Voices

Take your chances: A possible windfall, with real risks

By JEFFREY REYNOLDS // Faced with a $15 billion budget gap, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed the legalization of mobile sports gambling in his 2021/22 budget proposals, an idea budget officials estimate could bring in $500 million in annual tax revenues. “The question is really not whether or not we do mobile sports betting,” Cuomo declared at one point of his week-long budget address. “The question is more, ‘How?’” One issue is whether wagers go…


Hurry up and wait for slow, but steady, vaccinations

By TERRY LYNAM // Frustration abounds as Long Islanders and Americans nationwide struggle to make appointments for a COVID-19 vaccination. The initial strategy put in place by Operation Warp Speed – the public-private partnership established by the federal government to develop, manufacture and distribute the vaccines – purposely held back 50 percent of the nation’s available supply to guarantee second doses to the healthcare workers, nursing home denizens and others eligible during the rollout’s first…


Hot start, icy pivot: A pizza man’s pandemic, on wheels

By KATE FULLAM // While large-scale manufacturers like General Mills produced huge mounds of Totino’s Pizza Rolls to feed homebound masses during the pandemic, a Long Island-based wood-fired frozen pizza business was growing also – in the kitchen, and the parking lot, of the East End Food Institute. Homeslice Pizza sold thousands of frozen pies as COVID-19 spread across the region, delivering directly to clients quarantined at home across the Hamptons. Many of these were…


As pandemic passes, expect tech to get back on track

By MITCH MAIMAN // To say the least, 2020 was an extremely unusual year. But the current disrupted environment – COVID has obviously had substantive impacts on our personal and professional lives – calls to mind the prescient words of Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher and military strategist who noted, “In chaos, there is opportunity.” The tech-innovation world has seen our ways of working totally disturbed. For longer than I’ve been in the workforce,…


COVID’s tough, but climate change is the bigger threat

By MICHAEL H. SAHN // We are at a pivotal moment regarding environment protection, and just as we fast-tracked a COVID-19 vaccine, we must act swiftly – relying on science – to reverse global warming. Climate change, and its wide-ranging effects on our business environments and everyday lives, is no less a health risk than the coronavirus. And like COVID-19, it’s a crisis we cannot ignore. In a Dec. 2 speech on the ecological state…


Polls aren’t crystal balls (but they are solid-gold intel)

By DAVID CHAUVIN // No matter where you stand on the accuracy of the polls leading up to the 2020 Presidential Election, it’s not particularly hard to find supporting evidence. If you believe the polls were largely accurate, you can easily say: “Hey, the polls said Joe Biden was going to win by a fairly healthy margin, and that’s exactly what happened. FiveThirtyEight, for example, correctly picked all but two states! How much more accurate…


In all seasons, adding sense to your charitable dollars

By JEFFREY REYNOLDS // It’s counterintuitive to ask folks who have just maxed out their credit cards on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to spend even more, but if Giving Tuesday 2020 is anything like last year’s 24-hour grassroots campaign, Americans will come through: Last year, they donated more than $500 million to local and national charities. Giving Tuesday was conceived in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations…


With election over, COVID is no longer a political issue

By TERRY LYNAM // As we move beyond what has to be counted among the most acrimonious election seasons in history, hopes for a new era of bipartisan collaboration hinge – at least in the short term – on whether elected leaders at all levels of government can stop politicizing the coronavirus. With the number of daily U.S. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations hitting all-time highs, it’s time for all elected leaders to set aside their…


Not in Kansas anymore, LI foodpreneurs keep the faith

By KATE FULLAM // Last weekend, I found myself wandering the neighborhood on a last-minute treasure hunt with my daughter. At 7 years old, she portrayed the most adorable Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz,” and the rest of us followed suit – as the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and even Toto (yes, the dog joined in). Through COVID-19, homeschooling and even the forced reinvention of Halloween, she has never stopped searching for that somewhere…


No. 546: The wait continues – with bread stuffing, Emma Stone and undead ferrets

  Your guess is as good as ours: Here we are, dear readers – it’s Nov. 6 on Long Island and around the world, and as we put the newsletter to bed Thursday night, there was still no clear word on who will be President of the United States come Jan. 21. Perhaps by the time you read this, an electoral winner will have been announced (though lawsuits are sure to follow, so stay tuned)….


As voting evolves, national voting laws must follow

By MICHAEL H. SAHN // Election Day, plus two: The votes are still being counted, with paper-thin margins in key states. The President of the United States wants the counting to stop here, but not there. The world waits. “Democracy in action,” “every vote counts,” “all politics are local” …  these timeless idioms have never been truer. We are witness to an historic election with an unprecedented national voter turnout. From a broad perspective, this proves we…


COVID will end, but land uses will be changed forever

By MICHAEL H. SAHN // The pandemic is dramatically changing the real estate market across Greater New York and the nation, with long-ranging (and long term) impacts on infrastructure, land use and economic development. For starters, the pandemic has convinced many city dwellers to seek the suburban lifestyle. COVID has supercharged single-family homes purchases in traditional suburban subdivisions and created a seller’s market on Long Island, where demand exceeds supply and prices are skyrocketing. Meanwhile,…


Communications meets politics, on a one-way street

By DAVID CHAUVIN // I’m of a certain age – OK, fine, I’m old, old enough to remember George, the ill-fated and short-lived political magazine created by John F. Kennedy Jr., may he rest in peace. That magazine – which debuted in 1995 with a then-controversial cover image of iconic 1990s supermodel Cindy Crawford dressed like George Washington – aimed to marry the popular, celebrity and political cultures into one publication. Rolling Stone meets The…


Pressure point: As childcare teeters, moms are on edge

By JEFFREY REYNOLDS // Warm bubble baths, dreamy meditation apps and heart-pounding exercise routines are among the self-care techniques mental-health experts recommend to folks feeling anxious, stressed and depressed as they navigate a global pandemic that’s killed 220,000 Americans. For overwhelmed parents forced to choose between their kids, their jobs and their own wellbeing, we’ve lowered the bar even further, suggesting they take an extra five minutes in the shower or 10 minutes sitting in…


A century later, 1918 pandemic’s lessons resonate

By TERRY LYNAM // Given COVID-19’s unprecedented nature and global impact, many analysts and health officials have drawn parallels to the 1918 Spanish Flu, which according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention infected one-third of the world’s population – an estimated 500 million – and killed about 50 million, including 675,000 in the United States. Although the flu and COVID-19 are caused by starkly different viruses, understanding how the H1N1 virus spread…