No. 543: On SUNY’s Thanksgiving plans, and Harvard–educated immigrant chocolatiers

Eye-catching: The swanky "To Catch a Thief" (1956) earned one of 35 Academy Award nominations for legendary Hollywood costumer Edith Head, who was born 123 years ago today.


Shivers: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, as Halloween approaches, COVID rages, there’s talk of a coup and winter is suddenly in the air.

It’s Oct. 28 out there, and yeah, that’s all rather chilling – but it’s also Plush Animal Lovers Day, so give your beloved teddy-boo a squeeze and let’s roll.

Life like: Yeah, that should get you through the day.

Come one, come all: Of the world’s 195 sovereign countries, only one is humanity’s melting pot – making National Immigrants Day, celebrated this and every Oct. 28, one of the most significant of all U.S. observations.

Come for the 244-year tradition of graciously welcoming all races and creeds; stay for the dessert. Today is also National Chocolate Day.

Ad by subtraction: What do Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Lee Zeldin, Nancy Goroff, Andrew Garbarino, Jackie Gordon and all the rest have in common? None appear in this political ad, which is all about electing us Long Island’s top blog.

We’re neck-and-neck with some of the Island’s best bloggers in Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s 2021 Best of Long Island contest (“Best Blog” is in the contest’s Arts & Entertainment section). Polls are open now and you can vote once per day through Dec. 15 for Island favorites in dozens of categories. Thanks for your support!

Well, that’s New: Welcome to Harvard University (then New College), which was founded in Newtowne (now Cambridge) on this date in 1636.

Who’s this “Edison” guy? Also in Massachusetts, the U.S. Patent Office in Boston received a patent application from an unknown inventor on Oct. 28, 1868, looking to protect his whizbang “Electrographic Vote Recorder.”

The patent, Thomas Edison’s first, was issued on June 1, 1869. The Wizard of Menlo Park would secure about 1,500 more – in fact, he’d score twice on Oct. 28, 1890, earning U.S. patents for a System of Electric Lighting and his unique Carbonizing Chamber.

Atomic age: President Harry Truman appointed the first five members of the Atomic Energy Commission – a multispecialty panel tasked with promoting atomic energy’s public benefits, plus world peace – on this date in 1946.

Overarching: Happy anniversary, Gateway Arch.

Over the top: The famous St. Louis Gateway Arch – Missouri’s tallest accessible building, the Western Hemisphere’s tallest manmade monument and the world’s tallest arch – was completed on this date in 1965.

Brits in spaaaaace: And it was Oct. 28, 1971, when England became the sixth nation to put a satellite into Earth orbit.

True story: The successful blastoff of the experimental orbiter Prospero remains Britain’s only independent satellite launch.

He sure got around: Speaking of English things circling the Earth, globe-trotting British novelist, biographer, journalist, travel writer and book reviewer Evelyn Waugh (born Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh, 1903-1966) – the best satirical novelist of his day, and arguably of all time – would be 117 years old today.

The people’s scientist: Before there was Fauci, there was Salk.

Also born on Oct. 28 were French priest/physicist Pierre Bertholon (1741-1800), whose groundbreaking research resonates today across agriculture and the health sciences; Oscar-heavy Hollywood costuming legend Edith Head (born Edith Claire Posener, 1897-1981); polio-pounding American physician/researcher Jonas Salk (1914-1995); and Microsoft co-founder William HenryBill” Gates III (born 1955), currently the world’s second wealthiest person.

Very Intel-igent: And take a bow, Marcian “Ted” Hoff Jr. – the American electrical engineer, who led the Intel team that invented the first single-chip commercial microprocessor, turns 83 today.

Wish the computer pioneers and all the other Oct. 28 innovators well at, where we happily process story tips and calendar events, micro and otherwise.


About our sponsor: Sahn Ward Coschignano is one of the region’s most highly regarded and recognized law firms. Our attorneys are thought leaders and dedicated to achieving success through excellence. With our broad experience in land use, development, litigation, real estate, corporate and environmental law, we have the vision and knowledge to serve our clients and our communities. Please visit



Ion engine: Molloy College has become the first Long Island college to install the O2Prime NPBI, a next-gen indoor air-purification system that blasts away COVID-19 and other pathogens with an ionic arsenal.

