Stony Brook scientists are playing past the pandemic with a $3.6 million grant from the NIH’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative.

Yes, innovation continues – just ask Adelphi and these SBU neurobiologists and the 2020 NSPC Health Science Competition, which drew a record number of Long Island high school competitors.

If current events have you feeling anxious, you’re not alone. Fortunately, the drumbeat of Long Island innovation goes on, New York is slowly reopening and the weekend is upon us. Stay strong, dear readers.

Dane jokes: It’s June 5 out there, and so we wish a very happy Father’s Day to all the dads – in Denmark. (Chill, American offspring, our Father’s Day is still June 20).

Only natural: June 5 also marks the U.N.’s annual World Environment Day, focused on the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the climate we all biologically appreciate.

Power of the press: Washington-based weekly newspaper The National Era first serialized abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery masterpiece “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” beginning on June 5, 1851.

It was a dark and stormy night: The D-Day invasion was originally planned for June 5.

From the weather desk: The “weather forecast that saved D-Day,” convincing Allied Supreme Commander (and future U.S. President) Dwight Eisenhower to execute the risky beach landing in Northern France on June 6, was delivered on this date in 1944.

On that same day – June 5, 1944 – Allied troops were welcomed as heroes in the streets of Rome.

Core member: Part of the “1977 Trinity” of personal computing – along with Commodore’s PET 2001 and Tandy Corp.’s TRS-80 Model I – the eight-bit Apple II, designed by legends Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, hit shelves 43 years ago today.

Yes, they Kenya: And that same day – June 5, 1977 – the National Council of Women of Kenya, led by Wangari Maathai, marched to Kamukunji Park in Nairobi and planted seven trees, starting Africa’s Green Belt Movement.

Come blow your horn: Happy birthday, Mr. Gorelick.

The personality of cult: American cultural anthropologist Ruth Benedict (1887-1948), whose theories on cultural norms and individual personalities changed the course of modern social science, would be 133 years old today.

Also born on June 5 were Italian scholar Elena Cornaro Piscopia (1646-1684), remembered as the first woman in history to earn a university degree; Mexican revolutionary José Doroteo Arango Arámbula (a.k.a. Pancho Villa, 1878-1923); Hungarian-British physicist, electrical engineer and Nobel Prize laureate Dennis Gabor (1900-1979), the “father of holography”; and Lucasfilm Ltd. President Kathleen Kennedy (born 1953).

Sax machine: And take a bow, Kenneth Bruce Gorelick – known globally by the stage name Kenny G, the top-selling jazz saxophonist (to the tune of more than 75 million records) turns 64 today.

Wish the iconic saxophonist, the queen of the “Star Wars” galaxy and all the other June 5 innovators well at, where story tips, calendar items and the Force will be with you, always.


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Trailing: Long Island is in the middle of the state pack when it comes to Clean Energy Community designations from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The designations recognize community leadership in reducing energy use, cutting energy costs and promoting clean-gen technologies, all key to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Green New Deal, which targets New York for a carbon-free power grid by 2040. Long Island boasts 27 designated clean-energy communities, 40 “participating communities” (where at least one “clean-energy action item” has been completed) and a total of 131 completed clean-energy actions – well behind regions like Central New York (309 actions completed) and the Mid-Hudson Valley (250), but ahead of North Country (105) and New York City (just five).

Action items include converting traditional streetlights to light-emitting diode technology, adding electric vehicles to municipal fleets and other carbon-cutting initiatives. “Congratulations to all the Clean Energy Communities across New York,” NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said in a statement, applauding “significant actions to reduce their energy use and costs while helping to support New York’s nation-leading clean-energy goals.”

Spreading the news: New York State senators want Washington to ease offshore-wind siting restrictions, among other environmental demands.

Leading: Speaking of renewable energy, the New York State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee – sensing both an urgent need and an unprecedented opportunity – is taking its funding fight right to the top.

Twenty-three state senators, including ECC Chairman Todd Kaminsky (D-Rockville Centre), have sent a letter to President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting immediate funding and other federal support for New York-based renewable-energy projects – critical not only environmentally, according to the 23 signatories, but essential to revitalizing New York’s economy in the aftermath of COVID-19.

The 23 senators – all Democrats – acknowledge the pandemic has been bad everywhere but insist “no one has suffered more than New York,” where the resulting economic crisis “threatens not only our state, but the nation as well.” The solution, according to the May 21 letter to the national leaders: immediate reauthorization of “several key federal green-economy programs,” along with expanded clean-gen tax credits, additional permissions for offshore-wind development and new investments in clean-water infrastructure, initiatives “that will not just result in a stronger New York” but a “stronger national economy.”



When you see a chancellor, take it: Lured away by Ohio State, SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson is catching some heat for her abrupt resignation.  

Ouch: Lifetime Brands, Comtech Telecommunications feel the burn as the pandemic wreaks havoc on quarterly earnings.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Arrow hits the mark, Long Island approaches Phase 2 and more from the new normal, in the Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer. 



Hofstra’s Center for Entrepreneurship has virtual boots on the ground. Regional IDAs have pharmaceuticals fever.  



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

From New York City: “Discovery engine” ResoluteAI upgrades with Conceptual Attribute Search, adding “focused machine learning” to technical queries.

From Virginia: Herndon-based “proposal company” Privia launches Privia Web, a go-to software suite for developing and managing government proposals.

From Canada, eh: Vancouver-based tech startup VoltSafe revolutionizes the electric plug with a prong-less magnetic design.



Michele Dean

+ Michele Dean has been named president and CEO of Medford-based Suffolk Federal Credit Union. She previously served as chief strategy officer at Westbury-based Jovia Financial.

+ David Rivadeneira, director of surgical services and colorectal surgery at Huntington Hospital, has been appointed director of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute.

+ Joseph Herman has been named vice chairman of clinical informatics for radiation medicine and director of clinical research integration at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute. He previously served as professor and division head of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

+ Catherine Alfano has been named vice president of cancer-care management and research at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute. She previously served as vice president of survivorship at the American Cancer Society.

+ Stacy Sanchez has been named chief nursing officer of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute. She previously served as director of pediatric and critical care services and interim director of acute care services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

+ Martin Karpeh Jr. has been named chairman of the Huntington Hospital Department of Surgery and director of surgical oncology for Northwell Health’s Eastern Region. He previously served as surgeon-in-chief at Hackensack University Medical Center.

+ Matthew Colson has been named vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement at Farmingdale State College. He previously served as executive director of Stony Brook University alumni relations and the Stony Brook Alumni Association.

+ Gregory Lisi, a partner at Forchelli Deegan Terrana and chairman of its Employment and Labor Practice Group, has been installed as president-elect of the Nassau County Bar Association.

+ Woodbury-based D&B Engineers and Architects has announced two new hires: Jonathan Castro, a graduate of the Stevens Institute of Technology, will serve as an electrical engineer; Rajah Ferrell, a graduate of Island Drafting and Technical Institute in Amityville, will serve as a CADD technician.


BELOW THE FOLD (Easy Button Edition)

Jolly green: You, too, can grow stuff.

Victory garden: Green thumb not so green? No worries.

No fuss: Pandemic-friendly home gadgets that take a load off.

No muss: The best products for a world that cleans more than ever.

Easy writer: Please continue to support the amazing firms that support Innovate LI, including Sahn Ward Coschignano, where Managing Member Michael Sahn – the legal eagle of our amazing Voices rotation – is always up to something.