Siemens Smart Infrastructure, a division of the German multinational conglomerate, has begun installations in the Rockville Centre college’s three residence halls, funded by roughly $1 million in CARES Act funds (via a Town of Hempstead grant). Attached to an existing HVAC system, Siemens’ patented Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization technology floods the air with ions – molecules with net electric charges – that reduce or eliminate airborne and surface contaminants including viruses, bacteria and mold.

The system offers “reliable, long-term protection for our students and anyone visiting our residence halls,” according to Molloy College President James Lentini, who counted the NPBI alongside Molloy College’s abundant temperature kiosks and “strict masking and hand-sanitizing protocols” as front-line pandemic precautions. “This system goes above and beyond in keeping everyone as healthy as possible,” the president added.

Ground broken: Artist’s rendering of the new Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center, coming in 2021.

Care package: As the pandemic ravages the national childcare industry, New York State’s biggest economic-development engine is breaking ground on a new center designed to continue a long tradition of East End childcare.

The Empire State Development Corp. has begun construction on a new 7,828-square-foot facility designed to expand childcare services and educational programming for lower-income working families offered by the decades-strong Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center. Funded in part by a $300,000 capital grant from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, the $2.9 million new construction – located in the Hamlet of Bridgehampton, part of the Town of Southampton – is slated to be up and running by Fall 2021.

Backed by a $25,000 grant from the Long Island Community Foundation, the center will also offer career-training programs designed to give participants higher-wage job opportunities. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities that already existed in our society, and nowhere is that more prevalent than with childcare,” noted Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who chairs Albany’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. “We are focused on investing in childcare and job training to help individuals and families get back to work.”



Homeward, bound: SUNY is requiring all residential students – and commuters who use campus facilities – to take a COVID test before Thanksgiving break.

Character development: An Adelphi University survey measuring unconscious biases puts Joe Biden way out in front of the contentious presidential race.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Island manufacturers rise, new states fall and New York Tech’s tuition stays right where it is … keep track with LI’s one-and-only pandemic primer.



There’s no avoiding politics in your professional communications, not in this climate – the better strategy, advises media maestro David Chauvin, is to understand the issues and own your positions.



Quick change: The coronavirus has sparked innovation among the biggest brands. Forbes recounts some of the more ingenious pivots.

Place your bets: The good money is on telehealth, genomics and Tesla. Barron’s sets short odds for disruptive innovators.

See it coming: From subdued inflation to spiraling healthcare costs, a peek at the future of national and global economics. The Balance charts the next decade.



+ Sirnaomics, a Maryland-based Biopharma focused on RNAi therapeutics, raised $105 million in Series D financing led by Rotating Boulder Fund, Walvax Biotechnology, Sunshine Riverhead Capital, Sangel Capital, Longmen Capital, HongTao Capital and Alpha Win Capital.

+ Enviral Tech, an Oregon-based biotech focused on environmental viral surveillance solutions, closed a $1.5 million seed funding round led by Rogue Venture Partners, with additional investments by Cascade Seed Fund and private investors.

+ Allonnia LLC, a Massachusetts-based waste-management company focused on bioremediation, launched with $40 million in Series A funding. Backers included Ginkgo Bioworks, Battelle, General Atlantic, Cascade Investment and Viking Global Investors.

+ Budderfly, a Connecticut-based energy-efficiency-as-a-service provider, raised $7.8 million in funding co-led by Edison Partners and Balance Point Capital, with additional participation from Connecticut Innovations.

+ Welcome Homes, a New York City-based online home-building, customization and purchasing platform, raised $5.35 million in seed financing led by Global Founders Capital, with participation from 8VC, Adapt Ventures, Elefund, V1 VC, Kokopelli Capital, One Way Ventures, Founders First Capital Partners, AAVCF3, Arkin Holdings, Josh Buckley, Foundamental, Soma Capital, Gaingels, Fission Ventures and Tuesday Capital.

+ Perch, a Massachusetts-based technology-driven commerce company that acquires and operates top Amazon Marketplace businesses, raised $123.5 million in financing led by Spark Capital Tectonic Ventures and Boston Seed.



Ground up: Nature as a battery, by Bioo.

Dirt cheap: How microorganisms in the soil can power electric lights – and houses, maybe.

Costly campaign: At just under $11 billion, this is already the most expensive election in U.S. history.

Pricey pandemic: Why you shopped so much during quarantine, and what to do about it now.

Paying the bills: Please continue supporting the amazing firms that support Innovate LI, including Sahn Ward Coschignano, where real estate, tax and labor experts – and whole teams of commercial law specialists – balance your top aspirations and your bottom line. Check them out.